Monday, January 05, 2015
Landon Proposes $113.29M Budget, Up 3.75%
Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon tonight presented to the Board of Education a $113,294,493 proposed budget for 2015-16, a 3.75 percent increase over this year’s operating budget.
Landon said essential drivers of the increase were recommended instructional plans and programs “and our facilities needs, consistent with board goals and the recommendations of NESC (Northeast Education Services Cooperative).”
The school board plans to spend all of Wednesday poring over the proposed budget, the first step in a lengthy process that will involve Board of Education and Board of Finance reviews and approvals, and finally a Representative Town Meeting vote in the spring
“I think is an excellent first step,” said Michael Gordon, board chairman, who called Landon’s budget “academically forward looking and responsible fiscally.”
Friday, December 12, 2014
Invitation to 75th Anniversary Concert
At the end of tonight’s 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples High School, a large banner was unveiled inviting all to return for next year’s 75th anniversary event. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Full House for 74th Candlelight Concert
A full house attended the Staples High School 74th annual Candlelight Concert tonight, a gift from the Staples Music Department to the Town of Westport. The concert featured musical selections performed by the Orphenians, led by Luke Rosenberg (above), choirs, symphonic orchestra and symphonic band. A large banner, which appeared at the end, announced that Staples will be celebrating its 75th Candlelight Concert next year with a special program. The Candlelight Concert will be presented again at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Season’s Greetings at Candlelight Concert
Continuing a Tradition
Candlelight Concert 74th Annual Edition
Scenes from tonight’s opening night of the 74th annual Candlelight Concert at Staples High School. Larry Untermeyer and Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Thursday, December 11, 2014
CT Mirror Special : Education, Diversity and Change in Fairfield County
Fairfield County, a region marked by sharp disparities in income and in urban and suburban life, faces particular challenges in assuring all its residents a quality education.
Today, a special CTMirror.org report, “Education, Diversity and Change in Fairfield County,” explores the issue through in-depth policy reporting, interactive maps and charts, photo galleries and opinion pieces written by teachers from the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University.
The project also features a new interactive tool to help readers offer their perspective.
Called The Public Eye, and developed in partnership with Hartford-based design firm CO:LAB, The Public Eye is a collection of highlights and commentary based on what CTMirror.org has published, as well as experiences and resources posted by the community. Readers are encouraged to post a story or comment.
Saturday, December 06, 2014
‘Anything Goes’ at Bedford Middle School
The Bedford Acting Group at Westport’s Bedford Middle School this weekend is presenting “Anything Goes,” the classic musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The show opened Friday night and continues today with performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door ($10 for students/$12 for adults, cash or check only). Chip Stephens for WestportNow.com
Monday, December 01, 2014
Flat Enrollment Projected Amid Multi-Family Housing Worries
A demographic specialist told the Westport Board of Education tonight to expect little change in school enrollment in the near future.
But First Selectman Jim Marpe and other elected officials said proposed multi-family housing in Westport could radically change the outlook in three to five years.
“The projection for the future is fairly flat,” said Donald G. Kennedy of Marlborough, Mass-based New England School Development Council (NESDC).
He said increases in grades 6 through 12 are offset by declines in elementary grades. At the same time, he noted a decline in births has been accompanied by a record number of “move-ins” in recent years.
Dodig to Retire as Staples Principal at End of School Year
UPDATE John Dodig, principal of Westport’s Staples High School since 2004, announced today he will retire at the end of the school year.
John Dodig:“All good things must come to an end.” Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“All good things must come to an end at some point in time,” Dodig, 70, said in an email to the school community. “That time now has come for me.”
Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon announced Dodig’s retirement at tonight’s Board of Education meeting. “I’m happy for John Dodig, but saddened for all of us,” he said.
“He’s had a monumentally positive impact upon students, parents, staff,” Landon said. Staples “is a much better place than it was before he arrived.”
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
‘Dodge-A-Cop’ Tourney Attracts 31 Teams
The Westport Youth Commission, Staples Teen Awareness Group (TAG), and the Westport Police-Youth Collaborative tonight held their annual “Dodge-A-Cop” Dodgeball Tournament to benefit Homes With Hope at the Staples fieldhouse. There were 31 teams of students (each with an officer from the Westport Police Department) that came out to the event. In addition to raising money for HWH, the event is an effort to bring police and youth together in a fun environment and help strengthen the relationship and communication between both groups. Pictured are members of the winning team, whose members include Rob Gordon, Connor Chamberlain, Michael Reale, Jared Vishno, Ben Schwaeber, amd Officer James Loomer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, November 21, 2014
Sunrise Rotary Honors Student of the Month
The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today honored Staples senior Ben Rogers as Student of the Month for his contributions to his school and his community. He is a math geek, an athlete, a tutor, and a member of the Staples League of Boys (SLOBs). He is also a trombonist, including in the pit for the current Staples Players production of “Hello, Dolly!” He and fellow members of Staples’ Tri-M Music Honor Society taught music in a Bridgeport elementary school. He plays baseball and also manages the basketball team. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Hal Levy for WestportNow.com
Monday, November 17, 2014
BOE Elects Michael Gordon New Chair
Michael Gordon: “We are lucky to be in Westport.” Contributed photo
The Westport Board of Education tonight elected Michael Gordon as its new chair.
He replaces Elaine Whitney, chairwoman for the past two years, who told the school board at its Nov. 10 meeting that she is stepping down to relaunch her career in healthcare strategy and policy. (See WestportNow Nov.11, 2014) She remains on the board and was elected secretary at tonight’s meeting.
Jeannie Smith, who joined the board in December 2012, was re-elected vice chair. She worked as a former public school teacher in Westchester County for 11 years.
Gordon, a public relations professional, was elected to the board in 2011. He previously served as secretary.
Stop & Shop Donates to Staples Tuition Grants
Stop & Shop has selected Staples Tuition Grants (STG), a scholarship program for Staples High School seniors and graduates still in college, as one of 100 charities nationwide to receive a check for $1,000 as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Each Stop & Shop store solicited suggestions from its employees, and Pat Mooney (c) suggested STG, which she said has helped her two daughters through college with scholarships. She is pictured with David Faccin (l), Westport store manager, and Rob Morrison, president of STG. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport