WELLS RIVER -- Blue Mountain Union School students Kate Cota and Judy Hoang were selected as this year's recipients of the Vermont and New England Association of Middle Level Education Scholar Leaders Award. Students from 42 schools were honored on June 3 at the Plumley Armory on the Norwich University campus. About 360 students, educators, parents and members of the VAMLE and NELMS Boards celebrated the 79 students receiving this prestigious award.

The Scholar Leader Dinner is organized by VAMLE, in partnership with NELMS, and with supporting sponsorship from Lifetouch National School Studios. Each scholar leader receives a portrait award photo. Students are selected by their school based on academic and leadership qualities, using criteria outlined in the "Vital Results" and "Fields of Knowledge" sections of the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities.

VAMLE President Meg O'Donnell and Secretary of Education Armando Vilaseca welcomed and praised the students for choosing excellence in their school and personal lives. Parents and school personnel were acknowledged for creating positive learning environments that promote good citizenship and scholarship.

Keynote speakers were the Vermont Presidential Award semi-finalists and graduating seniors, Sossina Gutima, Essex High School; Timothy Rizvanov, Essex High School; and Abigail Dutton, Sharon Academy.

Kate is the daughter of Leo and Renee Cota of South Ryegate. Judy is the daughter of Adam and Qilan Hoang of Wells River.

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