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Education

Education

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Students Win Writing Awards

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CMS Winners: Charles Effman and Samantha Gefen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Three Westport students have earned recognition in the annual Connecticut Student Writers contest, sponsored by the University of Connecticut Department of English.

This contest, which is open to all students K-12 in the state, features categories of poetry, fiction, essay and drama.

The Westport winners are Charles Effman, Coleytown Middle School (CMS) seventh grade, (published) for his poem “Trees,” Samantha Gefen, CMS seventh grade grade (honorable mention) for her poem “Evidence Eater,” and Staples Hight School senior Julian Garrison (honorable mention) for his poem “You, Etched in Silver.”

The students will be honored at a ceremony on Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at the UCONN campus in Storrs.

Posted 11:32 AM
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Friday, April 10, 2015

Staples Junior Wins Study Trip to Germany

Ethan Shenhar, a junior at Staples High School who excels in the study of German, has been awarded an all-expense paid summer study trip to Germany, the Westport Schools announced today.

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Ethan Shenhar: one of 44 winners.  Contributed photo

He was selected as a national winner after scoring in the 95th percentile on a national German exam for high school students sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), an announcement said. Almost 21,000 students participated in the program.

After qualifying with a high score on the exam, Ethan submitted responses to several short essay questions in German and in English and was then interviewed by a committee comprised of college professors of German, school officials said.

He is one of 44 outstanding German students selected from across the United States to receive the award.

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Posted 01:13 PM
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Sunday, April 05, 2015

New Earthplace Nursery School Director Announced

Laurie Linton, director of Westport’s Earthplace Nursery School for 13 years, has announced her retirement and will be succeeded by Amee Borys who will take the role as director of the preschool on June 1.

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Amee Borys: takes over June 1. Contributed photo

“There is no easy way to say thank you and goodbye to someone as special as Laurie Linton,” said Tony McDowell, Earthplace executive director. “But I am proud to say that Laurie is leaving the school in terrific shape.”

Under Linton’s leadership, Earthplace has expanded the popular nature-based early childhood educational program, which has been in existence for 47 years. It now has expanded hours and programs for working families, a new five-year NAEYC accreditation, increased classroom space, and full enrollment for the coming year, McDowell said.

Borys has been an educator for 17 years and has taught at every level from preschool to fifth grade, an announcement said. In her current role as assistant director of the Nursery School, she plans and leads staff meetings, hires and coaches staff, and teaches in the fives classroom.

More "New Earthplace Nursery School Director Announced"

Posted 03:59 PM
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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Staples Advances to Moody’s Math Challenge Finals

(Editor’s Note: This updates an item first published on March 25, adding team members names, a picture, and additional details.)
UPDATE A team of math students from Westport’s Staples High School is among finalists in this year’s Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge.

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Team members include (l-r, back row) Madeline Schemel and Chai Kim; (front row)  Terrie Yang, Claudia Landowne, and Claire Sampson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Members advanced over the March 21-22 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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Posted 09:30 AM
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Sunday, March 29, 2015

National Honor for Laddie Lawrence

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Laddie Lawrence: another honor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The National High School Athletic Coaches Association has announced the induction of longtime Staples High School coach Laddie Lawrence into its National Hall of Fame.

This year’s induction ceremony will take place June 19 at the group’s national convention in Rochester, Minn.

The 2015 class includes 30 coaches from 16 states. His state’s high school coaches’ association selected Lawrence, an announcement said.

Lawrence was inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004. He retired from teaching at Staples in 2013 after almost half a century but continues his running and track and field coaching duties.

Posted 12:11 PM
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Staples Orphenians Burst Into Song in San Francisco


The Staples Orphenians are in San Francisco for the National Youth Choral Festival and traveled to the Twin Peaks overlooking the city and burst into “Dominus Vobiscum” by Sydney Guillaume, a young Haitian-American composer of contemporary classical music and film music. The Grammy award-winning choir Chanticleer chose the Orphenians to be part of the festival based on a performance a year ago. The Orphenians, who also serenaded their Jet Blue crew on arrival (see video here) are the only East Coast group to be invited. More than 200 student singers in 10 high school choirs from across the country are participating. The four-day choral immersion will place the visiting choirs in close, intensive interaction with the members of Chanticleer, who will coach them in all areas critical to the choral art. The final event of the trip is a concert on Monday at Davies Symphony Hall conducted by Ragnar Bohlin, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, in which the Orphenians will perform. Martin Gitlin/YouTube.com

Posted 07:49 PM
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NY Times Columnist Takes on College Admission Mania

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There was a standing room only crowd at the Westport Library today for a talk by bestselling author and New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. He challenges the importance many place on attending elite colleges in his new book “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.”  Bruni, who noted the crowd contained more parents and grandparents than college-bound youngsters, said that students today are working to get into the best schools and not focusing on what they are hoping to achieve in their education. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Posted 06:03 PM
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Friday, March 27, 2015

In Fashion

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Tonight’s 18th annual Staples Varsity Cheerleading Fashion Show and Auction Fundraiser drew a large crowd to the Westport Inn. Among senior cheerleaders, football and basketball players showing off the latest fashions from Westport’s South Moon Under were Sarah Ellman and Jack Marsilio. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Posted 08:33 PM
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Staples Fashionistas

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Lindsey Giannitti and Will Newman were fashionistas at tonight’s 18th annual Staples Varsity Cheerleading Fashion Show and Auction Fundraiser at the Westport Inn.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Posted 08:25 PM
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Varsity Vogue in Vogue


Scenes from tonight’s 18th annual Staples Varsity Cheerleading Fashion Show and Auction Fundraiser at the Westport Inn. WestportNow.com photos

Posted 08:20 PM
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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 WestportNow.com

Posted 08:39 PM
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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.

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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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Posted 09:35 PM
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Special Tour

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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

Posted 04:59 PM
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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.

More "Honors for Westport Schools Music Program"

Posted 01:00 PM
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SRO for Learning About Common Core

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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. Jonathanpeltro.com, has been critical of the SABC, calling them “unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory.” The event was privately organized by a group of local parents. A video is available here.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 10:20 AM
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