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Northwest eNews

School awards


Angela Pohlen
—Submitted photo

BURLINGTON—Christ the King School was represented at the National School Choice event in Montpelier last month. Prizes were awarded to schools throughout Vermont at the event. The CKS principal, Angela Pohlen, was awarded second place in the Innovative Educator category for her work on merit pay for teachers. The school also tied for second place for its Innovative School submission showcasing S.T.E.A.M. (Science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) education and its makerspace. The school’s technology and art teachers teamed up with students to create a unique piece of art using our GlowForge and a 3D printer. The school brought home more than $1,000 in prize money, but more importantly representatives made their voices heard on the topic of school choice. The Jan. 24 event in Montpelier included a rally, speakers and legislative visits. The goal of the event was to spotlight the importance of school choice to Vermont students and families. The celebration was timed to coincide with National School Choice Week (Jan. 21-27), which featured more than 32,000 events throughout the country.
 

Basketball program


Former University of Vermont Men's Basketball Coach Tom Brennan gets back into coaching mode to teach the 5-year-olds the basics of basketball as part of the class "Genius Hour" at St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski. —Submitted photo
 
WINOOSKI--The kindergarten class at St. Francis Xavier School welcomed a special guest in January.  Former University of Vermont Men's Basketball Coach Tom Brennan got back into coaching mode to teach the 5-year-olds the basics of basketball as part of the class "Genius Hour."
 
Genius Hour is a school-wide initiative focused on allowing students time to explore their own interests. The idea is modeled after programs at Google and other large corporations, which allow employees 20 percent of their time at work to pursue personal passions. Each classroom has jumped on board and is implementing Genius Hour in developmentally appropriate ways, so it looks different at each grade level.
 
This semester the kindergarten class voted on various ideas and chose "learning more about basketball" as their project. Kindergarten teacher Alexandra Poirier was a bit anxious about the choice because she herself knew very little about basketball. She put out a call for help and found Brennan.
 
Brennan and his wife, Lynn, are longtime supporters of St. Francis Xavier School, and he immediately agreed to come in to share his time and talent with the kindergarten class. During the four weekly sessions, Brennan taught the students basic basketball drills and the value of teamwork.
 

Fish fry

MORRISVILLE—The annual Lenten Fish Fry at the Bishop John A. Marshall School will take place Feb. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. The cost is $10 per person, $35 for a family of four. This is a sit-down or take-out meal. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

Echoes: Choral Music of Richard Stoehr

COLCHESTER--Three of Vermont’s finest choral ensembles will join forces in this month to perform the works of Richard Stoehr, including worldwide debuts of his choral works. Stoehr [pronounced “shtir”] was a Viennese-trained composer who taught at St. Michael’s College after fleeing the Nazis.
 
The three choirs are Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont and Solaris Vocal Ensemble, directed by Dr. Dawn O. Willis, and Counterpoint Vocal Ensemble, directed by Nathaniel G. Lew.
 
The concert will take place on Sun., Feb. 18, at 3 p.m. in the McCarthy Arts Center Recital Hall at St. Michael’s College.
 
“Across the world, there is growing interest in ‘lost’ composers of the 20th century,” said Lew, who has brought many of Stoehr’s compositions to light and is also chair of the Fine Arts Department at St. Michael’s College. “Just last year there was a festival and exhibition dedicated to Stoehr in his native Vienna. We are so fortunate here in his adopted home of Vermont to be able to participate in his rediscovery and debut these wonderful works.”
 
“Stoehr’s music is matched by an extraordinary life,” pointed out Willis, artistic director of both Bella Voce and Solaris. “Both his works and his story are truly remarkable.” The scion of a prominent Jewish family, Stoehr was an eminent figure in Viennese musical life. He taught at the Vienna Conservatory for 35 years, penning widely adopted textbooks. He presided over a salon that was attended by the most renowned names in music, and his students, such as Herbert von Karajan, went on to brilliant international careers. His songs, choruses and chamber and orchestral works were frequently performed in German-speaking lands.
 
However, the 1938 Nazi annexation of Austria forced Stoehr to emigrate to the United States. After a stint teaching at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where his students included Leonard Bernstein, he settled at St. Michael’s College in 1941 and taught there until 1950. In Vermont he returned to composition, writing for local ensembles and émigré friends. Upon his death, Stoehr left all his personal papers to St. Michael’s, including seven symphonies, two operas, choral music, 150 lieder, 15 violin sonatas, at least a dozen other major chamber works and solo piano music.
 
Stoehr was buried in Colchester.
 
February’s joint choral concert spans Stoehr’s entire career. The program includes three early motets from 1903, a set of women’s choruses composed in 1919 during his Viennese heyday, several “American” works from the early ‘40s and his final choral work, an Ave Maria composed in 1954 for the St. Michael’s College Glee Club. Most of the works are receiving their first performance since their composition.
 
The concert is sponsored by the St. Michael’s College Fine Arts Department and funded in part by a grant from the Marc and Dana vanderHeyden Endowment for the Arts at St. Michael’s College.
 
Admission to the concert is free, but a collection will be taken to defray the costs of recording the works for release on a CD.
 
More information is available at smcvt.edu/on-campus/events.aspx.
 

First Saturday Devotions with the Blue Army

ESSEX JUNCTION--First Saturday Devotions with the Blue Army will take place Feb. 13 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Holy Family Church, 36 Lincoln St. It will include the rosary, confession and Mass. For more information, call 802-878-5331.
 

Lenten Retreat

ESSEX JUNCTION—Msgr. Richard Lavalley, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski, will give a Lenten retreat at Holy Family Church at 8:30 a.m. beginning Monday, Feb.19, through Wednesday, Feb. 21. The retreat will consist of Mass, a homily by Msgr. Lavalley and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fore more information, call 878-5331.
 

Lenten Retreat

ESSEX CENTER—There will be a Lenten retreat Feb. 19-21 at 7 p.m. with Msgr. Richard Lavalley, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski, at St. Pius X Church. The retreat will consist of Mass, a homily by Msgr. Lavalley and the opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fore more information, call 878-5331.
 

Padre Pio Prayer Group

ESSEX JUNCTION--On the second Saturday of each month the Padre Pio Prayer Group meets at Holy Family Church at 8 a.m. for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the rosary. Prayers of intercession follow Mass at 8:30. There also will be a presentation and refreshments in the Hoehl Classroom of the Holy Family Parish Hall. The next meeting will be Feb. 10. For more information, call Holy Family Rectory at 878-5331.
 

Beginning Genealogy  

COLCHESTER--Beginning Genealogy is the topic of a Feb. 10 genealogy presentation by Sheila Morris. In this introduction to genealogy she will discuss records, techniques and best practices for conducting sound research. This talk is aimed at beginners and at those who have already begun but are still relatively inexperienced. She will cover how to organize the records and images that result from research efforts. Bring as much information as you can about your grandparents — births, marriages, deaths and where they lived.  After the talk volunteers can help you begin using the many resources at the library.
 
Classes at the Vermont Genealogy Library are $10 and run from 10:30 a.m. to noon. 
 
The library is open for research on Tuesdays from 3 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The library is located on Hegeman Avenue in Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester. Parking and the entrance are across from the state police building.
 
For more information go to vtgenlib.org or call 802-310-9285.
 

Introduction to DNA Testing 

COLCHESTER—An introduction to DNA testing will be offered Feb. 17 at the Vermont Genealogy Library. Ed McGuire will discuss the three types of tests for "Genetic Genealogy:” test limitations, the companies who offer them and the range of costs involved. He will cover the kinds of genealogical questions where DNA testing can help, privacy issues and more. Using real-life examples and actual results, this talk will provide most with enough understanding to decide if a DNA test will advance their personal research. An open-ended Q&A session will follow, and a detailed handout will be given with links to additional resources.
 
Classes at the Vermont Genealogy Library are $10 and run from 10:30 a.m. to noon. 
 
The library is open for research on Tuesdays from 3 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 
The library is located on Hegeman Avenue in Fort Ethan Allen, Colchester. Parking and the entrance are across from the state police building.
 
For more information go to vtgenlib.org or call 802-310-9285.
 

Program on adverse childhood experiences

BURLINGTON--Scientific research has identified physical and mental health problems linked to early childhood trauma events known as adverse childhood experiences or ACE’s. 
 
“Thru extensive research, they have identified common risk factors in people that often develop physical and emotional problems as they become teenagers and young adults,” explained Thomas Mott, director of counseling services for Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. “Not all children who experience one ACE event (or two) will have problems later in life. However, the research has shown that the greater the number of ACE’s in childhood, the greater the chance for health problems down the road. The research also identified the factors that can help protect a child from trauma events and increase their resilience to future problems.”
 
He is part of a team of people and a nationwide initiative called “Building Flourishing Communities,” which, in Vermont, is supported by the Vermont Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families.
 
The initiative is promoting public awareness of the scientific research that has identified the physical and mental health problems linked to early childhood trauma events.
 
The goal is talking about ACE’s will raise public awareness and decrease the occurrence of future ACE’s in children, thus, improving individual lives, their families and the community at large.
 
There will be an ACE presentation on Feb. 14 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Flynn Elementary School, Burlington.
 
For more information, call Tom Mott at 658-6111.
 

Valentine’s spaghetti dinner

HIGHGATE CENTER—There will be a Knights of Columbus Valentine's Day Spaghetti Dinner Feb. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Louis Church. There will be a variety of sauces, gluten-free pasta available, salad, rolls and dessert. The cost for adults is $7, children (6-12) $4, under 6 free, family $20. For more information call 802-868-3037 or 802-363-1452.
 

NANCY TRONO DAY--As part of Catholic Schools Week, St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski celebrated some of the many volunteers who contribute their time, talent and resources to the school. Students created a display for the lobby thanking the volunteers who "make St. Francis Xavier School shine." Students worked together to decorate stars with the names of the scores of individuals who volunteer at the school throughout the year. Jan. 31 was the second annual Nancy Trono Day. She has volunteered at the St. Francis Xavier School library for 21 consecutive years. Last year she was honored with an engraved brick in the school's Cross Walkway commemorating her years of service. This year a set of children's books was donated to the school library in her name, and she was presented with a bouquet at a school assembly. Trono (center) is pictured here with her father, Al, and St. Francis librarian Kathleen Finn. —Submitted photo
 

New Evangelization Summit

COLCHESTER--The Challengers for the Catholic Faith and the Diocese of Burlington will sponsor a Catholic conference April 27-28 at Holy Cross Church. The online, streamed viewing of this Ottawa-based conference will include lunch and personal interaction and activities. More information about the conference is available online at newevangelization.ca or by contacting the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at 658-6110.
 

Regional lector workshops

WILLISTON--Josh Perry, director of the Office of Worship, will be conducting a workshop at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church for lectors who serve at parishes in Northwest Vermont. It will take place Feb. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will be a presentation on the liturgical spirituality of lectors and discussion of practical steps that can be taken to prepare and pray with the readings. The time will include techniques for proclamation and an opportunity to put some of the techniques into practice. To register, contact Perry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, parish name and day/time you would like to attend (multiple days/times are offered).
 

Regional lector workshops

GEORGIA-- Josh Perry, director of the Office of Worship, will be conducting a workshop at Ascension Church Feb. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for lectors who serve at parishes in Northwest Vermont. There will be a presentation on the liturgical spirituality of lectors and discussion of practical steps that can be taken to prepare and pray with the readings. The time will include techniques for proclamation and an opportunity to put some of the techniques into practice. To register, contact Perry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, parish name, and day/time you would like to attend (multiple days/times are offered).
 

Regional lector workshops

ENOSBURG FALLS-- Josh Perry, director of the Office of Worship, will be conducting a workshop at St. John the Baptist Church Feb. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for lectors who serve at parishes in Northwest Vermont. There will be a presentation on the liturgical spirituality of lectors and discussion of practical steps that can be taken to prepare and pray with the readings. The time will include techniques for proclamation and an opportunity to put some of the techniques into practice. To register, contact Perry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, parish name, and day/time you would like to attend (multiple days/times are offered).


FLORIDA FUN—Members of the Colchester Church family from Holy Cross and Our Lady of Grace parishes enjoy a jousting tournament in Florida where this photo was taken in January. — Submitted photo

 
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