Andy Kirkaldy

BRISTOL — Bristol Elementary School Interim Principal Thomas Buzzell has been selected as the school’s next permanent principal, Mount Abraham Unified School District Superintendent Patrick Reen confirmed this week. Reen said the search committee’s weeks-long process concluded on Friday, Feb. 14, the day after Buzzell and the other finalist, Addison Central School principal and BES alum Kathleen Kilbourne, spent the day visiting the school and meeting with parents and community members in the evening. Reen said the news that Buzzell had accepted a contract was welcomed at a school-wide...

THE BROTHER-SISTER TEAM ON Caroline and David Larocque of East Middlebury won the mixed-grade prize at the Bixby Library on Monday in the Lego Contest and Exhibit for “The Doctor’s House.” The Bixby and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes sponsored the event. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — From “Planet Earth” to “Star Wars: The Last Star Fire,” the main floor of the Bixby Library contained a universe of imagination on Monday evening, not to mention dozens of Lego sculptors and many more of the artists’ family members. What filled the space under the library’s stained-glass dome was the awards reception for the second annual Vergennes Lego Contest and Exhibit, jointly sponsored by the library and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Vergennes. After the contest got off to a good start in 2019, with 28 entrants, the count this year rose to 60 participants. They...

THE VUHS BOYS’ team on Sunday won four events and finished third in the Division II track and field championship at UVM despite fielding just eight athletes, all of them runners. Pictured are front, Jarret Muzzy; middle, l-to-r, Chris Therrien, Kai Williams and Julio Quiles; and rear, l-to-r, Coach Brad Castillo, Xander DeBlois, Gabe Praamsma, Ben Huston and Erich Reitz. Photo courtesy of Bill Clark
BURLINGTON — The Vergennes Union High School boys’ indoor track team won four events and placed third in Division II at Sunday’s championship meet, hosted by the University of Vermont. The performances by Coach Brad Castillo’s Commodores represented the program’s best finish at a state meet since 2004, when a larger VUHS team that included field events athletes as well as runners captured second place. Junior Ben Huston and senior Julio Quiles sparked the team. Huston won at 1,000 meters and ran on the Commodores’ winning 4-by-400 and 4-by-800-meter relay teams. Quiles won the 300, finished...
ADDISON COUNTY — The competition proved to be too tough for the Mount Abraham, Vergennes and Otter Valley boys’ basketball teams earlier this week. Teams are in their final week of play. The Vermont Principals’ Association will release playoff pairings on Monday morning. EAGLES On Tuesday host BFA-St. Albans edged Mount Abe, 50-46, in a game that was close throughout. The Eagles led, 44-41, when Bobwhite Nick Voyer tied the game with a three-point play. BFA’s Tyler Yates hit a three-pointer to put his team on top. Eagle Liam Kelliher scored to make it 47-46, then the Bobwhites iced the game...

VERGENNES CITY CLERK and Treasurer Joan Devine, seated, is retiring after 38 years on the job and plans to spend more time with her family, hobbies and volunteer work. Morgan Kittredge, left, will take over from Devine as of Feb. 28. Independent photos/Steve James
VERGENNES — At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, Vergennes City Clerk and Treasurer Joan Devine plans to walk out of Vergennes City Hall and into retirement after 38 years as the city’s clerk and almost 42 years as a city hall employee. Devine, Addison County’s longest serving municipal clerk, admits it will feel strange. “I love my job. I have very mixed feelings leaving it,” she said in a Thursday interview, then laughing and adding, “It’s almost like who you are. When I go to the grocery store, everyone who sees me, it’s like, ‘Are my taxes due?’ Hello, can you have a sunnier thought than that...

MORGAN KITTREDGE, LEFT, take over as Vergennes city clerk from longtime clerk Joan Devine on Feb. 28. At the same time administrative assistant Abbie Farrar, right, will assume Devine’s treasurer duties. With the recent hire of Daniel Hofman as city manager, the city’s office staff is being changed dramatically. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — The recent hire of Morgan Kittredge as the new Vergennes City Clerk and promotion of Abbie Farrar from administrative assistant to city treasurer, both effective with the Feb. 28 retirement of longtime Vergennes Clerk/Treasurer Joan Devine, completes a transformation at Vergennes City Hall. City Manager Dan Hofman came aboard on Jan. 2, meaning that within less than two months the three top jobs in Vergennes City Hall will be staffed with new personnel, while the clerk and treasurer positions have been split for the first time. Hofman said he is confident that office structure is...

TIGER FORWARD BELLA Gale gets ready to launch a shot at the U-32 net during Friday’s home girls’ hockey game. Gale scored one of the Tigers’ four goals as they rallied to tie the visiting Raiders. Independent photo/Steve James
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union High School girls’ hockey team on Friday rallied late to overcome a slow start and salvage a 4-4 tie against visiting U-32. The Tigers are in the regular season’s final week and will host two games that could determine their playoff fate. MUHS (10-6-2) is battling with Harwood (11-4-1) and Missisquoi (8-5-1) for the top two spots in Tier II of the three-tier girls’ hockey structure. Tier II’s top two teams will join the Division I tournament, while the rest will compete in the D-II tournament along with Tier III. The Vermont Principals Association will...

VERGENNES RECREATION COMMITTEE Chairman Tim Cook, left, VUES physical education teacher Robyn Newton, and retired VUES music teacher Steve Sawyer all played roles in making recent major improvements to the city’s skating rink happen, and help keep the rink up and running. Independent photo/Steve James
VERGENNES — A Friday afternoon celebration at the newly upgraded Vergennes skating rink and basketball court will applaud the joint effort by volunteers and the city’s recreation committee, council members and public works department to improve the rink. Recreation Committee Chairman Tim Cook said the successful project is typical of how things are getting done in Vergennes right now, often quietly behind the scenes. “The real story is how the people of Vergennes have been showing up. The ice rink was years of fundraisers, the Fun Run, and a student-parent group that actually paid for it and...

VERGENNES — On March 3 Vergennes residents will choose among four candidates for three two-year terms on the Vergennes City Council. Two are veteran councilors, Deputy Mayor Lynn Jackson Donnelly and Alderman David Austin, and their challengers, both with civic experience, are Tara Brooks and Rebecca Rey. All have had or do have children in Vergennes schools. Jackson Donnelly, a longtime city real estate broker and Vergennes native, will be seeking her fourth full term on the council. She served 12 years on the Vergennes Union High School board and was active in the restoration of the...
VERGENNES — The Vergennes City Council on Tuesday agreed to hire the city’s first recreation coordinator since 2006 The new rec coordinator is city resident Kimberly Buckley, a former Franklin Pierce University campus recreation coordinator and men’s and women’s bowling coach who is also a certified personal trainer. The city’s recreation committee, formed late in 2018, successfully lobbied the council last summer to spend $15,000 for the part-time position, money they said at a June council meeting will support a $25 per hour salary over 600 hours. Recreation Committee Chairman Tim Cook told...


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