Posted in General

TD Garden & Bruins Follow - Up

Regular followers of the CSD Spotlight will recall that back in October, in a gesture of good will, TD Bank offered a package of seats at TD Garden to Patrick Bushey and his family, allowing him to select from a series of Bruins home games. On the 22nd of this month Patrick, his mom Lisa and friends JP and Devin caught the Bruins - Canadiens game that Montreal won 2-0.

Bruins 2It does prove that dreams can come true but unfortunately for the boys we cannot predict who will win a game. Needless to say, whether the Bruins won or lost was completely overshadowed by the memories that will last forever. Many thanks to TD Bank for making a very special experience for everyone!

Posted in General

CHS Junior To March On Turkey Day

Colchester High School Junior Selected To March in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Flutist is one of nearly 250 high school musicians selected from across the nation

 beth moore_CHS juniorWatching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade is a tradition for many. But one Vermonter will have  a very different experience this Thanksgiving—marching and playing in the parade. Colchester High School junior Beth Moore was chosen as the sole Vermont representative to participate in the 2014 Macy’s Great American Marching Band in New York City on Thanksgiving Day. Beth was among a select group of high school students who were chosen for this distinguished band that honors the finest high school musicians from across the nation.

“It is such a thrill to be a part of the Thanksgiving Day Parade,” says Beth. “Being in the Great American Marching Band is everything I have dreamed of…representing Vermont promises to be the coolest thing I have ever done.”

To be considered, Beth completed an application and sent in an audition tape of her playing Nocturne et Allegro Scherzando on her flute. Students are selected based on their technical proficiency, tone quality and overall musicianship as well as their past musical achievements. The opportunity is open to students from more 14,000 high schools across the United States.

Beth has a long list of musical achievements to her credit. In addition to being a member of the CHS jazz and concert bands, Beth has been involved with the Vermont Youth Orchestra since sixth grade. She has been a mentor for the Vermont Youth Chamber Winds and plays flute at her Church and in the Colchester Community Band. Beth began playing violin when she was four years old and has been playing the flute since fifth grade. She has been selected to participate in the District Music Festival every year since eighth grade. During her freshman year, Beth participated in orchestra for both violin and flute, but in her sophomore year of high school she chose to focus solely on flute due to a demanding practice schedule. She practices from one to three hours a day (outside of her ensemble playing).

“I am so proud of Beth and her many musical achievements inside and outside the Colchester School District,” said CHS Director of Bands Evan Peltier. “She is such a dedicated musician and great role model for the other band students…it is indeed an honor to have her representing Vermont in this Thanksgiving tradition.”

Since 2006 when the Macy’s Great American Marching Band (MGAMB) was formed, more than 2000 students from across the United States have had the opportunity to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of the MGAMB.

Stepping-off from Central Park, the Band will be cheered by an expected 3 million live spectators, before arriving at Macy’s Herald Square for their national performance for more than 50 million TV viewers who will watch the broadcast live on NBC.

This prestigious band with more than 245 members, representing every state is complemented by approximately 40 flags and dancers, and is under the direction of Dr. Richard Good, Auburn University, and assisted by Barry Houser, University of Illinois.

In addition to a busy practice schedule in the days leading up to their Thanksgiving Day performance, the students will have the opportunity to attend a leadership/educational workshop and take in a few of the NYC sights. This year marks the 88th anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Turn on to NBC at 9am next Thursday and help Beth celebrate this important honor!

Posted in General

Fifth Graders Share Veteran’s Day Tradition

Peggy’s Rogers’ fifth grade class, the Rockin’ Tacos, introduced the third through fifth graders at Malletts Bay School to a new Veteran’s Day tradition last week. During the week leading up to November 11th, Malletts Bay students and their families completed “Thank You Veteran” cards for family members who are serving or have served in the U.S. military. The cards are posted along the school hallway for everyone to share. This year the fifth graders in Mrs. Rogers’ class led the students in a special ceremony during lunch. After reading America’s White Table by Margot Theis Raven, the students created posters to explain each symbol on the table. With the help of Administrative Assistant Pamela Reith, a special table was set up in the café. The table included a white tablecloth, a black napkin, an overturned glass, salt, a lemon, and a red rose. After the other students settled in with their lunch, Mrs. Rogers’ students read information about what each element symbolized.

bulletin board

Two of Mrs. Rogers’ students invited family members to join them for lunch on Veteran’s Day. Catherine Balch invited her uncle, Michael Balch, who served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Elaina Mack was joined by her grandparents, Mike and Linda Mack of Richmond. Elaina’s grandpa served in the Vietnam War.

BalchThe Macks

Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General

Peace, Love and Understanding

NawarEach year, Lions clubs around the world sponsor the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This art contest for kids encourages young people worldwide to express their visions of peace. For more than 25 years, millions of children from nearly 100 countries have participated in the contest.

The theme of the 2014-15 Peace Poster Contest is “Peace, Love and Understanding.” Students, ages 11, 12 or 13 on November 15, are eligible to participate.

Each poster is judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme.

This year a Colchester Middle School student, Fariha Nawar shown with Colchester Lions President Scott Hinman, submitted an entry that has been selected and forwarded to the statewide competition. When asked about what her poster means to her she responded  “We accept each other for who we are, even if we don’t always agree we accept one another regardless of our race, color, or religion.” Fariha is a 6th Grader in the Champlain House and her poster goes to statewide judging.Lions Club

Posters will advance through several judging levels: local, district, multiple district and international. At the international level, judges from the art, peace, youth, education and media communities select one grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners.

Good luck Fariha!!!


Posted in General

Veterans Day 2014

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, an armistice, or end to hostilities was declared, moving toward the close of World War One, the “war to end all wars”.

As we now know, that day certainly did not mark the end of war, even the end of world wars, as conflicts continue around the world today. The face and nature of war changes but what has not changed is the will of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States to respond when called to duty. Today is the day when we recognize that duty, that essential element of the American psyche that collectively motivates us to want to improve the lives and enhance the liberties of others whether we know them or not.

Today is not Armistice Day, it is Veterans Day. It is our, the huge majority of whom will never see combat or conflict, opportunity to recognize the veterans and their families who have given and continue to give so much in service to us. If you encounter a service man or woman in camouflage today take a second to just say “thank you”, they will understand. For those we will never encounter, a reflective moment today would be in order. To quote Sir Winston Churchill, “Never….was so much owed by so many to so few”.

Posted in General

Music, Music, Music!

There is a lot going on today in music! 

This is the final day to support the Friends of Colchester Music fundraiser:

Krispy Kreme

FCM is doing a Krispy Kreme donut fundraiser! Please connect with your favorite band or chorus student by Thursday, November 6 and order some! Support our music program and give yourself a sweet treat!
For more information see the Friends of Colchester Music website.

Also…There are still openings for the paint nite/art pARTy fundraising event to benefit Colchester High School Chorale~ CHS Select Women’s Ensemble Friday night, November 21 from 6:30 - 8:00pm. The subject we will be painting is Winter Tree (seen below) ~ detail subject may vary on tree: swing, tire swing, birds, silhouetted people, love doves, owl, etc…—you decide, let your inner creative being have fun! Cost is $25.00 per person and you get to bring your canvas creation home with you!



And lastly we here at the Spotlight would be remiss if we did not send out birthday wishes to some very important music icons.

Today is the birthday of Antione-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax, born 200 years ago in Dinant, Belgium. A prolific musical instrument designer as well as an accomplished musician, he is best remembered for creating the saxophone. Happy birthday wishes can be found in this tribute today by National Public Radio.

Adolphe Sax

And today is also the 160th birthday of John Philip Sousa, born in Washington, D.C. in 1854. When Sousa was 13 his father enlisted him in the United States Marine Corps as an apprentice to the Marine Band reportedly to keep him from joining the circus. Every 4th of July, you will hear his most recognizable march composition “The Stars and Stripes Forever” as it accompanies our fireworks celebrations.

John Philip Sousa

A biography of the “American March King” can be found at the PBS web site titled “John Philip Sousa - A Capitol Fourth“.


Posted in General

Everyone Should Take a Walk to the Library


Every fall the students at Union Memorial School visit the Burnham Memorial Library as a part of their “Learning Outside The Four Walls” program. In October Tracy Helfrich’s kindergarten class trekked to the library to get their library cards, listen to stories and check out a book.

Library Visit

The Burnham hosts many events for school children during the year and library staff even go “on the road” to visit Malletts Bay School, reading to the Head Start class and delivering themed books to the Early Essential Education (EEE) program there. Library staff visits each of the schools in May & June to let the students know about Summer Reading programs that served 276 children and teens this past summer. In June Colchester High School was the host site for the annual Friends of Burnham Library Summer Book Sale.

Assistant Library Director Hannah Peacock is working with the middle school on the Wonder program. All sixth graders will be reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio in December.  In January the Library and school will be partnering together to offer programs in conjunction with the book.

Over 600 parents and children attended the weekly preschool music program from July 2013 to June 2014. In July 2014 the library hosted a total of 70 programs for kids, teens and adults. In short, the Burnham Library is a tremendous asset for  townspeople as well as school children and deserves the support of all.

The non-profit “Friends of the Burnham Library” are currently in the midst of their 2014 appeal. Their message is one that should resonate with everyone that values what the Burnham brings us every week:

“Your contribution today sustains a variety of children’s, youth and adult programming as well as resources that recognize the different ways that people learn and enjoy their leisure time. Twenty percent of your tax-deductible donation goes to the endowment fund that ensures the library’s future is secure. Free access for everyone to all library services is what truly makes it a public benefit.”

Please consider contributing to the 2014 appeal.

The Burnham Library can be found at or at 802-264-5660. or P.O. Box 134 Colchester, Vermont 05446