CHS Students Perform In New England Music Festival Chorus and Band

CHS students Isabella Bertoni (junior) and Connor Zwonik (sophomore) performed in the 88th Annual New England Music Festival Concert, which was held at Keene High School in Keene, NH, March 19-21. Bertoni, a vocalist, performed in the Festival’s concert chorus and Zwonik, a percussionist, performed in the Festival’s band. Students from throughout New England must audition and compete for the opportunity to participate in the Festival. The New England Music Festival Association has enjoyed a long history of providing quality music performance opportunities for school-age singers, string and wind players and percussionists since 1928. The Festival attracts students wishing to perform in a challenging and professional-like environment. Conductors of national and international stature lead these students in rehearsal and in the two Festival performances.

Congratulations to Isabella and Connor!



CMS Young Writers News

MORE Vermont Writes at Colchester Middle School! Recently we shared information about students at Colchester Middle School participating in the Vermont Writes opportunity offered by The Young Writer’s Project (YWP) . Last week, Dasha Serdyuk’s YWP submission was featured in the Colchester Sun. Congratulations to Dasha! If you missed it in last week’s edition, here is her story starter:

The Golden Staircase
by Dasha Serdyuk

     I rubbed my eyes, sitting up on my plush queen sized bed. Despite my best efforts, I was still awake. My alarm clock read 12:00, midnight. I’ve been trying to fall asleep for the past two hours. Through my window I see the moon, illuminating my room in a silvery glow. I stand up, maybe a glass of milk will help me fall asleep. But as I near my bedroom door, I see that there’s a light peeking out from the other side. My parents are in Toronto visiting family, so there’s no one in the house but me. Curiously I step out, I was sure that I had turned off all the lights. I proceeded to walk to the kitchen, I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. As I entered the kitchen, I noticed that I had left the lights on. I drank my glass of milk and shrugged away the previous five minutes, thinking very little of it. As I left the kitchen and turned the lights off, I was astounded to notice that the mysterious light, had not left. It was sprawled on the floor, illuminating the dirty wooden boards that I had yet to sweep. Looking for the source of the light, I saw that it was coming from the closet. I reached my pale hand out for the doorknob, the cold of the metal sending a shiver down my spine. I wait for a moment, hand on the doorknob, and then I fling the door open. Only to see the most shining and beautiful staircase, climbing into the sky, lighting the few clouds above in a golden glow. The staircase was a gorgeous gold, patterns etched into the delicate material. Carefully, I took one step, nothing happens, I take another, and start sprinting up the staircase, into the glowing sky above.


Announcing Colchester CAN-sur-vive Cookbook Project

Team Colchester CANsur-vive is putting together a unique cookbook and touching keepsake, which will include wonderful recipes inspired by our loved ones who have or are now battling cancer, as well as funny and poignant stories about them. We believe each story, from profound to funny, helps to provide a wonderful mix of awareness, insight and relevance.Recipes_Blue_Background

We’d love to have your recipes! If you prefer not to submit a story, that’s okay. You can choose from a number of inspirational quotes or send us your own, or just simply indicate who your recipe is honoring. We’ll do the rest! LET’S GET COOKING!!!

If you would like to contribute a recipe please contact us at There is no charge for recipe and story submissions.

Cookbooks will be available for sale in August at a cost of $15.00 each. Quantities are limited so pre-ordering is strongly encouraged.

All proceeds from the cookbooks will go to American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides against Breast Cancer”.

Please enjoy the wonderful recipes and heartfelt stories. And don’t forget: Happiness rarely keeps company with an empty stomach. – Helen Keller

POP Can Survive Logo

Captain Phillips Visits CHS

Captain Richard Phillips, made famous as captain of the MV Maersk Alabama, hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf Of Aden in 2013, spoke to CHS Social Studies classes at CHS on Thursday April 16th. Captain Phillips recounted for students the chronology of events he went through in the command of the 508 foot cargo ship that found itself under attack by Somali pirates approximately 250 miles off the African coast. Captain Phillips was introduced by Social Studies teacher Jim Price and after his talk was questioned by a panel of CHS students that clearly wanted to know more about how the experience has impacted his life since.

After his ordeal the captain spent some time on the USS Bainbridge with the crew and Navy Seals who performed his dramatic rescue and then returned home to a media storm with “six satellite trucks in my front yard”. The Captain was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie titled appropriately, “Captain Phillips”, released in October of that same year. Captain Phillips also authored a book on his experiences titled “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea”. Captain Phillips, his wife Andrea, and their children, Daniel and Mariah, are residents of Underhill, Vt., with strong New England roots. Richard Phillips was born in Winchester, Mass., graduating in 1979 from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Captain Phillips is pictured with the CHS Social Studies panel, L-R Peri Navarro, Meghan Myers, Nik Companion, Captain Phillips, Mark Gauthier, Jake Stebbins and Social Studies teacher, Mr. Price.

Captain Phillips with CHS Principal Amy Minor and Social Studies teacher Jim Price.

Flags at Half Staff April 15th

If you have wondered why our Colchester school district U.S. flags, as well as those at the town offices are flying at half staff, this is in remembrance of the death of President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago today. As most Americans may know, President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. on April 14th and passed away on April 15th.Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863

President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation yesterday calling upon all Americans to honor President Lincoln and his legacy with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. He also called upon the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on the Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln.

Take A Night Off From Cooking!!

Once again, Three Brothers Pizza is stepping up to support a Colchester school fund raiser. This Wednesday the brothers will be donating 10% of their profits toward the Colchester Middle School Odyssey Of The Mind team in their efforts to raise funding for their trip to the OOM World Championship competition.

3 Brothers Logo

Enjoy lunch or dinner all day, take out or dine in and 10% of the day will go towards the team’s trip to Michigan.

When:      Wednesday April 15, 2015

Where:    Three Brothers Pizza

973 Roosevelt Hwy, Colchester


Order Online: Click On This Link

Phone:                 655-5075

Cougars Reach Out To Support Nicaraguan Artists

The Pulsera Project

For the second year in a row CMS is hosting a sale for the Pulsera Project.  The Pulsera Project is a non-profit organization that provides sustainable, fair wage employment for artisans in Nicaragua.  They organize and send hand made bracelets to the US to sell at organizations like our school.  In addition to providing a living wage to the artisans who make the bracelets (or pulseras in Spanish), the proceeds of the sales also go to support scholarships and community development projects.  Eighth grade Spanish students have helped with marketing the sale around the school and will help sell bracelets during lunches April 13th through 17th.

At Colchester Middle School, part of eighth-grade Spanish Student’s curriculum includes topics like Nicaraguan weather, food, and school schedules as well as more complex topics, such as Nicaraguan challenges of poverty and of creative solutions to improve such poverty. As part of that learning, the Spanish students, along with members of the Caring Cougars and Community Service clubs, have teamed up with the Pulsera Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of Nicaraguans.

Pulseras Of The MonthArtisans

“In essence, Nicaraguan artists make bracelets—pulseras in Spanish—by hand, and the Pulsera Project sends them to us so we can sell them and raise money for their efforts back in Nicaragua,” said CMS Spanish teacher Meghan Tiernan-Fisher. To learn more about the Pulsera Project visit the website here.

Union Memorial School K-2 Students To Perform Musical: “Hats!”

All Kindergarten through second grade students at Union Memorial School (UMS) will perform the musical, “Hats!” by John Jacobson and John Higgins on April 14 and 15 in the Colchester High School Theatre. The performance is a culmination of several weeks of learning for the students that include reading the script and learning songs, speaking parts and dances.

The students will be split into two performing groups – half of the students perform on April 14th and the other half performs on April 15th. Both performances start at 6:30 pm and last 30 minutes. The class groups are listed here.

“Musicals provide a great opportunity for the children to learn and explore on so many levels,” said Martie Mutz, CSD music teacher at PPS and UMS. “There will be speaking and dancing parts and every child will be a part of the chorus…for many of our children this is their first time on a real stage.”

“Hats!” offers this story synopsis:

“Hats of all shapes and sizes take over the stage when a group of milliners help Hatless Hank find the perfect hat. Clever rhyming script and song writing explore all kinds of hats, their uses and the people who wear them. A surprise awaits the audience when Ima Milliner appears in her own remarkable, stupendous, contagious hat of all hats! Discover that it’s not the hat that makes a person special, but what’s underneath!” 

For more information, visit Ms. Mutz’s blog Music at Union Memorial School at

“Fuel Up to Play 60″ Recognizes Student Leader at CMS

Catherine Jones, a 6th Grader on Mansfield, is our student leader for Fuel Up to Play 60!  Catherine organized a group of students to help her with the Blind Breakfast Taste Test.  During lunch, different breakfast foods were displayed in sample cups without wrappers as to prevent bias. After sampling the foods, students were told what they tried and complete a survey.  Most students were surprised that they liked the foods! Lots of raffle prizes were awarded!  Thank you Stephanie Trepanier and Emma Fredette for your help with this fun event! As a result, this summer, Cat will represent CMS at the Fuel up to Play 60 summit in Chicago! 

The Student Scholarship announcement from New England Dairy & Food Council: 

“Because of your leadership and dedication to bringing Fuel Up to Play 60 to your school, we would like to offer you and one of your school program advisors a full scholarship to attend the Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Summit in Chicago, IL from July 22nd to July 25th, 2015.  This scholarship will cover the cost of registration, travel and hotel expenses for the summit for both you and your program advisor.  We know this experience will help you work together to form a strong Fuel Up to Play 60 program for your school! We are so excited to be able to offer you this opportunity thanks to our funders, the dairy farm families of New England.”

Congratulations Cat! 

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a program founded by the National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with USDA, that empowers students to take charge in making small, everyday changes at school. Students can win cool prizes, like an NFL player visit or Super Bowl tickets, for choosing good-for-you foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes every day. We want kids to make a difference not only in their lives, but also their community.

MBS Odyssey Of The Mind Fundraising Effort

Our Malletts Bay School Odyssey of the Mind team has won second place in the Vermont State Finals, earning them the privilege of competing against teams from countries all over the world at Michigan State University this spring.  This team competed against many other highly creative teams tackling Problem 5 to create a silent movie.   Our team’s movie entitled “Golfing on the Moon” had to meet several specific requirements, including a team-created instrument, which they made out of PVC pipes.  

The team includes Rowan MacArdle, Owen Grenier, Abby Hoag, Sydney Feltz, Sasha Kulapin and Matthew Fournier.  The team is very excited as well as honored to represent Vermont at the World Finals Competition.  In order for our team to attend World Finals competition we need your help.  The cost of accommodations, food and travel to this competition very high.  The team has worked extremely hard since the beginning of the school year to get to this point, and they have only a few weeks to raise the money needed.  Please consider making a donation:

Any amount is much appreciated and will help our team SHINE at World Finals!


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