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Sunday, July 05, 2015



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Musical Tribute Image
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

Posted 07:35 PM
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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

Posted 07:30 PM
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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.

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Posted 12:09 PM
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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Staples Tuition Grants Awards $320,000 to 113 Students Image
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

Posted 07:11 PM
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Honoring a Staples Player Image
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

Posted 07:06 PM
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Bedford Middle Schoolers Win Prestigious Science Award Image
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

Posted 12:23 PM
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Friday, June 05, 2015

New Education Tug-of-War Image
The Saugatuck Elementary School annual Field Day today featured a new event—a faculty, staff, and administration tug-of-war. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 05:55 PM
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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Graduation Day Laughs Image
Remarks by a speaker at today’s Greens Farms Academy graduation brought laughter from some of the 78 graduates.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Posted 12:15 PM
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Greens Farms Academy’s 90th Graduation

Scenes from today’s 90th graduation ceremony at Westport;s Greens Farms Academy. Dave Matlow for

Posted 12:10 PM
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Friday, May 29, 2015

Dodig Honored Image
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

Posted 10:48 AM
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Added to Schools’ Permanent Art Collection Image
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

Posted 10:43 AM
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Dodig Daily Meet and Greet Memorialized Image
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

Posted 10:38 AM
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Staples Farewell

Scenes from today’s Staples High School retirement ceremony for Principal John Dodig. Dave Matlow for

Posted 10:33 AM
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Staples Principal Finalist Withdraws From Consideration Image
Shelly Somers (at Tuesday meeting): “I realized how important Central and Greenwich are to me.” Dave Matlow for

UPDATE Shelly Somers, the Greenwich middle school principal who as finalist for the Staples High School principal position met with Staples community members on Tuesday, today announced she is no longer a candidate and plans to remain in Greenwich.

Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon later confirmed Somers’s withdrawal, saying she called him Tuesday night to inform him but said she did not give a reason.

“After a long day yesterday at Staples High School, I have withdrawn my name for consideration for the principal position,” Somers said in an email to parents, which was first reported by “As I talked with the various groups of stakeholders in Westport, I realized how important Central and Greenwich are to me.

“I look forward to working to create a safe and challenging environment at Central Middle School that meets the needs of all of our students. I feel certain that in collaboration with you, my leadership team, and my teachers and staff, Central will continue to grow and to thrive.”

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Posted 10:25 AM
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s Meet the Parents for Staples Finalist

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE As Marjorie Almansi rushed toward the front door of Westport’s Staples High School today and the cafeteria where principal candidate Shelly Somers was about to be vetted by parents, she questioned the entire review process. Image
Shelly Somers: Staples principal finalist acknowledges 20 years ago “I made a mistake” involving a child left sleeping on a bus. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

“This is harsh,” she said. “I think it’s an impossible venue for any candidate to be interviewed by the public for a job when she’s not running for public office.”

Finalist Somers, principal of Greenwich’s Central Middle School, came prepared, explaining her past and bearing her soul for the penultimate judgment before the school board meets in executive session tonight to discuss her candidacy with a vote to come at a public meeting on Monday, June 1.

And she began by explaining what happened in March 1996 when she owned and operated Cornflakes Daycare Center in Granby. A child was left sleeping on the bus, while children attended a performance at the University of Hartford.

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Posted 12:12 PM
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