June 12th, 2014
MONKTON — Lillian “Lil” Cota thought she was headed for a normal day at Monkton Central School on Tuesday. But the 39-year veteran instructional aide was in for quite the surprise when she arrived in the school’s gymnasium to a luncheon in her honor.
Relatives and colleagues of Cota, who is retiring at the end of this year, came to honor Cota for her service — and present her with an enormous strawberry cake.
After the celebration, the still-teary-eyed Cota sat down with the Independent to talk about her long career.
NEW HAVEN — Susan Smiley has always been keenly interested in agricultural and food supply issues as a dedicated farmer and consumer.
MIDDLEBURY — Imagine watching weeks of rehearsals of an opera, memorizing three hours’ worth of music backstage, and learning blocking by watching others perform — all for the chance of performing a leading role.
Now imagine being thrust onto the stage after just two nights of rehearsal with the entire cast.
BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union High School graduation not only signaled the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of 123 seniors who received their diplomas on Saturday; it also marked a major transition for this year’s commencement speaker — none other than MAUHS Principal Andy Kepes, who will be moving on after five years as the school’s top administrator, cheerleader and comedian.
FAIRLEE — Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel was recently elected as president of the Vermont Association of Chiefs of Police and honored for service to the association.
Merkel was chosen on May 29 as the new head of the association at its annual convention, which was held at the Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee.
According to outgoing president Doug Johnston, Springfield’s police chief, Merkel will serve a one-year term that will expire at the 2015 convention.
ADDISON COUNTY — A group of local teachers who spent two weeks in Ethiopia this past winter are raising money to bring their Ethiopian counterparts to Vermont next year.
Lincoln’s Burnham Hall will play host to the Vermont-based New Nile Orchestra this Saturday, June 14. Proceeds from the show will benefit the Action for Youth and Community Chance, a non-governmental organization that promotes social causes in Ethiopia.
The teachers who traveled to Ethiopia will cook authentic Ethiopian fare for the event.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury resident Jesse Euber started high school in Fair Haven and transferred to Middlebury Union High School. It proved to be a difficult period for her.
“I was having a really hard time with the transition and I wasn’t getting pushed to go to school,” Euber, 21, recalled in an interview last week.
She dropped out of high school when she was 16 and moved in with her son’s father. Without a high school diploma, Euber’s job prospects were limited, and her transition into adulthood was daunting.
FERRISBURGH — As Rokeby Museum Director Jane Williamson researched artist Rachael Robinson Elmer, who grew up at the Rokeby homestead in the late 1800s, she read of a mysterious painting. The depiction of New York’s City Hall painted in the Impressionist style had been rejected from a series Elmer created for a group of 12 postcards in the early 1900s, and it had not been seen since.
What Williamson didn’t expect was to find the very painting in the Rokeby archives, where it had been nestled since Elmer’s death in 1919.