Three students in Fletcher have recently been recognized for excellence in art and writing, but equally as important are the messages behind their work.

“My poster is about Dairy Man, the superhero, who eats really healthy foods and helps people by giving them dairy so that they can be fit and healthy just like him,” sixth grader Lane Stygles said.


Stygles won first place in Cabot Creamery’s 2016 Educational Poster Contest. Cabot distributes the winning poster to classrooms and cafeterias nationwide in an effort to bring healthy messages and visuals to youth.

“On both of my sides, my mom and my dad’s sides, they are farmers. I spend a lot of time around farms. My dad eats really well and I based the superhero on him. He’s a role model for me and I thought he would make a good role model for other people,” Stygles said.

FEScabot2The Stygles Farm has 53 cows, as well as a goat, barn cats and beagles. Stygles, who says he loves to drink milk, helps to hay the cows and feed the calves milk. He thinks he may want to go into farming in the future.

“You don’t get any vacation days, though,” he said. “You have to be down there every day. You have to wait on Christmas Day to open your presents. The milking always comes first, but I don’ really mind,” Stygles said with a laugh.

While he enjoys and appreciates the farming life, Stygles also says art is one of his favorite subjects. “I really want to be a cartoonist if I do not become a farmer,” he said.

Stygles won $75, some cheese and a gift package from Cabot. He also opted for an additional cash prize from a selection of options.

Fletcher also boasts the runner-up in Cabot’s poster contest.

Sixth grader Brody Chipman’s poster features the Cabot symbol and a bowl of soup, along with healthy eating and exercise tips.

“I draw here and there,” Chipman said. “I was drawing for the fun of it.”


But, his efforts were more purposeful than the modest Chipman may want to admit.

“I was hoping that my poster would send a message to eat healthy and make healthy choices and get lots of exercise,” he said.

FEScabot4Chipman won a lunchbox, cheese, a frisbee and a water bottle from Cabot. In addition to his poster, Chipman practices what he preaches by playing lacrosse, soccer and ski racing.

One Fletcher student also received accolades in writing. Sirena Sawyer has won Green Up Vermont’s annual essay contest


“I wrote my essay by walking down my road and writing about each place that I saw. Then, I did some research and found examples of things that are specific to Vermont on my road,” Sawyer said. “I wanted to tell people how important it is to pick up your environment and all of the advantages to the environment when you do.”

“I love writing,” Sawyer, who opted for writing an essay rather than creating a Green Up poster, said.

Sawyer won $250 for her efforts, and plans to donate her winnings to help pay for supplies and materials for the grades 5/6 school play.

“This school has given me a lot. The teachers have used a lot of their own money to supply things for us. I know that last year our music teacher used a lot of her own money to pay for things for the play. I didn’t want her to do that this year. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do with the money,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer also considered buying new art supplies for the school or toys for the younger kids. She also thought about a scholarship fund, which she still hopes to create with the support of her classmates.

Sawyer enjoys walking in the woods. “If I take a day to be on the couch and watch TV I feel closed in. I like to go outside and explore and see the natural world. I feel like when you are outside you can breathe better.”

Read Sawyer’s winning Green-Up Essay here.

Both student artwork and writing are examples of the strong communication skills being emphasized at Fletcher as part of ongoing work to implement proficiency-based learning. This year, Fletcher is working on the following communication proficiencies: Support students in demonstrating transferable skills in the area of clear and effective communication: (a) Demonstrate organized and purposeful communication and (b) use evidence and logic appropriately in communication.

Target 2 – Leadership. FWSU Students and staff lead innovative learning opportunities, both locally and globally.

Indicator of Success – (1) Students and staff lead as engaged and responsible citizens. (2) Students explore a greater understanding of community, social issues, and the self in community. (3) Student voice has the power to impact the perceptions of others.

Action Step – Design multiple avenues for students and staff to lead, advocate and serve within the school community.

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