Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Farewell to Class of 2015
Scenes from tonight’s Staples High School Class of 2015 baccalaureate celebration. See Dodig tribute video here. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Westport Schools: Looking Back and Ahead
To the Editor:
The Year That’s Ending
The Westport schools are finishing an outstanding year on multiple fronts. Our students have earned achievements in math, science, language arts and writing, and their success outside of the classroom has been equally impressive. Three of our top administrators, including the superintendent, won awards for their leadership. And due to a budget surplus, we were able to invest an additional $500,000 in the continued maintenance of our schools.
Staples and Superintendent Searches
Westport is a very attractive district for education professionals, and we continue to hire the best people to work in and run our school system. The superintendent, who runs the process for and selects all principals, is seeking an interim principal for Staples for the next school year. The school administration can then take the time it needs to find the right permanent principal to lead our high school for many years.
The Board of Education hires one person: the superintendent. We have already begun speaking with firms to assist in the superintendent search. Early in the new school year, we will conduct outreach to the community to hear your ideas on the qualities you seek in the next superintendent. Your input will be important as we both recruit for and hire the next superintendent. We will continue to update you on our process and our progress.
The Year Ahead
The Board of Ed budget for next year passed without any cuts from our funders, allowing us to continue improving on our already-great school district. This means that we’ll have several new initiatives beginning in August, including an increase in the music program in Kindergarten, expansion of the professional development of our teachers and additional security personnel throughout the District. We also will have four exciting new courses at Staples, three of which are in science and computer science.
With change comes opportunity, and we are excited about all that lies ahead for the Westport schools. We wish everyone in the Westport community the best for a relaxing, rewarding summer.
Westport Board of Education
Michael Gordon, Chair
Jeannie Smith, Vice Chair
Elaine Whitney, Secretary
Thursday, June 11, 2015
A Warm Sendoff From the Boss
Colleagues, parents, and friends tonight honored retiring Staples High School Principal John Dodig (l) at a reception at the Westport Inn. Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon (r) presented him with an appreciation certificate, a gift, and serenaded him with a song to the tune of “Anything Goes.” Landon lauded Dodig as the “best principal I’ve ever had in my 38 years in education” and “the most compassionate person I’ve ever met.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon performs a musical tribute tonight to retiring Staples High School Principal John Dodig (l) at a reception at the Westport Inn. The song, to the tune of “Anything Goes,” was penned by Landon’s wife, Joyce, with Marge Cion, the schools’ human resources director, providing the keyboard accompaniment. Dodig is retiring June 30 after 11 years at Staples. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Toast and Roast for John Dodig
Scenes from tonight’s Westport Inn reception honoring retiring Staples High School Principal John Dodig. Included are slides from a presentation by Jim D’Amico, director, Secondary Education. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
YMCA Launches New Program for Eighth Graders
Believing that the “tween” years are pivotal in developing healthy and productive lifelong habits, the Westport Weston Family YMCA today announced an eighth grade membership program featuring $15 monthly membership fees.
The program, effective July 1, replaces the Y’s current seventh grade membership initiative. It is available to all rising local eighth graders in Westport and Weston schools, an announcement said. The eligibility period runs through June 30, 2016.
The YMCA being a cause-driven charitable organization, there is a requirement that all eighth grade members complete 10 hours of volunteer service over the course of the year, Y officials said.
Volunteer opportunities may include assistance in the Y’s Kids’ Club, clerical help, small maintenance projects like helping with the annual Camp Mahackeno cleanup, and meeting and greeting YMCA members in the Welcome Center.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Staples Tuition Grants Awards $320,000 to 113 Students
The Staples Tuition Grants Committee tonight awarded $320,000 in grants to 113 students, including eight new named awards. Retiring Staples Principal John Dodig presented the awards for the final time in his 11-year Staples career, including a newly named Dodig Award to Luis Cruz (above), who will attend Boston College. A Dodig tuition grant also went to Sophia Hampton, who will attend New York University. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Honoring a Staples Player
At the Staples Tuition Grants award ceremony tonight, Ann Sheffer, Staples class of 1966, presented the Doug Sheffer Memorial Award to Staples senior Jack Baylis, who will study musical theater at Point Park University, Pittsburgh. The award is named for the 1968 Staples graduate who died in January 2014 in a Colorado helicopter crash at age 63. Sheffer said her brother held a backstage role with Staples Players and the family requested that the recipient of the grant be one who had a similar role at Staples. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Bedford Middle Schoolers Win Prestigious Science Award
It happened last month, but the Westport schools just got around to announcing it today—that the Bedford Middle School Science Olympiad Team won the Lockheed Martin Spirit Award and a $2,000 check at the Science Olympiad National Tournament at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln on May 15. The award is bestowed on only one middle school and one high school team each year and is considered the most important award aside from the first place award. One of the nation’s most prestigious science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions, the Science Olympiad brings together 120 winning middle school and high school teams advancing from state-level competitions held this spring. Pictured are (l-r) Art Ellis, Sirina Prasad, Nishika Navrange, Asina Prasad, Genevieve Domenico, Zach Katz, Swami Parimal, Maria Maisonet, Angela Ji, Aniruddha Muralis, Charlie Kleeger, Derek Ye, Tyler Edwards, Alex Tsang, Jory Teltser, Ethan Chin, and teacher Rebecca Kaplan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, June 05, 2015
New Education Tug-of-War
Thursday, June 04, 2015
Graduation Day Laughs
Greens Farms Academy’s 90th Graduation
Scenes from today’s 90th graduation ceremony at Westport;s Greens Farms Academy. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 29, 2015
Retiring Staples High School Principal John Dodig was honored today in a Staples courtyard ceremony by students, parents, and friends. Dodig announced in December he will be retiring at the end of this school year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Added to Schools’ Permanent Art Collection
Westport artist Miggs Burroughs today displays a lenticular photograph of Staples High School Principal John Dodig at a retirement ceremony in the Staples courtyard. Commissioned by the PTA and Westport School Permanent Art Collection (WSPAC), one copy went to Dodig, the other will be made part of the WSPAC. Joining Burroughs in the presentation were (l-r) First Selectman Jim Marpe, Kathie Bennewitz, WSPAC curator, and Susan Rubin, PTA co-president. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Dodig Daily Meet and Greet Memorialized
Retiring Staples High School Principal John Dodig made it a habit during his 11-year tenure of greeting students daily at the school’s entrance. Today a lenticular photograph of him in action by Westport artist Miggs Burroughs was presented to him in a retirement ceremony in the Staples courtyard. A gift from the PTA and the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection (WSPAC), the photo will be added to the WSPAC in addition to the copy presented to Dodig. Photo by Miggs Burroughs