Congratulations Class of 2024!

The Woodstock Union High School Class of 2024 will graduate on Friday, June 14, at 6:00 p.m. on the WUHS campus.

Class details are as follows…


Leah Kuhnert


Phoebe Goldberg, Tori McNamara, Farren Stainton

Summa Cum Laude

Maxwell Abrams, Catherine Austin, Lindsey Bacon, Jaedon Beardsley, Mary Lila Beckwith, Celeste Belisle, Skye Cully, Amelie Fabre, Genevieve Gnodde, Sam Hambsch, Laura Hendee, Andrea Journet, Logan Knox, Gracelyn Laperle, Remy Malik, Jakub Marzec, Chloe Masillo, Margaret Mello, Grace Modarai, Delia Morgan, Mikayla Myers, Sophia Nisimblat, Charlotte Nunan, William Obbard, Seamus Powers, Clara Shortle, Ella Stainton, Vera Windish, Kamron Yuengling

Class Officers

President – Margaret Ella Mello

Vice President – Sophia Nisimblat

Treasurer – Lila Beckwith

Secretary – Skye Cully

National Honor Society

Catherine Austin, Jaedon Beardsley, Lila Beckwith, Skye Cully, Phoebe Goldberg, Hannah Gubbins, Brooke Hecker, Logan Knox, Leah Kuhnert, Chloe Masillo, Tori McNamara, Margaret Mello, Grace Modarai, Delia Morgan, Mikayla Myers, Sophia Nisimblat, Clara Shortle, Ella Stainton, Farren Stainton

Students profiles

Leah Kuhnert

Leah Kuhnert recalls a class called “Global Studies” that she took as a seventh grader at Woodstock Union High School and Middle School (WUHS/MS) as setting her on a path that focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) studies throughout her high school years. 

Kuhnert, who will graduate from WUHS this week as the valedictorian of the Class of 2024, will draw on her considerable academic accomplishments and zeal for a better world when she heads to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., this fall, intent on studying in the Ivy League school’s vaunted Earth and Atmospheric Sciences program.

“We read books such as ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ in that seventh-grade class. It’s where I first came across the concept of sustainable versus industrial farming,” Kuhnert said during a phone conversation last Friday. That interest in what is known as regenerative agriculture stayed with Kuhnert throughout her high school years, reaching its apex when the 2024 valedictorian was named a finalist last year in the “State of the Union” essay contest sponsored annually by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Kuhnert focused her essay on the importance of addressing climate change. She specifically addressed regenerative agriculture because she believes it offers a realistic means of beginning to undo some of the damage that has been done to the global environment. That perspective — coupled with the intensive STEM studies she undertook at WUHS over the past four years — will be the bedrock for her academic pursuits at Cornell in times ahead.

At Cornell, Kuhnert added, she’ll expand exponentially her understanding of the complexities of climate change and its consequences. “I’m especially interested in natural disasters and how they relate to climate change,” she explained — a particularly timely interest, she agreed, in this spring and summer of rampant floods and tornadoes wreaking havoc on the American South and Midwest.

Recognizing the value of a comprehensive, well-rounded education, Kuhnert also embraced classes outside the STEM realm in high school. The “State of the Union” essay, for example, flowed from an assignment Kuhnert undertook in an AP Government class her junior year. 

Like many of her predecessors as valedictorian at WUHS, Kuhnert excelled at athletics as well as academics. She captained the Wasps’ girls soccer team this past year and proved particularly competitive in track and field, where she ranked second in the state in the Division III 400-meter dash and ran as part of Woodstock’s number-two-ranked 4×400-meter relay team. She also played lacrosse in her first two years of high school. And tellingly, given her passion for environmental studies, Kuhnert played a seminal role in co-founding and organizing the WUHS/MS rock-climbing club sport, which dates to her seventh-grade days at the middle school.

Phoebe Goldberg

Woodstock Union High School co-salutatorian Phoebe Goldberg remembers starting high school four years ago in isolation over Zoom, which she says “feels very long ago” compared to a senior year that “definitely flew by.”

Goldberg will be attending the University of California San Diego where she will major in biomedical science. Her decision to study biomedical science comes down to her interest in the STEM fields and engaging in the research experiments and investigations that come along with their studies. “But I’ve also enjoyed the medical field, so biomedical research is kind of a hybrid of that,” said Goldberg.

Outside of academics, Goldberg was on the Wasps varsity basketball team for three years, a co-president of the school’s Interact: Rotary International Youth club, and a member of both the National Honors Society and the Spanish Honor Society.

Outside of school, Goldberg worked for two years at Rose Hill Pet Services. She said she learned quite a bit about a few key life skills, especially when looking after the life of another at the kennel. “It’s definitely been a great experience for me. I’ve learned a lot about responsibility and time management. I work by myself most of the time, so I’m kind of responsible for everybody’s pets, and it’s up to 20 dogs. I also liked to give medications, which is pretty important.”

Jazmine Lantz

Graduating senior Jazmine Lantz said she took her high school career “day by day.” But that’s not surprising given how busy Lantz was the past four years.

Beginning her sophomore year, Lantz split her education between WUHS and Hartford Area Career and Technology Center. At the latter trade-based school, she took its welding program starting her junior year.

Next to welding, Lantz’s other skill is flying, and she is due to acquire her private pilot’s license shortly, she said. This will be helpful as she plans on joining the Aircrew wing of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), which she called her “ultimate goal.” She added her preference for joining the USMC Aircrew was based off a desire to fly the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II jet, which she discovered in her own personal research, which involved talking with military veterans in the local aviation community.

“I want to fly it because I love to be challenged and don’t want a job that gets repetitive, which is the case with most other airplanes,” said Lantz.

But the kind of aircraft was not the only factor that led her to pursue joining the Aircrew. She also wanted to give back. “I definitely wanted more of a purpose when it came to flying…A lot of pilots do make a lot of money in the private sector, but that’s not really what I wanted. It didn’t feel right to me. Serving my country gives me more of a purpose and protecting my country while doing what I love,” she explained. 

“I’m definitely most proud of the change I made in myself when I decided to start flying,” Lantz said. “I used to be a super scared kid. I had a lot of social anxiety, I was very reserved, and I guess a switch just flipped when I started flying because I had to be more outgoing. It totally turned my life around. I gained a lot of confidence, it made me a totally different person.”

Tori McNamara

As a graduating member of the Class of 2024, Tori McNamara began her high school career during the coronavirus pandemic, and in her case did her entire freshman year online. Despite starting off high school in a virtual environment, McNamara says she persisted through the difficult times and focused on her academics.

A co-salutatorian and a member of the National Honor Society, McNamara’s hard work and persistence has paid off tremendously as she will be studying geospatial sciences at the United States Air Force Academy.

It was as a freshman that McNamara says she “knew that I wanted to serve my country,” especially given the difficulties millions felt during the pandemic.

“I saw how many people were serving our country during COVID and I was like, ‘Wow, I really want to help my community and my people around me,’ and I felt that a really good way that I could do that was by joining the military,” she said.

McNamara credits her father, a veteran of the Air Force, as an influence on her joining the aerial wing of the United States Armed Forces. “I’ve only ever heard good things from him about it. But also, I absolutely love flying. My favorite part of traveling is the flight,” she said.

McNamara says she prepared for this next step by serving her community as a member of the Civil Air Patrol and being locally involved in conservation and sustainability efforts. 

In addition to her parents’ support, McNamara says maintaining a disciplined approach to her schoolwork, athletics, and staying in good health were keys to her success. McNamara says she would plan her days right down to the minute, but it was a mindset that came easy to her.

Farren Stainton

Graduating senior and co-salutatorian Farren Stainton, who began her high school career during the pandemic in the fall of 2020 says, “It was definitely very challenging, especially as someone that came from a separate middle school. I didn’t really know anybody…It was definitely challenging at first and a big adjustment, but I think that in the end, it all worked out well.”

It has indeed worked out well for Stainton as she reaches the “gratifying” milestone of graduation, she said, and plans to attend Middlebury College next fall. She will double major in neuroscience and biology.

Her decision to study neuroscience was influenced by life experience.

“I chose neuroscience due to one of my family friends as a kid, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor. At the time, it looked like he possibly had two years to live and now he’s in remission due to, in part, a major brain surgery that took place. I would really love to be a part of that work, getting to help people into recovery and to live more of their lives.”

With her double major, Stainton’s goal is to become a pediatric neurosurgeon, a decision also influenced by life experience.

“I work at Camp Coniston in Croydon, N.H. Last summer, I had the unfortunate situation of having to save someone’s life [from a near-drowning incident], but it taught me a lot about connecting with kids and life-saving, and I would really love to be able to do that for more kids in the future through neurosurgery.”

While at WUHS, Stainton participated in a variety of clubs and activities. She was a varsity athlete her entire high school career, being on the cross country, nordic skiing, and track and field teams.

Additionally, “I was a part of student council, the National Honors Society, the superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, and I was one of the co-founders of the Social Action Club,” Stainton said.

For further details, please see our special graduation section in the June 13 edition of the Vermont Standard.