Principal's Corner

Rich and joyful learning happens both inside and outside of the classroom. This edition of the newsletter spotlights WUHSMS faculty and staff helping students grow and learn through their experiences beyond the classroom walls. Social studies teacher, Brad Archer, connected students to Senator Sanders's annual essay contest that WUHSMS student Maggie Parker won. Maggie will have the honor of meeting with the Senator and other Vermont students to discuss important issues facing our country today. School counselor, Vali Stuntz, brought speaker Keith Wilford to campus. Mr. Wilford inspired students and began a school-wide dialogue about the importance of being our best selves. Math Teacher, Dena Whitehead, led the math department and students in hosting a regional math meet that brought 300 students to campus. Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Tyna Gallagher, worked with students to form our state championship qualifying Scholars Bowl team. Spanish teachers, Keri Bristow and Elaine Leibly, were awarded the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Mead Leadership Fellowship, and they will be piloting the Seal of Biliteracy at WUHSMS. And English teacher, Martha Perkins, announced her annual celebration of the power of words... the high school poetry out loud competition! Please read below about these rich and varied learning experiences and accomplishments.
Best Regards,
Mr. Smail
Best Regards,
Mr. Smail


Calendar of Events
February 6, National Honor Society Induction Ceremony
February 7, Coffee with the Principal 5:30-6:30, Teagle Library
February 7, WUHSMS School Board meeting, 7:00 pm, Teagle Library
February 8, "Most Likely to Succeed," 7:00 pm, Woodstock Town Hall Theater
February 19-23, Winter Recess, No Classes

Maggie Parker is the winner of Senator Sanders’ eighth annual State of the Union essay contest.

WUHS student Maggie Parker won this year's Sanders State of the Union Essay contest. She and the other finalists will participate in a round table discussion with the Senator on Saturday 10 Feb at the State House.

Here is Maggie's winning essay:

In our current day and age, I believe that one major challenge that faces our country is the prevention of hate crimes against minorities. One group I believe needs specific protection, especially with the new administration, are members of the LGBT community. With the recent military ban on transgender Americans, the LGBT community is feeling singled out and at risk. One way to bring a greater feeling of peace to these fellow Americans is by increasing protections instead of taking them away. I believe two major steps forward to help these people would be a law against employment discrimination for LGBT people, and also a repeal of “bathroom bills” which put transgender people at a greater risk of being harassed for their identity.

Firstly, on the topic of employment discrimination, many LGBT Americans face discrimination in the workplace simply for being open about their identities. In 2011, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy conducted a series of surveys and found that 43% of LGBT Americans said they had faced discrimination in the workplace, and also found that straight coworkers say they had witnessed discrimination based on sexual orientation. One way to solve these struggles would be to put in place a law that prohibits employers discriminating against current and prospective employees on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. A law such as this could help reduce workplace discrimination and make it easier for LGBT people to find a hold a job


Second, on the topic of so-called “bathroom bills”, all people should have a safe place to use the restroom, regardless of gender identity. During the Obama presidency, an order was put into place that allowed students in all public schools to use the bathroom that best matched their gender identity. While there was much push-back, this was generally a step forward for young transgender people. However, early in 2017, President Trump reversed this order, effectively taking away much protection for transgender youth. It is important for this order not only to go back into place for schools but also in all places. It is unfair and uncomfortable for transgender Americans, who are living their lives as their true identity, to be forced to use a restroom that does not correspond to that identity. This is not only an embarrassment for them, but can also put them at greater risk of violence in said bathroom.

All in all, I believe that protection for LGBT Americans is one major challenge facing our country. If we truly want to be an example of an accepting country, with protections for minorities, we have to be able to step up and protect our fellow citizens. Through the changes I have outlined above, as well as others, I truly believe that our country can start to be a leader in the civil rights movement across the world.

Marjorie Parker (Woodstock High School Sophomore)


Guest Speaker- Keith Wilford

Middle school students, high school students, team captains and coaches heard presentations and participated in activities from a very powerful speaker this week. Keith Wilford told his story, a story that included incredible athletic achievements and challenges with depression, substance abuse and other major health issues. His age appropriate messages to stand tall and act in ways that represent your values and your aspirations was loud and clear. Many students said it was the best speaker they have ever heard. The school will be following up with activities and discussions in advisories next week.

"Most Likely to Succeed" @ The Town Hall Theater | Thursday, Feb. 8th
Join us for a screening of this award-winning film and an evening of dialogue about what matters most for students today.
Thursday, February 8th
Woodstock Town Hall Theater
Most Likely To Succeed examines the history of education in the United States, revealing the growing shortcomings of conventional education methods in today’s innovative world. The film explores compelling new approaches that aim to transform learning as we know it. After seeing this film, the way you think about “school” will never be the same.
Participants will be required to attend 3 working group retreat days (8:30 - 3:00) and to read 2 texts
To apply to be part of this group, please click here. Applications due 1/26/18

Portrait of a Graduate Work Group
Windsor Central Supervisory Union is looking for educators, parents, community members, business leaders and current and former high school students to participate in a working group that will help create our district’s “Portrait of a Graduate.” Simply stated, a portrait of a graduate defines what we believe is most critical for our students to know and be able to do by the time they graduate from Woodstock Union High School. To get a better sense of the goal, please click here to see what Fairfax County, VA Public Schools developed for their Portrait of a Graduate .
Having this profile well articulated will help inform the district’s strategic priorities that will be developed next fall and the instructional decision making across our schools. Please consider lending your voice and perspective to this important project.                  
This work is part of an ongoing community discussion that started early this year and includes an upcoming screening of the Most Likely to Succeed documentary and the establishment of a district-wide Innovation in Learning Study Group. Our conversation is focused on how Windsor Central Supervisory Union can best prepare students for a rapidly changing, interconnected digital world and exploring and learning from how other learning institutions are meeting this challenge.
Participants will be required to attend 3 working group retreat days (8:30 - 3:00) and to read 2 texts
To apply to be part of this group, please click here. Applications due 1/26/18


Grace Voller '18 Recognized as Vermont Presidential Scholar Nominee

Monday January 8, the Vermont Agency of Education recognized the state’s 2018 Presidential Scholar nominees in a ceremony at the Vermont Statehouse. Senior Grace Vollers is one of the 2018 nominees.
The Vermont Presidential Scholars Program recognizes graduating high school seniors who show outstanding scholarship, leadership and service to their communities. Twenty (10 male and 10 female) scholars are nominated in the general category, and five scholars are nominated in the Career and Technical Education category (CTE).
All Vermont scholars will be invited to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which will announce its winners in May 2018. Additional Vermont students may be chosen to apply by the U.S. Department of Education based on ACT and SAT scores. Each year, up to 161 students are named as national Presidential Scholars – one of the highest honors for high school students. 


All School News and Events


  • January 10, Coffee with the Principal, 5:30-6:30 pm
    January 10, WUHSMS School Board meeting ,7:00 pm

    January 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day: School Closed
    January 16-19, Mid-term exams, link to exam schedule


Contact Us

100 Amsden Way
Woodstock, Vermont 05091

  • (802) 457- 1317
  • Fax:  (802) 457- 1850

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