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Monday, May 04, 2015



Thursday, April 30, 2015

Westport Educators Honored Image
The Connecticut Parent Teacher Association tonight honored Westport Staples High School Principal John Dodig as High School Principal of the Year and Schools Superientendent Elliott Landon as the 2015 Outstanding Superintendent. The awards were given at the group’s annual awards banquet in Milford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Posted 09:04 PM
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Final Concert Image
Seniors at Westport’s Staples High School tonight played their final concert. It was the 11th and 12th grade spring concert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lawrence J. Zlatkin for

Posted 10:10 PM
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

GFA Honored as Sustainable School

The U.S. Department of Education has named Westport’s Greens Farms Academy (GFA) a national Green Ribbon School.

The announcement was made Wednesday, Earth Day by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The award, given annually by the U.S. Department of Education, acknowledges schools that are leading the way in sustainable practices.

The awarding committee looks for schools that are reducing their environmental impact and costs; improving the school’s health and wellness; and are providing an environmental education.

Among the many sustainable practices in place at GFA are composting in the cafeteria (which students then use in the school’s organic garden); using of solar panels; and hosting a variety of “eco events” both within the school and the community.

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Posted 04:09 PM
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Public School Kindergarten Registrations Under Way

The 2015-16 Westport public school kindergarten registrations are under way.

The district asked families moving to Westport for the new school year and parents of entering kindergartners to register their children at this time. 

“Please don’t wait until the last minute,” said Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. “Let us know now that you are here so we may plan for the optimal education for your youngsters.”

Those who are not sure of their district elementary school can find the information on the school district website, or they may call the superintendent’s office, 203-341-1026. 

Posted 10:37 AM
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Westport Student at MIT Wins $250,000 Fellowship

A Westport student at MIT, Alex Siegenfeld, was among 12 persons announced Tuesday as recipients of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship worth $250,000 from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. Image
Alex Siegenfeld: studying physics. Contributed photo

Each fellowship consists of up to five years of financial, mentoring and community support as well as research freedom at a participating U.S. graduate institution.

Siegenfeld attended the Pierrepont School in Westport where he finished second as a middle schooler in a statewide math competition. He then went on to the Hopkins School in New Haven where he won a gold medal in the International Chemistry Olympiad in Tokyo. (See WestportNow Aug. 2, 2010)

The announcement said at MIT he is “interested in combining chemical intuition with mathematical rigor to further the understanding of materials with exotic and useful properties.”

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Students Win Writing Awards Image
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. Image
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. Image
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.

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

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/

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

Posted 06:03 PM
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Friday, March 27, 2015

In Fashion Image
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) photo

Posted 08:33 PM
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Staples Fashionistas Image
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) 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. photos

Posted 08:20 PM
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