ROSES to outstanding Mount Anthony Union High School athlete Jesse Webb. The senior wrestler was named the Jeff Blatnick national sportsmanship award winner at the Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach on Sunday night. Webb has had an amazing career as a high school wrestler and a team leader for the Patriots. We wish him luck in his next adventure, wrestling for Ohio University. ROSES and congratulations also to MAU Wrestling Coach Scott Legacy on a great season and for being selected to coach the USA "Dream Team" (see story on page 1B) and to athletes Austin Price, Troy Gassaway, Tyler Mattison, Tyler Raetz and Darren Ruiz Sauer; as well as up-and-comer Tyson Sauer, a seventh-grader, for performing well at nationals. ROSES to Sen. Bernie Sanders for organizing a "tele" town meeting on the topic of income inequality last Sunday in four Vermont towns including Bennington. Sanders sponsored free screenings of the Robert Reich documentary "Inequality for All" and hosted discussion before and after. A great way to get people thinking and talking about the issue.

ROSES to the organizers of Career Week in Bennington this past week for a diverse schedule of events that included professionals talking with high school students, adult learners having the opportunity to sit in on classes at Community College of Vermont, and elementary school students visiting the CDC, and labor workshops for job seekers, among other events.


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Additionally, the Emerging Leaders program students at MAUHS got to hear directly from Gov. Peter Shumlin about his career path on Wednesday. What a great job of organizing by people including Bennington County Industrial Corp. executive director Peter Odierna and CCV’s coordinator of academic services Jeannie Jenkins.

ROSES to Bennington native Shauna Kearns, a speech pathologist who is raising funds for a mission trip to Zambia to teach graduate students and implement feeding and swallowing protocol in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit there. Kearns, a 2006 MAUHS graduate, will be a volunteer with Connective Link Among Special Needs Programs, a nonprofit organization. Kearns told the Banner she is inspired to help others by her sister Amie, who has cerebral palsy. To donate, visit http://www.gofundme.com/shauna-goes-to-zambia

THORNS to the fact that, due to budget constraints, Bennington School District board must contemplate removal of the stage at the aging, overburdened Molly Stark Elementary School in favor of creating more classroom space. "We’ve got kids being instructed in the hallways. If we do this we’ll still have kids being instructed in the hallways. But in the long run, it’s the right thing to do educationally," said principal Donna MacKenzie King at a recent board meeting. She said the need for space at the school is just too great to justify keeping the stage.

~Michelle Karas