Posted in General

CHS Students Win Awards at SkillsUSA Competition

Several Colchester High School students won medals at the Vermont SkillsUSA state competition held at the beginning of April. Three CHS students won gold and will be competing in the national competition in Kentucky this June.

image (2)SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization serving more than 360,000 high school and college students who are enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled, and service occupations, including health occupations.

All of the students who participated in the competition attend the Center for Technology Essex (CTE), which provides comprehensive technical programs including career exploration, preparation, and technical literacy.

Gold medal winner and image (1) (1)CHS junior, Jessica Bortz, says CTE is a great fit for her learning style. “It’s a very hands-on school that gives you skills that a regular high school wouldn’t be able to give you.” She said winning the promotional bulletin board category with her two teammates was exhilarating. “It was like getting the air knocked out of you. It was hard to breathe as all three of us walked to the podium. The feeling of having a gold medal around our necks was proof that we could do it.”

The categories of competition varied from 3D animation to commercial banking, firefighting, dental assisting, interactive game design, cosmetology and over a dozen more.

CHS junior, Alex Cardosi, won gold in the web page design category. “I worked with my partner Ryan Witham to create a website based on the assignment we were given the day of competition. In this case, it was to recreate the Mimmo’s website.” You can visit the winning site by clicking here.

MimmosAlex said he enjoyed working as a team. “It allowed me to have a lower workload and focus on the aspects that I wanted to work on, while my partner could work on the aspects he enjoyed.”

As for winning first place, Alex and his teammate are thrilled. “I’m mostly looking forward to being able to compete with people from all over the country at Nationals. I’m curious to see how Ryan and I can hold up against the best.”

image (3)Classmate Alicia Tebeau-Sherry also won gold at the state competition, although her category could not have been more different than Alex’s. She competed in the medical terminology contest which involved an 80-question timed test covering medical terminology, abbreviations, and other medical concepts. She said that the preparation required a lot of memorization. “After I found out I won, I was surprised, but also very excited. I was proud of myself because all the studying had paid off!”uvm alicia blood

All three of the gold medal winners will travel to Kentucky to compete in the National Competition. All of us here at CSD offer our congratulations and wish them good luck!

Here’s the full list of CHS winners:
Chris Adkins, Silver in Information Technology
Jessica Bortz, Gold in Promotional Bulletin Board
Hailey Blondin, Bronze in Customer Service
Alex Cardosi, Gold in Web Page Design
James Irish, Silver in Interactive Game Design
Alicia Tebeau-Sherry, Gold in Medical Terminology
Savanah Tebeau-Sherry, Silver Medal in Advertising Design and T-Shirt Design

Posted in General

CSD’s Drama Clubs Take on the Classics

Colchester School District has two major productions running in back to back weeks. First up this weekend is Beauty and the Beast by the CHS drama club. Next week, CMS will perform Alice in Wonderland.chs cast

For both clubs, this will be their first drama production in the newly removed Performing Arts Center. Throughout the summer and fall construction crews worked tirelessly to update and replace everything from the seating and curtains to the lighting and sound boards.

“This truly has been a community effort,” says CHS English Teacher and Theater DirecCHS_BeautynBeast_Lopez_Houletor
Amanda Hughes. “Colchester voters approved the use of bond funds that enabled us to make major renovations and turn the theater into a great resource for the entire community…we also invited community members to be involved in the making of this production, helping us with set design and building, promotion efforts, and even the choreography.”

Glen Wallace is the drama coach for the 25 middle school cast members taking on Alice in Wonderland. “The new light and sound capabilities are going to bring a whole new realm of possibilities and professionalism to the show, and everybody will notice an immediate difference in quality,” said Wallace. “We are all extremely excited to be in the renovated space at the high school.”


In both productions, student involvement has been key both on stage and behind the scenes. Wallace says aside from providing the tools and supplies, the kids did it all. “It was my goal to have the production be as entirely student-driven as possible. This means that my crew made up of about 12 students, designed everything, sets, props, and costumes, and made the majority of items as well.”

As the students try to shake out opening night jitters, their teachers have full confidence in their abilities. “I couldn’t be more proud of the students that have chosen to dedicate so many hours over so many months to this musical. There’s a chance for individuals to shine, as well as a cohesive group effort that can be found in few places other than the performing arts” said Wallace.CHS small group

Here’s the when and where to catch the shows and support our young performers:

CHS: Beauty and the Beast
Friday, April 14 at 7:30 pm 
Saturday, April 15 at 2 pm
Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 pm 
Tickets cost $5 each (all ages) and can be purchased at the door or online at Eventbrite.

CMS: Alice in Wonderland
Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 pm
Friday, April 21 at 6:30 pm
Tickets cost $3 for children and seniors and $5 for adults