News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

Essex High School’s annual world ruler tournament showcased Joseph Stalin, Otto van Bismarck, Peter the Great and, Augustus Caesar, said the Burlington Free Press. Students in the four Advanced Placement history classes took on the roles of historical world leaders. Classes voted for the leader they preferred to lead the world. To get ready for their roles, the “leaders” studied their personae, argued their merits and weaknesses, trying to impress their fellow students as well as their teachers. The students donned physical attributes like winner Scott Mechler who wore a tunic and helmet to reflect Caesar; sported a mustache emulating Otto van Bismarck; and spoke with Garibaldi’s Italian accent. Jake “Joseph Stalin” McGinnis said, “it’s all about spinning it in a positive way.” He argued the millions of Russians who died under his leadership did so that their country could achieve superpower status. There was no word on Caesar’s prize.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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