June 24, 2018

PHOTOS: Justin McQuiston’s Art

Williston resident Justin McQuiston had his artwork selected for a national exhibit featuring Artwork from Children of All Abilities in Washington DC. He was one of 10 students nationally  who will attend the opening reception.

PHOTOS: WCS Circus Dollars

Courtesy photos by Luca Sticks

The WCS Leave Us Clean Air (LUCA) club presented an educational themed circus last week, as part of the Vermont 8 out of 10 campaign.

The idea of the campaign is to correct misperceptions.  Most kids, in fact 8 out of 10 teens in Vermont, do not smoke.  At WCS, according to the 2011 YRBS survey, 9.3 out of 10 6-8th graders have never smoked a cigarette.  In order to participate in the bubble, spin art, juggling, dish spin and face painting booths, student were asked to sign a pledge to be tobacco and substance free.

PHOTOS: Swarm Party

Observer photo by Stephanie Choate

Allen Brook School students do ‘the honeybee’ on June 7 at a school-wide celebration, with Lake Monster’s mascot Champ. The dance was part of the Swarm Party, celebrating the wrap-up of a yearlong bee-themed initiative to encourage positive behavior—being safe, kind and responsible. Students earned black and yellow pompoms to add to ‘the beehive’ when they demonstrated positive behavior.

PHOTOS: CVU concert

Observer photos by Steve Mease

CVU students perform at the End of Year Concert. Seniors each received the traditional red rose in recognition of their participation in music department programs.


Observer photos by Alec Jacobson

Williston Central School students participate in Fun Day on June 8.

PHOTOS: Munt Memorial

Observer photo by Luke Baynes

At a June 10 ceremony at Williston Central School, Margaret Munt was remembered as many things: a devoted wife and mother; a slow eater and tea drinker; a fearless public speaker; a willing (at times too willing) giver of advice; a best friend.

More than anything, Margaret Munt was remembered as a great teacher and mentor of Williston youth for the past 28 years.

PHOTOS: CVU baseball state champs

Observer photos by Shane Bufano

The CVU baseball team defeated BFA St. Albans 5-0 on Saturday, winning the second championship in the school’s history.

Everyday Gourmet: The burrata bash

Am I late to the party? From San Francisco to San Diego this spring, I noticed every menu featured a strawberry salad with “burrata.” Huh? Then, I ordered it: burrata is like a savory scoop of ice cream that pairs beautifully with just about every texture and flavor.

Basically, we’re talking cheese heaven. In appearance, burrata resembles a small ball of cow’s milk mozzarella with a topknot. But there’s a surprise inside: a soft, lava-like center that oozes with creamy flavor once the cheese has been sliced. Like a soft-boiled egg, it luxuriously coats delectable companions such as fresh greens, strawberries, blackberries, pistachios, smoked almonds and freshly picked herbs.

Because of its short shelf life, burrata (pronounced boor-RAH-tah) has only recently traveled beyond Italy for international consumption. Lucky for Vermonters, we have our own local supply—the head of Bennington’s Maplebrook Farm burrata team is Domenico Marchitelli, a native of Puglia, the Italian region where burrata originated. Marchitelli has now trained a team at Maplebrook Farm, and cases of their hand crafted burrata leave the plant minutes after creation. You’ll find it everywhere, along with a more commercially produced burrata that has been recently spotted at Costco.


Burrata Salad

I love to toss fresh arugula in a bit of olive oil and then place any variety of fruit, nuts, and burrata over the glistening bed. Then, I squirt the fruit and burrata with a shot of sherry vinegar glaze. Sherry vinegar glaze is basically sherry vinegar boiled down into syrup that is both sweet and tart. It’s a terrific new product, compliments of the Columela brand, and can be found at Healthy Living.

Another fun hors d’oeuvre is crostini slices layered with a bit of burrata, a folded slice of prosciutto and some strawberry jam, all topped with a half of a small fresh strawberry placed cut-side down. These beautiful dishes are summer on a platter: easy, breezy, boffo.

Burrata, the addictive, super-sexy mozzarella, is sure to make an appearance at many a summer bash—it’s the celebrity cheese of the season.


Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France.  She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.

Surprise! CVU’s second straight golf crown

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Senior Jack Tomashot led the Redhawks with a 79, just two strokes behind medalist Troy Evans from Spaulding High.

It was rainy and muddy last Wednesday at the Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury.

But when the Division 1 Championship part of the day was over, there were nothing but sunny smiles on the faces of the underdog Champlain Valley Union High golf team, which emerged with a second straight title.

The Redhawks nudged favored Rutland High 331-332 in team scoring to earn the victory.

“Going in, Rutland had a 302 in the qualifying tournament, while we were in the 330 range,” said coach Jeff Evans in a telephone chat with the Observer this week. “We had won the Metro with a 334.”

Senior Jack Tomashot led the Redhawks with a 79, just two strokes behind medalist Troy Evans from Spaulding High. Sophomore Peter Scrimgeour had an 81 and freshman Carter Knox fired an 83, including an eagle on his first hole.

Tomashot said the eagle, on an 80-yard chip shot, set the tone for the day.

Todd Forrester’s 88 and Bennett Hadley’s 92 completed the CVU title trot around the course.

“We had to respect the course and stay out of high numbers,” said Evans, noting that the wet conditions increased chances of trouble along the way.

It was the final CVU tournament for Tomashot, who has had a sterling career on the links for the Redhawks, leading the team to two division crowns. Forrester and Hadley also graduate.

Evans, however, believes that some promising young golfers from the B team have potential to fill in nicely next spring around Scrimgeour and Knox.

Depth of talent gets tennis title for CVU girls

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The CVU girls tennis team is all smiles after winning the state championship on June 6. The girls had a perfect 18-0 season this year. (Courtesy photo)

After an absence of one year, the Champlain Valley Union High girls tennis team is once more the Big Enchilada in Division 1, following its second undefeated (18-0) campaign in three seasons.

“We have a very deep team,” said head coach Amy deGroot, as her Redhawks were popping Stowe High 7-0 last Wednesday in the championship matches at Shelburne’s Davis Park courts.

The depth of this team was a common theme in post-match conversation.

“Any one of our top four could be number one on any given day,” observed that day’s number one Redhawk, senior Anna Clare Smith after a quick 6-0, 6-1 take out of Stowe’s Monica Bleda.

Just the previous day, Smith had scored a victory over South Burlington’s vaunted Samantha Wulfson, the state’s top individual player. Was there any letdown from that high point in the ‘Hawks’ semifinal team triumph?

“I was just excited to get here,” Smith said referring to the championship matches. Her victory over Bleda took less than an hour.

CVU’s top four turned into a top five as juniors Emily Polhemus, Claire Stoner, Andrea Joseph and Evelyn Mitchell captured their individual matches.

Polhemus, backed by a vocal group of supporters, took some time to finally put away Stowe’s stubborn Kelly Chambers.

The doubles teams of Leah Epstein-Mackenzie Buckman and Laura Andrews-Samone Schneider also nailed down thumbs-uppers.

Andrews, a senior who was part of three crowns in four years, had a warning for next season’s tennis foes.

“The underclassmen are very good,” she said. “CVU is going to be quite a force next year.”