College news

The following local students were awarded degrees during commencement ceremonies on May 19 at the University of Vermont: Antonio Acevedo of Brattleboro, B.A., Spanish; Liv Berelson of Brattleboro, B.A., Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Taylor Bird of Vernon, B.S., Nutrition and Food Sciences; Ryan Borgesen of Newfane, B.S., Business Administration; McKenzie Brandon of Saxtons River, B.A., Music; Alyssa Cote of Saxtons River, B.S. (cum laude), Animal Sciences; Olivia Diorio of Putney, B.S., Environmental Studies; Corso Donati of Newfane, B.S., Computer Science; Melanie Drummond of South Londonderry, B.S., Environmental Engineering; Tanner Freeman of Vernon, B.S., Business Administration; Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom of Guilford, B.S. (cum laude), Environmental Studies; Nicholas Grubinger of Dummerston, B.S., Neuroscience; Jordan Harmon of Londonderry, B.A., Psychological Science; Andrew Hollar of Rockingham, B.S. (cum laude), Computer Science; Benjamin Howe of Putney, B.A., Environmental Studies; Eden Hubert of East Dover, B.S., Early Childhood/Preschool; Adams Lynn of Dummerston, B.S., Community Entrepreneurship; Caitlin Merrill of Londonderry, B.S., Communication Science & Disorders; Ian Minearo of West Wardsboro, B.S., Neuroscience; Elizabeth Morgioni of West Wardsboro, B.S., Natural Resources; Cade Nesbitt of Wilmington, B.S., Public Communication; Jesse Nesbitt of Wilmington, B.S., Business Administration; Brendan O'Keefe of West Wardsboro, B.A., Political Science; Magnolia Penkoff of South Londonderry, B.A., Global Studies; Aliza Racine of Marlboro, B.A., Political Science; Henry Rackear of Londonderry, B.A., Sociology; Alana Redden of South Newfane, B.A., Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies; Evan Reilly of West Townshend, B.S., Computer Science; Olivia Reilly of West Townshend, B.S., Social Work; Isaac Roach of Brattleboro, B.S., Sustainable Landscape Horticulture; Michael Rooney of Brattleboro, B.A., English; John Sawyer Shaw of Brattleboro, B.A./B.S., Geology; Marcus Shapiro of Marlboro, B.S., Environmental Sciences; Atreyu Spencer of Newfane, B.S., Electrical Engineering; Isabel Stewart of Brattleboro, B.S., Molecular Genetics; Emily Stockwell of Townshend, B.S., Human Development & Family Studies; Ryan Szpila of Brattleboro, B.A., Philosophy; Ashley Weltz of Bellows Falls, B.A., Geography; Abigail Winrich of Townshend, B.A., Environmental Sciences; Everest Witman of Brattleboro, B.A., Computer Science; and Sophie Zimmerman of Guilford, B.S., Exercise and Movement Sciences.

The following local students received a degree from Clark University in Worcester, Mass., on May 19: Molly Marie Gurney of Brattleboro, M.A., International Development and Social Change; Urmi S. Minkin of Brattleboro, B.A., psychology; and Emily M. Thibault of Williamsville, B.A. (cum laude), Political Science, and International Development and Social Change.

• Joanna Brown of Dummerston received a B.A. in French, summa cum laude; and Benjamin Janis of Brattleboro received a B.S. in Computer Science, magna cum laude, from Tufts University in Medford, Mass., during commencement ceremonies on June 3.

The following local students received a degree from Castleton University during its 232nd commencement on May 18: Zachary Brooks of Newfane, Casey Gould of Brattleboro, Adam Griffin of Brattleboro, Hunter Smith of Brattleboro, and Meghan Powell of Vernon.

• Claire Danaher of Brattleboro was awarded an M.S. in data science from Worcester (Mass.) Polytechnic Institute during commencement ceremonies on June 5.

• Saskia Bailey-de Bruijn of Brattleboro was awarded a B.A. in Human Development and Social Relations from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., during commencement ceremonies on May 11. She received College and Departmental Honors and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

• Colton Butler of Whitingham graduated summa cum laude from Elmira (N.Y.) College on June 2. Madison Howe of Wilmington also graduated Elmira College's Class of 2019.

• Thomas Carroll of Vernon and Karlee Walkowiak of Whitingham were both named to the Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester at Curry College in Milton, Mass.

• Teodor Radev of Guilford named to the Honors List for the spring 2019 semester at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D.

• Lilianna Houston, a sophomore from Putney; Ben Janis, a senior from Brattleboro; and Gideon May, a junior from Brattleboro; were all named to the Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

• Abigail Thomas, a communication studies major from Brattleboro, and Conor Hiner, an exercise and sport physiology major from Brattleboro, were both named to the Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester at Plymouth (N.H.) State University.

• Chelsea D. Lee of Vernon has been named to the Dean's List for the spring 2019 semester at Husson University in Bangor, Maine. Lee is a sophomore working toward a B.S. degree in Legal Studies with a pre-law concentration.

School news

The winners of the Maple Leaf Writing Contest were announced on May 6. The first place winner this year was Nina North from Academy School for her story, The Journey Home: Home is Where the Heart is. The second place winner was Uma Sczupak, also from Academy School, for her story, A Long Journey. Blue Berengel from Green Street School came in third for her story, The Untold Tale of Helena Anagnos. Wesley Sczupak of Academy School won the award for best illustration for his story, The Adventures of Jeff and Slugster. The contest is open each year to any student in grades 5 and 6 in the Brattleboro Town School District. Students work on their stories all year with coaching from their teachers Dianne Clouet, Orly Hasbani, and Lexi Oliver. They also receive feedback along the way from local authors Jessie Haas and Michael Daley. This is the 19th year that the contest has been held.


• Esther Hilda Clapper Earle, 94, of Brattleboro. Died at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital on June 6, 2019. She was born on Sept. 26, 1924 to Clarence and Henrietta (Montgomery) Clapper on a farm in Hyde Park, Vt. In 1947, she married Clinton “Clint” Earle. Together they had seven children: Richard (Jean) Earle, Merritt Royce (Donna) Earle, Dayton (Deborah) Earle, Karlene (Alan) Smith, “Buffalo” Bob (Carol) Earle, Lawrence (Jay) Earle, and Maynard Earle (Eileen Ogden). Esther worked right along side of her husband Clint through the years on many different jobs from being at the Cheese Factory, picking potatoes, and working in wood shops. Although she was a hard worker, she always made time for fun with her family by having cookouts, going camping, fish fries/fishing trips and gardening. She loved going ice fishing with Clint, and enjoyed catching more fish then he would! In her later years, she enjoyed going to the Gathering Place five days a week where she played cards, bingo, and dominoes. She enjoyed writing and reading letters from her niece, Polly Judd Green. She continued to love her family to the fullest, and spending time with them any minute she could. Esther was an extremely special person who showed love, kindness, and independence every day of her life. She lived life to the fullest, filling up on sweets and laughter! She was extremely close to her seven children, 22 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren. Esther was known as “Gram” to everyone. Esther was predeceased by her parents; her husband (in 2007); her three brothers: Merritt M. Clapper, Ithiel W. Clapper, and Max W. Clapper; her sister, Carrie Clapper Goynea; grandsons Raymond Smith and Michael Earle, great-granddaughter Brooke Tidland, and great-great- grandson Tono Figueroa. Memorial information: A funeral was held at West Brattleboro Baptist Church on June 10. Donations to The Gathering Place, 30 Terrace St., Brattleboro, VT 05301. Condolences may be sent to Richard Earle, 68 Glen St., Brattleboro ,VT 05301 who will pass them on to the rest of the family. Ker-Phaneuf Funeral Home and Crematorium of Brattleboro is assisting the family with arrangements.

• Ronald “Mister” LaBrusciano, 79, of Marlboro. Died May 29, 2019. Ron's legacy as an educator, mentor, and connoisseur of fine pizza will live on in his four children: Chris LaBrusciano, Anne LaBrusciano, Peter LaBrusciano (Hillary Gardner), and Sarah LaBrusciano; his six grandchildren, and the many students and former colleagues throughout New England, across the country, and around the world. He was preceded in death by his brother Jerry LaBrusciano, and his dear son, Paul. Ron was born on June 10, 1939 to the late Romeo and Jeanne LaBrusciano and grew up in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He attended Marquette University and graduate school at the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. While Ron grew up in New York, he spent the majority of his life in his beloved New England. His work as an innovative childhood educator spanned from Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Conn., to Waitsfield Elementary School in Vermont, from Amherst, Mass., to The Prospect School in Bennington, and the Brattleboro area. Ron completed his career as an educator, mentoring hundreds of early childhood educators at Antioch Graduate School in Keene, N.H. His gentle style of child-focused, project-based, early childhood education has served as an inspiration to teachers far and wide. But what Ron loved most was relating to little children. Whether through his work in helping to found KidsPLAYce in downtown Brattleboro, volunteering at many community events and schools at and around his cherished home in Marlboro, or scooping Ron & Timmy's ice cream outside of the Circus Smirkus big tent, Ron could always be seen making genuine connections with kids as he listened to and inspired smiles in all he came in contact with. Memorial information: Friends and family are invited to celebrate Ron's life and work at a memorial celebration at KidsPLAYce, located at 20 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, from 5 to 7 p.m., on Saturday, June 15. In the spirit of Ron, this will be a kid-friendly event and children of friends and family are encouraged to attend. This event will also serve as a fundraiser to raise money for KidsPLAYce in Ron's memory. In lieu of flowers, send donations to KidsPLAYce, P.O. Box 1093, Brattleboro, VT. 05302, in memory of Ron LaBrusciano. Ron will be dearly missed but, as he always said, “That's the way the mop flops” and “that's how the cookie crumbles.”

• Mary Catherine Maxfield, 87, formerly of Hinsdale, N.H. Died May 31, 2019 at Vernon Green Nursing Home, where she had been a resident for the past six years. Mary was born in West Swanzey, N.H., on May 12, 1932, the daughter of Martin Joseph and Mary Hazel (Cameron) Sarsfield. She was raised and educated in West Swanzey and was a graduate of Keene (N.H.) High School, Class of 1950. She worked as a sales associate/store clerk for the former Baker's Hallmark on Putney Road in Bratttleboro. A devoted homemaker, her life centered around her family and she especially enjoyed time shared with her grandchildren. A devout Catholic, she was a longtime communicant of St.Joseph's Church in Hinsdale and, more recently, was a parishioner at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro. In 1963, she married Kenneth Maxfield, who predeceased her in 2003. Survivors include one son, Patrick Maxfield of Springfield, Mass; three daughters, Peggy Maxfield of Keene, Ann Rink and her husband, Scott, of Brattleboro, and Pamela Reynolds and her husband, Jason, of Turners Falls, Mass. Additionally, she leaves four grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by siblings Garrett and Francis Sarsfield, Theresa Lynde, and Patricia O'Connell. Memorial information: A funeral Mass was held June 5 at St. Michael's Catholic Church, followed by burial in Pine Grove Cemetery in Hinsdale. Donations to the Whitcomb Hall Renovation Fund, (West Swanzey Community Center), P.O. Box 10009, Swanzey, NH 03446. Donations can be made payable to the Town of Swanzey.

• Anne B. Stuart, 84, of Guilford. Died peacefully on May 26, 2019 at the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., after suffering a sudden massive stroke. She was born June 2, 1934 in New York City, the first child of Julia and Charles Burrows and older sister of the late Sheila Broncato. She was a graduate of Elizabeth Seton Junior College, Class of 1954. She was employed as an executive secretary at Shell Oil Company in New York until she married Robert (Bob) F. Stuart in 1962. She spent several years at home raising her children and caring for her family. She and Bob moved to Plymouth, Mass., in 1973. She returned to work as the secretary at Indian Brook Elementary School where she remained until her retirement in 2000. In 2001, she and Bob, both retired, moved to Vermont. Anne was a lifelong devout Catholic. Above anything else, she was a tender caregiver to those in her circle. She spent her time supporting her family and loved attending her grandchildren's school events and knitting shawls for those in assisted living homes. She loved the beach, especially on Cape Cod, where she visited regularly to walk barefoot in the sand and comb for shells and sea glass. She is survived by her three children: Kerry Massi of Mahopac, N.Y.; Charles Stuart of Westlake Village, Calif.; and Katie Stuart-Buckley of Guilford. Memorial information: A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m., at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church. Friends may call at Atamaniuk Funeral Home, 40 Terrace St., Brattleboro, Vermont on Friday, July 12., from 7 to 9 p.m. Donations to the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative & Hospice Care Gift Fund, in care of the Office of Development, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, 1 Medical Center Drive, HB 7070, Lebanon, NH 03756-0001. To send messages of condolence, visit

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