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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bedford Acting Group Dress Rehearsal

Scenes from today’s Bedford Acting Group dress rehearsal at Bedford Middle School of the sixth grade play, “Revolting Rhymes & Other Ridiculous Rambles” by Roald Dahl. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students (children under 3 free). Tickets are available online here or at the door, subject to availability. Phyllis Groner for

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Long Lots Principal Appointed

The Westport Board of Education tonight approved the promotion of Jeffrey Golubchick to the position of principal of Long Lots Elementary School effective July 1, Superintendent of Schools Elliot Landon said. Image
Jeffrey Golubchick: current Saugatuck assistant principal. Contributed photo

Golubchick currently is assistant principal at Saugatuck Elementary School.  He replaces M. Rex Jones, principal since 2007.

Prior to joining Saugatuck, Golubchick, 35, a native New Yorker, had been director of elementary humanities at North Shore Schools in Sea Cliff, N.Y. and assistant principal at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. He began his career as a teacher in a student-diverse elementary school in New York City.

His educational background includes a BFA in printmaking and a BA in scenography from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo; an MFA in theater arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh; an MA in education from Hunter College in New York City; and, an MA in educational leadership from Brooklyn (N.Y.) College.

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Staples Advances to Moody Math Challenge Finals

A team of math students from Westport’s Staples High School is among finalists in this year’s Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge.

Members advanced over the weekend in Philadelphia in the annual applied math contest that gives participants the opportunity to use mathematical modeling to come up with solutions to relevant everyday issues and a chance to win $20,000. Staples last won the competition in 2006. (See WestportNow April 7, 2006)

This year’s challenge was particularly relevant to high school seniors. They were asked to provide cost-benefit analyses of higher education.

Using publicly available data on college tuition rates, scholarships, and financing costs, participants created math models and wrote algorithms to determine the costs actually paid by individuals of various socioeconomic backgrounds, an announcement said.

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Special Tour Image
Members of the Saugatuck Elementary’s PTA were treated to a walking tour today of works from the Westport Permanent Art Collection (WSPAC) by Linda Gramatky Smith. She is the daughter of Hardie Gramatky, famed Westport watercolorist. SES is home to over 80 art pieces from the WSPAC, including several representing Gramatky’s much-loved children’s books. Gramatky Smith is pictured holding copies of “Little Toot” and “Nikos and the Sea God” beneath original art from those books. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Honors for Westport Schools Music Program

Another honor today for the music program in Westport schools.

The NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 members around the world, awarded Westport a Best Communities for Music Education designation. It was one of 12 districts in the state receiving the designation.

Now in its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of schools’ core curriculum, an announcement said. This year, 388 school districts in 46 states were honored.

“Westport has long possessed a unique insight and understanding of the important role music plays in the education of the whole child,” said Thomas Scavone, district music supervisor.

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SRO for Learning About Common Core Image
There was a standing room-only crowd Monday night at the Westport Library’s McManus Room to hear former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto (D-Mansfield) discuss the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests to be administered to Westport students in third through 12th grades over the next few weeks. Pelto, who served nine years in the state legislature and now authors a blog, Wait What? at www., has been critical of the SABC, calling them “unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory.” The event was privately organized by a group of local parents. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Staples Students Excel in History at Regional Tourney

Westport students, especially those at Staples High School, have shown they do know much about history. Image

They excelled Saturday in the Fairfield Regional History Day in Connecticut contest at Fairfield University. More than 300 students from 16 area communities took part in the competition.

Westport students dominated in the senior category (grades 9 to 12), taking 15 of the 20 top awards in the division while those in the junior category (grades 6 to 8) took two of 26 top slots.

Students who placed in the top three in their respective categories and divisions are invited to compete in the State History Day Contest, which will take place on May 9 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Celebrating Science Win Image
Bedford Middle School students celebrate Saturday after winning first place at the Science Olympiad state competition held in Farmington. Next step is the national competition in Nebraska in May. The Science Olympiad is a nationwide organization dedicated to promoting science education through conducting competitive science tournaments. Teams of up to 15 students meet and compete in about 23 different science events that cover many different areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Some events require constructing a project ahead of time. Others involve on the spot application of skills to a given problem. Individual students win medals for placing in an event, with cumulative scores yielding overall team placement at a tournament. Contributed photo

Posted 02:11 PM
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A Silver Crown for Image
Friday brought not only a first day of spring snow but also a Silver Crown Award for Staples High School’s student-run online publication,, at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s 91st annual Spring Scholastic Convention. Pictured with the award at Columbia University are (l-r) Managing Editor Ale Benjamin, Advisor Cody Thomas, Editor-in-Chief Zoe Brown, Editor-in-Chief Bailey Ethier, Advisor Mary Elizabeth Fulco, and Web Managing Editor Nicole DeBlasi. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 02:02 PM
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Staples Varsity Vogue Set for Friday, March 27

The 18th annual Staples High School Varsity Cheerleading Fashion Show and Auction fundraiser will take place Friday, March 27 at the ballroom of the Westport Inn. Image
Proceeds from the Varsity Vogue event will benefit the Staples High School cheerleading squad. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Senior cheerleaders, football and basketball players will take the runway and show off fashions from South Moon Under in downtown Westport. 

The show starts at 7 p.m. and will run until 9:30 p.m.There will be “creative cuisine” and a cash bar to enjoy as attendees cast bids on auction items, an announcement said.

They include:Staples Cheerleader for a Game – Join the Staples cheerleaders on the sidelines for a home football game and will cheer alongside the team.

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Coleytown Company Readies ‘The Addams Family’ Image
Coleytown Middle School students rehearse for the Coleytown Company’s latest production, “The Addams Family,” which debuts on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. Other performances are Friday,  March 27 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m and 7 p.m. The show is directed by Benjamin Frimmer who worked with roster of seasoned theater professionals, including Adam Riegler, assistant director. Riegler, a Westport native and current Staples High School junior, was in the original cast of “The Addams Family” on Broadway. Tickets are available online at (search term “Westport.”) Pictured (l-r) are Martin Menz, Maggie Foley, Max Herman, JP Patterson, Kristin Amato, Cooper Knapp, Georgia Wright, Anella Lefebvre, Oscar Hechter, and Amanda Samuels. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Foley photo

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Bedford Acting Group Presents ‘Revolting Rhymes…’ Image
The Bedford Acting Group of Westport’s Bedford Middle School presents the sixth grade play, “Revolting Rhymes & Other Ridiculous Rambles,” next weekend. The master of the comic and bloodcurdling, Roald Dahl, retells several of the best-known fairy tales, with some extremely surprising twists. The play also features poems and stories by Dr. Seuss, Jon Scieska and Shel Silverstein. Performances are Friday and Saturday, March 27-28 at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday matinees, March 28-29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students (children under 3 free). Tickets are available online here or at the door, subject to availability. Pictured (l-r) are Juliette Henderson, Lys Goldman, Conor Hanley, Madison Tamm, and Alex Watzman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 08:55 AM
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

With Praise, Finance Board Approves School Budget

By James Lomuscio

With laurels of praise for the Board of Education, Westport’s Board of Finance tonight unanimously approved a $111,471,756 proposed school operating budget, a 2.08 percent increase, for the 2015-16 academic year.

Finance board member after finance board member lauded the school board and the administration, plus the entire budget process. Each said the school board had incorporated Board of Finance input making it fiscally sound and transparent.

“This is the best of the four budgets I’ve seen in my time on the board,’ said John Pincavage, finance board chairman.

“A lot of lessons were learned and learned well,” he added, referring to last year’s budget bungles on health insurance benefits. “So, I feel very good about this.’

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Posted 10:43 PM
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Schools to Host ‘Community Conversation’

The Westport Public Schools and the Westport PTA Council have scheduled a “Community Conversation” on education, featuring representatives from Columbia University’s Teachers’ College, for Wednesday, March 25, at 7 p.m. at Staples High School.

“Our hope is that a cross section of all members of the Westport community will come together to discuss the role of schools, parents and the community as a whole in creating ethical, social and civic-minded students,” said Michael Gordon, Board of Education chairman.

“Our Community Conversation is the next step in Westport’s 2025 initiative, which has focused on providing students with the skills they will need to succeed in this new world in which they must compete,” he added.

Representatives from Teachers’ College will begin the evening, giving a short presentation on research from high performing school districts around the world that “are working to embed characteristics such as respect, integrity, harmony, resilience and care in their day to day curriculum,” Gordon said.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Interim Might Fill Staples Principal’s Post

By James Lomuscio

With the favorite candidate of the two finalists bowing out for principal of Staples High School for another job, the Westport school system has rebooted its search and is even considering an interim principal to fill outgoing Principal John Dodig’s shoes, according to school officials.

“The Staples principal’s job is one of the most important in the district, and we will only recruit and hire a star for that position,” Michael Gordon, chairman of the Board of Education, said today. “If that means choosing an interim for one year, we will make that choice.”

Gordon pointed out that Dodig, who is retiring in June after 14 years at the helm, began as an one-year interim at Staples.

“And it was a very good experience, and he had a very good tenure,” Gordon said.

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