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December Black Bear Award- Maddie Wickless

Black Bear Award Recognition

Presented: December 6th, 2021

Student Name: Maddie Wickless

House Team: Ramshead Peak

Presented by: Courtney O’Keefe



The KMS community is proud to present this week’s Black Bear Community Award to Madelyn Wickless! Maddie is a Full-Term U16 Women’s Alpine athlete, who comes to KMS from Norwich, Connecticut. Maddie was nominated by several of our faculty, who all agree that this young woman deserves to be recognized for her selfless dedication to our community. From her amazing work related to the most recent Killington Turkey Trot, to her amazing commitment and leadership within our dorm, gym, and classrooms, Maddie is, without a doubt, the best example of what KMS has to offer- an incredibly driven and selfless individual, dedicated to the growth and development of her community.


Maddie’s first nomination comes from Head of School Claire Kershko. Claire reflects, “Though I know she [was] helping with the Turkey Trot for her NHS project, I listened to Maddie call a huge list of businesses for raffle items for the event, and I was so impressed by her poise and professionalism--not to mention her perseverance! Cold calling is very hard, and she was determined to continue promoting the event for KMS. She was a great representation of KMS on the phone.”


World Languages teacher and Admissions and Advancement Coordinator Elizabeth Cardiasmenos seconded Maddie’s nomination for her incredible work on the Turkey Trot. Liz states, “For Maddie’s NHS project, she took the lead in aiding in the organization of this critical event for our community. This included, but is not limited to, advertising (hanging signs and promoting it through a TV interview through PegTV in Rutland), and soliciting local businesses for raffle items. Turkey Trot founder Kasie Munson was exceptionally impressed with Maddie’s hard work and drive, as well as her communication skills and ability to reach out in partnership to our local community businesses for this event. Munson stated that it was a pleasure working with Maddie and that she ‘rocked it!’. It should also be noted that the crew of PegTV were highly impressed with Maddie’s interview as well, commenting that they could not believe she was only a Sophomore in high school given how poised and confident she was in promoting the event via TV. In all, she did a great job!


“I would also like to add that beyond the Turkey Trot, Maddie continued to be a force for our community. Afterwards, Maddie volunteered a substantial amount of time for our #SenditforKMS campaign by calling our alumni. Within the classroom, it should also be recognized that Maddie is a source of positivity and support for her peers. Everyday when I ask her how she is doing, she always responds that she is great! She never lets a bad day, the few that she has, get her down, and she is always one of the first to step forward to support those around her and bring cheer to the classroom.”


Adding to this list of nominations is Strength and Conditioning, and U14 coach Marissa Hasse. Marissa comments, “Maddie has been a positive asset in the gym by helping and keeping others on task as well as working together. In the dorm, she is always lending a hand to help with tasks and after dinner clean-up. She isn't afraid to positively redirect conversations when they begin to head towards a more negative direction, or redirect negative behaviors via her peers. She has matured tremendously since I met her at the beginning of the school year.”


U16 Women’s Alpine Coach Chelsea Marshall also agrees. Chelsea states, “I fourth Maddy for the Black Bear Award. She has shown great growth this fall in the gym, being fully engaged and showing daily improvement. She has been a great leader for younger girls as she is always very respectful and approaches everything with a positive attitude.”


And, lastly, rounding out this incredible write-up and list of nominations is Social Studies Department Co-Chair Courtney O’Keefe. Courtney reflects, “This is the second year that I have been given the opportunity to not only teach, but get to know Maddie within my classroom. She has grown into a more confident, mature young woman, who is dedicated to selflessly serving and supporting others. The dedication, time, and energy that she has put in recently for our community is incredible, and reflects her amazingly strong character. She should be proud for not only all that she has accomplished, but how it will positively impact our community. Thank you just isn’t enough for what she is giving back to all of us. Way to go, Maddie! We are unbelievably proud of you!”


A recognition well-deserved! Congratulations, Maddie! We are proud of you, and incredibly thankful!






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