Northshire Notes

Students honored

in essay competition

Eighth grade students from the north and south Shires of Vermont won awards in this year's Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition and were among the honorees at a celebratory luncheon held at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home in Manchester on Sunday, May 20. The event honored all the winners of the 12th annual competition from around the state. Educators, family and friends were on hand to see this year's young writers receive their awards. Students were asked to grapple with the concept of what it means to be a patriotic American. With Lincoln as touchstone, writers were made aware that in his time, Lincoln's actions were seen by some as patriotic and by others as unpatriotic. He was viewed as both a traitor and a patriot. Today the nation is again deeply divided on many issues and among them is the concept of patriotism.

For the contest, 187 eighth grade writers responded to the following question in 500 words or fewer:

"Describe a current or recent event in which the actions of the participant(s) may be viewed as patriotic by some and as unpatriotic by others. Discuss the differing points of view. What is your position and why?"

Long Trail School student Iren Santana Hangen Vazquez and Mount Anthony Middle School student Joshua Snide were named as honorable mentions. Both chose to write about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color and both found the action to be patriotic. The concluding statements of each student's essay sum up their research and conclusions. Iren wrote, "Their kneeling contributes to inspiring a new generation to take action and preserve the values upon which this country was founded." Joshua reflected, "America's uniqueness is that there are ways for its citizens to better the nation through peaceful means. Kaepernick challenges us to reexamine the status quo, make the necessary changes, thereby ensuring that our founding documents' sentiments are upheld."

Winners were awarded the following prizes: First Place, $1,000; Second Place, $750; Third Place, $500; and $250 to each Honorable Mention.

To read the first, second and third place Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition winning essays, visit

Dorset School registration

Anyone who missed the Dorset School's Kindergarten Registration and Screening on May 18th, please call school at 802-362-2606 to make an appointment to come for a visit and register your child for Kindergarten. Children entering Kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year must be five years old by September 1, 2018.

Muddy Chef Challenge

The Land Rover Muddy Chef Challenge (July 26-29, 2018 Manchester, Vermont) is a three-day event that has been described as "Top Gear meets Top Chef" and we think that's about right. Over the course of three days competitors will camp in an African safari style, face challenging off-road driving, sporting field events (fly fishing, sporting clays, etc.) attend fancy dress cocktail parties, and participate in two world-class vehicle-based cooking challenges. Vehicle based means that the participants must cook, prepare and serve gourmet meals from only what they can carry in their Land Rovers. It's a truly unique and amazing experience, and it's only open to Land Rover owners.

Sisters visit Congress and 'Go Gray in May'

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month prompting the slogan "Go Gray in May!" and inspiring local sisters, Hadley and Merritt Perkins of Winhall, to return to Washington DC for a second year as volunteers for the National Brain Tumor Society. The NBTS mission as the largest brain tumor advocacy organization in the US is to promote research and support for the brain tumor community. Over 200 NBTS lobbyists from 38 states donned bright blue "Head to the Hill" t-shirts and descended on Capitol Hill for 202 congressional meetings in 9 hours.

The Perkinses met with members of staff from the offices of Senators Leahy and Sanders as well as Representative Welch. The sisters shared their experience of losing their dad, Andy Perkins, in 2015 to a GBM tumor. Capital staffers are all too familiar with GBM, the most deadly form of brain cancer, as it claimed Sen. Kennedy's life and more recently Beau Biden, the former Vice President's son. Sen. McCain is currently under treatment for GBM as well.

Hadley, an 11th grader at BBA, updated the staffers that almost 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor and over 28,000 are children. Shockingly, no FDA approved treatments exist for pediatric brain cancer although it is the leading cause of cancer-related death in children under 20 years old.

Merritt, an 8th grader at Long Trail School, remembers 'Team Andy' made up of friends and family scrambling to find off-label and novel treatments for her dad as the tumor returned despite the standard surgery, radiation, and chemo that sadly does not significantly improve patient outcomes. As Merritt wrote in her notes "We ran out of treatment options only months into my dad's illness. Imagine knowing there is nothing the doctors can do to save your dad. With more funding for research, hopefully no other little girl will have to lose her dad to such a horrific disease."

The Congressmen pledged their support for the NBTS initiatives.


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