On January 28, two BFA seniors were honored at the Vermont State House as Vermont Presidential Scholars. Caitlin Allen and Shane Seals were selected to be a part of a group 20 Vermont High School Seniors from students nominated by their schools.
After a few words from Governor Phil Scott and Secretary of Education Dan French, their accomplishments were highlighted by Sigrid Olsen from the Department of Education.
Caitlin has been dedicated to her school’s Farm to School program, it’s associated course, and club that oversees the project. In addition to taking the course, Caitlin recently organized a harvest dinner for the community, feeding 200 community members.
Caitlin is a member of Peer Support, a peer counseling program which trains students to help peers and also around several important issues facing teens. This year, Caitlin facilitated several workshops at the annual training retreat.
In addition to being a 3 season athlete, Caitlin is active in the school’s drama program, and runs lights at the school’s monthly coffee house events.
Caitlin is currently interested in pursuing studies in neuroscience. According to Caitlin, “My goal in life is to cure degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. In five years, I want to be in a fellowship at an Alzheimer’s research facility. I am passionate about keeping people from the anguish of seeing the personalities of people they love fade.”
Shane is one of two student representatives to the school board. He was selected by his peers for this position at the end of his sophomore year and has served throughout his junior and senior year. Shane was also selected by his peers to represent his school at the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference. Both of these honors speak to the fact that Shane’s peers see him as trustworthy and dependable.
Shane’s principal describes his contributions to the school board in the following way, “During meetings, the board will ask for input from the student reps when an issue they are discussing directly impacts students,as most issues do. Shane is able to articulate an opinion that represents his experiences and thoughts and those of his peers. Being a board member is a major commitment and Shane has handled it well. His composure and ability to view situations from multiple perspectives will serve Shane well as he pursues post secondary education.”
Fred Griffin, Shane’s teacher, coach and advisor describes him in the following way: “None of Shane’s accomplishments come at the expense of others. In any group he distinguishes himself as a mixer, tolerant of diversity, one who leads readily but who collaborates just as readily. He also has a work ethic and desire to succeed that supports and sustains both his individual and his group’s efforts. He is the first to offer help to a struggling peer. I find it interesting that on the playing field or race course Shane is fiercely competitive, but in the classroom he works with his classmates, not against them.”
BFA is proud of the work of these two fine students. They are outstanding representatives of our school and community. Congratulations Caitlin and Shane!
John Tague is the Middle / High School Principal at BFA Fairfax. You can follow him @jtague252