We Graduate Our First Class On Saturday!

There’s more than just the graduates here, but the whole “reaching the top of the mountain” thing seemed like an appropriate metaphor for a graduation post.

This Saturday, June 15th, at the United Methodist Church in Rupert, LiHigh School will graduate its first class of students since opening our doors in the Fall of 2011.The graduating class from the interest-based program is four students deep, with student interests ranging from computer programming to hunting.

To graduate from LiHigh School, students must complete a slew of graduation requirements, including developing a lengthy autobiography of 50 pages or more and completing a major senior-capstone project.This year’s capstone projects included organzing a benefit concert to collect basic medical supplies for the people of Haiti, coordinating a community-painted mural on the side of the Stone Valley Market in the center of Main Street in Poultney, arranging a seminar for developers of mobile applications, and making a 30-minute documentary about the experiences of the students and staff at LiHigh School and the South Burlington Big Picture School, both of which offer students alternatives to a traditional education.

The interest-based program at LiHigh School encourages students to complete professional internships each term.The internships completed by the Class of 2013 over the past two years include working with a commercial photographer during a catalog shoot for Orvis, working for several months on the farm at Green Mountain College, operating a television camera for a local-access cooking show, restoring trout habitats along the Mettowee River, learning to operate a mixing board at a music-recording studio and during live show, assisting a maple- sugaring consultant as he developed strategies for tapping trees and setting lines, shadowing a Vermont County Forester, and traveling to Italy for three weeks to volunteer on an olive farm in Tuscany.

Students also had to complete 30 hours of community service for each year they attended the school. Along with participating inVermont’s Green-Up Day, all of the students traveled to various farms and food producers in the region to discuss with the chefs, farmers, and proprietors the various ways their work contributes to the community. The students then developed a presentation, exhibited at the Poultney Earth Fair, in an attempt to raise awareness of all the great things these important food producers are doing to make Poultney and the surrounding areas a healthier and better-tasting place to live. One of the graduates even traveled to Haiti for a week to help in the construction of a school.

As LiHigh School says farewell to Bradley Marriner, Giulia Rosenthal, Logan Patnaude, Steven Svendberg, and Thomas Becker, they also say thank you to each of the graduates for becoming such remarkable role models for all the students who will follow them.