School Notes: Student-Teacher Prepares for Bethel University

  • Eddie Staples, of Bethel, Vt., rolled this tilapia sushi at his home on March, 4, 2018. Staples with his mother Fran Staples will be teaching a sushi rolling class for Bethel University. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Monday, March 05, 2018

If you attend Bethel University’s course in Nerf-dart shooting at Bethel School this Thursday night, or the workshop on making sushi next Thursday at Bethel Town Hall, resist the temptation to focus on the adult at the front of the room.

Thirteen-year-old Eddie Staples is conducting both classes.

“He reminds me numerous times that I am the assistant,” Fran Staples, who taught her son the art and science of rolling sushi ingredients into rice, said with a laugh last week. “He needed a little more help setting up the first class last year, but this year he has the whole class outline ready to go before he gets in there.”

Eddie started making sushi with his mother about seven years ago. And shortly after Fran started home-schooling him, he took up the practice in earnest as part of a school project. Occasionally he’ll even roll fish he caught himself into the sushi.

“It’s a nice activity to do together,” Eddie said last week. “And it’s a lot cheaper to do it at home.”

The home-school project revealed lessons in, among other subjects, chemistry, math, business and economics.

“You have to figure out how many people you’re making it for, where to buy the fish and the rice and the vegetables, how long to cook the rice and at what temperature, and all kinds of things,” said Eddie. “We didn’t see anyone doing this at Bethel University, and decided to try. We had 10 or 11 people come to the class last year, and a couple of people who took it said they’d do it again, including a whole family who are coming back.”

Eddie’s first experience of Bethel University, which the Bethel Revitalization Initiative has offered for free each March for the past five years, was as a student. He took courses in skateboarding and tennis.

Two years ago, more than 40 people showed up for the Nerf course that Eddie and his father, Bruce Staples, a plumbing and heating contractor, started teaching as a way to build up membership in Eddie’s Nerf Gun Club. His other interests include taekwondo, soccer (refereeing as well as playing), basketball and track and field — “mostly the long jump.” He’s attended camps in veterinary medicine the last couple of summers.

And what he learns, Eddie is eager to impart.

“He’s always liked to teach,” Eddie’s mother said. “The taekwondo class was a big part of it all. He likes working with the little kids. He was probably 7 or 8, and he was already showing the little kids the simple, basic stuff.”

Eddie expects to continue exploring many fields and activities before settling on a life’s work.

How about making sushi for a living?

“Probably not,” he said. “I like making it for myself and for the family, but being a chef, to qualify to prepare it and sell it to customers, you have to have 10 years of experience before you can start your own place.

“For me, it’s just a fun thing to do.”

Eddie Staples leads Bethel University’s Nerf Gun Club class this Thursday night at 5:30 in the gymnasium of Bethel School; participants younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Staples also will host his second annual Roll Your Own (Sushi) workshop on March 15 at 7 p.m., in the kitchen of Bethel Town Hall. Admission to both classes is free. Registration for the sushi class is encouraged because of limited space in the kitchen.

Additional upcoming classes feature a range of topics, including dog obedience, bartering, collage quilting and treasure hunting. To sign up or learn more about these and other Bethel University offerings throughout March, visit betheluniversityvt.org.

Foreign Affairs

Hanover High School will screen the documentary Resilience: How to Live 100 Russian Years, in the school auditorium on March 16.

The screening is part of the school’s intensive mini-course on Russian language and culture. Russian Life magazine editor Paul Richardson will answer questions about the 25-minute movie, for which he traveled around the sprawling country with two Russian journalists to interview 22 citizens born in 1917, the year of the Communist revolution. Richardson also will sign his book about the trip.

Seating is limited; attendees are encouraged to RSVP by emailing yuliyaballou@hanovernorwichschools.org.

Three Upper Valley residents are studying abroad, under St. Lawrence University’s off-campus program for juniors.

Fairlee resident Tao Ameden, a 2015 graduate of Rivendell Academy, is pursuing global studies at Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

Randolph Union High School graduate Cole J. Poulin, a Braintree resident, is pursuing neuroscience studies in Denmark.

Nicholas Purcell, a graduate of Hanover High School majoring in environmental studies, is studying languages at the Austro-American Institute of Education in Vienna.

By Degrees

Twelve Upper Valley residents received bachelor’s degrees from the University of New Hampshire, during the school’s recent fall-semester graduation ceremony in Durham.

The graduates, by hometown:

Canaan — Nicholas Nowak and Madelyn Webb.

Enfield — Rose Affleck.

Lebanon — Matthew Cole and Jaclyn Truland.

Hanover — Sarah Gallimore.

Lyme — Jacqueline Gilbert.

Tunbridge — Emily Whalen.

Claremont — Charles Wallace, Shane Kochvi and Terry Hayward.

Springfield, N.H. — Mira Kehler.

Hanover resident Michael Koval and Norwich’s Elijah Dufty recently completed their undergraduates studies at The Georgia Institute of Technology. Koval earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and Dufty received a bachelor in mechanical engineering.

The College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, Minn., conferred a doctorate in physical therapy on Hanover resident Scott Paux, during the school’s fall commencement ceremony in December.

Plainfield resident Lindsay Pullen received a master’s degree in maternal and child health from Boston University’s school of public health, during a ceremony in January.

High School Recognition

The faculty at Lebanon High School recently named junior Jennifer Lopez as the school’s student of the month for March, for her work ethic and politeness.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304.

Education-related news and announcements also can be sent to schoolnotes@vnews.com.