A Vermont Presidential Scholar at BFA

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BFA has many great students. Every once in awhile, we are fortunate to have a student who is exemplary. Alexandre Hamel, a member of the Class of 2017, is that student. On Monday evening, Alex was named a Vermont Presidential Scholar and recognized at the Vermont State house.

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A typical day for Alex begins with band at 7:30 AM. He plays saxophone for the concert band and has performed at Coffee House throughout his high school years.

Then it’s on to AP Politics and Government and AP Literature for the morning. Alex sings with the chorus during lunch and wellness and spends Support Block working for the Student Council, National Honor Society or Peer Support. His afternoon includes Advanced Calculus to help Alex prepare for the AP Calculus BC exam.

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 In the fall, Alex was involved in the Fall Musical You might remember him as Mr Banks in BFA’s production of Mary Poppins. Currently, Alex is a member of the Nordic Ski team. After practice, it’s home for homework and family time to get ready for another day.

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Monday was far from a typical day. Alex and his family arrived at the State House after a full day of school and work. They were joined by BFA Principal John Tague, Guidance Director David Buckingham and Guidance Counselor Katherine McElroy.

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Alex had a quick photo op with Governor Phil Scott before the official ceremony which opened with remarks from the Governor and Vermont’s Secretary of Education, Rebecca Holcombe. Five students from the state’s technical centers were honored for their accomplishments. Next, Sigrid Olsen from the Agency of Education  shared the accomplishments of each of the twenty students selected as Vermont’s Presidential Scholars.

Regarding Alex, Olsen shared (From his BFA nomination):

Alex is president of our school’s student council and was able to completely revitalize and revamp the program last year. Alex has also been actively involved in our school’s drama productions, Peer Support, National Honor Society, Diversity Committee and TASC. Alex brings ideas, motivation, leadership and follow through to all of these activities. Alex has also been working the United Way to help develop a county wide Teen Institute.

“Alex is a leader in so many areas of our school. He is always the first to volunteer to help and always makes sure that all voices are heard, the group leaves with action items and the follow up happens. Alex takes on a lot but does not extend himself so far that he can’t be a strong leader. One notable example is that during his second year as a member of Peer Support (our peer counseling student group) Alex took the initiative to research and lead workshops for the new members of the group. Alex demonstrated excellent knowledge and facilitation skills during his workshops.”

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And these thoughts from Alex’s personal essay:

“One of the biggest influences on me was peer counseling, which has given me the skills to help others while also helping me understand the problems people face around me. The greatest satisfaction I can receive is the happiness of people other than me. I feel that my future is still undecided and I have to make choices in order to narrow down what I want to do in the future, but no matter what I know I won’t be doing it for myself. I’ll be doing it for others.”

BFA is proud of all that Alex has accomplished. We know that his future is bright and we look forward to sharing his continued successes as he moves on to the next phase of his education and life.

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

Indicator of Success – Students and staff lead as engaged and responsible citizens.

Action Plan – Ensure students take a leadership role in their learning using rich, authentic questions, problems they identify, and diverse resources to formulate solutions

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