Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vermont state champs determined in Montpelier

Earlier this month, the Vermont LifeSmarts program, coordinated by VT Jump$tart, hosted their state LifeSmarts championship at the Pavilion Building in Montpelier, VT. The Pavilion Building also happens to be where the governor’s office is located, near the state Capitol building.

Six teams -- made up of all first-time LifeSmarts competitors -- fought for the title and the chance to compete in Miami: the Dream Team from Champlain Valley Union High School; the Iron Chefs of Biz, North Country Career Center; the Lamoille Union High School Lancers; the Winooski High School Spartans; Carpe Diem from Green Mountain Technology and Career Center; and Common Grounds, the team from the Stafford Technical Center.

Emerging victorious, with a final score of 155 to 130, were the Iron Chefs of Biz, hailing from Newport, VT. Coached by Nancy McDermott and Gillian Staniforth, the five students beat outthe Dream Team from Champlain Valley Union High and will make their way to Miami in just a couple months.

“They were neck-and-neck until the team-plus questions, and then The Iron Chefs of Biz pulled ahead and retained the lead through the team activity and Challenge Round,” said Lynette Kemp, a Vermont state coordinator.

Due to the generous donations of Vermont state LifeSmarts sponsors, National Life Group; VSECU; Grippin, Donlan and Roche; Carol Jenkins; and WVMT/WXXX radio, all expenses are paid (except for a few meals perhaps) so the state champs from the Green Mountain State can focus on preparing to compete against the best of the rest from across the country April 24-27.

“The Iron Chefs of Biz will be studying hard and practicing for the nationals. This is their first trip to the nationals, and they are excited to be able to participate,” said Debra Behm, who coordinates the program with Kemp.

Coordinators Kemp and Behm attribute the state competition’s success to volunteers from New Hampshire: Dan Hebert, NH Jump$tart president and New England regional director, and two others from the Granite State’s Jump$tart program, Kathy Belanger and David Rienzo, who traveled to Vermont to help Vermont with its state competition. The New Hampshire program will host its state championship on March 10, 2010 in Manchester, NH.

Congratulations to the winning team, and good luck at Nationals in April!