Thursday January 04, 2018
Isaiah Hines, a 2017 South Burlington High School graduate, was recently named the Burlington Free Press (BFP) 2017 Vermonter of the Year. Hines is currently a freshman at Columbia University.
Each year BFP invites readers to nominate a Vermont resident for recognition as the Vermonter of the Year. The newspaper asks readers to “Think of someone who has made a difference this year or through a lifetime of work; someone who stepped up in a time of need or proved to be a leader; someone whose acts or accomplishments embodied the best of Vermont.” Nominations are published in the opinion section and the winner is chosen by the editorial board of the Free Press at the end of the year.
Tom Kingston of Colchester nominated Hines, writing, “Hines should be considered because he is highly influential in Vermont’s fight for racial justice. While changing the name of a school mascot might seem simple, any attempt for change meets resistance from those who want to keep things as they are.”
During his time at South Burlington High School, Hines was a student representative to the South Burlington School Board and was active in the debate and efforts which led to the 2017 retirement of the Rebel name as the moniker for the sports teams.
BFP reported that Hines received the top honor for taking a stand for social justice. Their December 31 article announcing the award stated, “For standing up when it counted, and bearing the weight [of] the consequences of his actions with grace, Isaiah Hines is the 2017 Vermonter of the Year.”