Friday, August 18, 2017
Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomaswww.ctmirror.org
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would reduce grants to school districts by 28 percent in October — if no state budget has been adopted — and would dramatically shift funding away from wealthy and middle-income communities and into poorer ones.
Absent a new two-year budget, the governor’s plan would eliminate Education Cost Sharing funding entirely for 85 school districts [Westport would be cut from $465,334 to zero] and reduce funding somewhat for another 54. Grants to the 30 lowest-performing school systems, also known as Alliance Districts, would remain unchanged.
The governor, who released an updated plan today for running state finances by executive order, also announced he is in the process of restoring $40 million out of $100 million in reductions made since July 1 to private, nonprofit social services.
Malloy affirmed an earlier warning that hundreds of millions of dollars in non-education grants won’t be released this fall unless the General Assembly adopts a new budget for this fiscal year and next.
Click HERE for more of story
Tuesday, August 01, 2017
UPDATE The state Department of Education today released statewide SAT scores and Westport’s Staples High School came in No. 5 behind Darien, Weston, New Canaan, and Wilton.
Just over 40,000 students took the SAT in the school year that just ended – a 96 percent participation rate among high school juniors.
The results showed Staples students scoring an average 616 out of 800 on the English Language Art portion and 609 on the math, both improvements over the previous year when the scores were 598 and 599 respectively.
The state said 92.4 percent of Staples students met or exceeded requirements in English and 78.3 in math to be college ready or start a career. These were also improvements over the previous year when the results were 90.8 and 75.5 respectively.
Monday, July 24, 2017
The Staples High School delegation is in Singapore for the Hwa Chong Asia-Pacific Young Leaders Summit. For the past five years, Westport has been invited to send three juniors who are both high performing students and interested in world affairs with a special interest in Asia. This year’s delegation includes (l-r) English teacher Sammy Ginzberg, students Jessica Xu, Marshall Heiser, and Jackson Delgado, and Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer. They will spend the next week meeting educators and student leaders from all over the world. Contributed photo
Thursday, June 22, 2017
By James Lomuscio
The two student speakers at Staples High School 130th commencement exercises today seemed polar opposites when discussing their academic experiences over the past four years. Yet upon closer examination, their themes could not have been more in sync.
Megan Patricia Hines was first to speak to the 428 graduating seniors in the Staples Field House before an estimated 4,000 parents, relatives and friends. The first class speaker in a Staples graduation ceremony, her slot was an honor innovation by first year Staples Principal James D’Amico.
Megan, who will be attending the University of Rhode Island in the fall, gave an upbeat and bubbly overview of Staples, despite putting all of her struggles on the table. Megan came right out saying that unlike others, she never took an AP or honors class.
She also spoke about the stress of trying to keep up with high academic expectations around her and the depression that followed during the spring of junior year.
Scenes from today’s Staples High School Class of 2017 graduation ceremony. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Scenes from tonight’s baccalaureate ceremony for the Staples High School Class of 2017, Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Former Staples High School Principal John Dodig had a role in the Class of 2017’s “Car Pool Karaoke” shown at the end of the baccalaureate ceremony tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Staples High School salutatorian Christopher Scherban told 2017 classmates tonight that on his move to Westport in the 10th grade he heard from other students of a Staples culture of competition. He said he soon adapted by being an “extremist competitor” but not in the usual way. He learned at Staples, competition does not fracture, “it is the very thing that draws us together,’ he said. “You learn to compete with yourself,” His advice to classmates: “Your time is running out. Stop wasting it fretting about brands and branding, cults and clothing, There is no room for half measures and nor will there ever be. Go out to your colleges and to your universities and live deliberately. Enjoy yourself. Most importantly, compete and live fully.” Christopher will attend Georgia Tech in the fall. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
It was a full house tonight at the Staples High School auditorium for the Class of 2017 baccalaureate ceremony. Graduation takes place at 2 p.m. Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Five eighth grade students at Bedford Middle School are returning to Westport today after four days in Washington, D.C., where they participated in the finals of the National History Day competition. They advanced to the finals after winning at the Fairfield County and state level. While they did not win at the nationals, they enjoyed a whirlwind experience in the nation’s capital representing Connecticut, including meetings with U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal. Pictured on a visit to the U.S. Senate are (l-r) Anna Hill, Daniel Rosenkranz, Preston Rainey, Konur Nordberg, and Justin Lessing. All are 14 except for Daniel, who is 13. For their entry, they created an exhibit titled “Claudette Colvin: The Forgotten Match that Sparked the Civil Rights Movement.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Monday, June 12, 2017
By James Lomuscio
After a five-month search, Westport’s Board of Education tonight hired a Maine schools superintendent to serve as principal of Long Lots Elementary School effective July.1.
Debra L. Dunn, schools superintendent of the York Public Schools, was hired by a vote of 6 to 0 with 1 abstention, as Michael Gordon, school board chairman, said he had not yet had the opportunity to interview her.
Dunn replaces Principal Jeffrey M. Golubchick, who had been placed on “paid administrative leave without prejudice” in February and whose contract expires June 30. Michael Cicchetti has since served as interim principal to finish out the school year.
“We feel the nominee we bring forward is the right person at the right time,” said Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer.
To the Editor:
Education and the pursuit of learning have been my lifelong profession. Last Friday night, at the Westport Pops Concert, I had an epiphany that dramatized and clarified our educational mission in Westport.
In its aftermath, I am still processing the profound impact that event had on me and on the entire audience. Beyond the exquisite music performed, the evening sent powerful messages to our students.
They were told that their music is cherished, their hard work to perfect their talent is honored, and with such distinguished guest host, James Naughton and Lincoln Center’s Andrew Wilk as their guest conductor, they were told that they could be anything they wished to be. This evening under the stars taught each one of them that the stars are reachable.
Too few students in public education are afforded such extraordinary pathways to success. To everyone who contributed to this extraordinary evening, I extend the gratitude of the Westport Board of Education and our entire district.
Westport Superintendent of Schools
Friday, June 09, 2017
A drone view of tonight’s Levitt Pavilion Staples High School pops concert (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Still frame from Brandon Malin video
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Greens Farms Academy graduating senior Miles Feuer of Westport celebrates today after receiving his diploma. GFA’s commencement ceremony featured 83 graduates from 15 communities in New York and Connecticut. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
The Westport Police Athletic League (PAL) today awarded its annual college scholarships to 18 Staples High School seniors in addition to the Ellis Family scholarships to three current college students at a ceremony at Westport Police Headquarters. Pictured (front row, l-r) James Farnen (Providence College), Chandler O’Reardon, Kellie Iannacone (Villanova), Samantha Little (McGill), Olivia Troy (UConn), Ned Batlin, PAL president; (second row) Matt Kashetta (James Madison), Ryan Caulfield (Pitt), Sarah Barnett (Dartmouth), Katherine Weinschenk (Virginia), Lydia Shaw (Yale), Thomas Moy (Washington University); (back row) Howie Friedman, chairman, PAL Scholarship Committee, Christian Franzese (Pitt), Brittany Kelly (Sacred Heart), Ashley Constantino (Bentley), Alex Pesantez (Syracuse), Kenny Brill (Elon), and Griffin O’Neill (Providence). Not pictured: Ellis Family Scholarship recipients Matthew and Alyson Librandi, and Luciano Athletic Scholars John Backus and Colleen Bannon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, June 04, 2017
Scenes from the Staples High School senior prom Saturday night at the Stamford Marriott. J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com
Saturday, June 03, 2017
A ribbon-cutting ceremony today marked the official opening of Meliora Education, a college admission preparatory tutoring service at 38 Post Road West . It is owned by Yearsley Winkler, a graduate of Staples High School, class of 2003, and Yale University, class of 2007, who earned an M.A at the University of Warwick (England) and is now pursuing his Ph.D. at Temple University. He also provides pro bono tutoring at magnet schools such as Bridgeport’s Aerospace/Hydrospace Engineering & Physical Sciences. Pictured are Matthew Mandell, executive director, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, First Selectman Jim Marpe, Winkler, and Jay Lipp, principal, Aerospace/Hydrospace Engineering & Physical Sciences. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 26, 2017
The Westport Woman’s Club (WWC) today awarded college tuition grants to 10 seniors among Staples High School Class of 2017 and to one Bridgeport-based adult. Recipients posed for a group photo with club officials and invited guests. According to Arlene Thrope, WWC Scholarship Committee chair the amount distributed today totals $27,500. Recipients included: Michaela Jampierre (University of Massachusetts), Mikayla Czizik (New York University), Elianne Shapiro (Princeton University), Griffin O’Neill (Providence College), Sarah Barnett (Dartmouth College), Sasha Arellano (University of Delaware), Grace Connell (Catholic University of America), Mangabu M. Kalala (Western Connecticut State University), Chandler O’Reardon (Bard College), and Katherine Weinschenk (University of Virginia). Absent: Kenneth Brill (Elon University) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The 11th annual Westport Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Wilbur Scholarship Fund grants were presented today to 10 recipients by Officer Brendan Fearon, PBA president, at police headquarters. The Wilbur Scholarship Fund grants program was founded in 2007 by Dennis and Joan Poster who were also the principal sponsors of this year’s awards. Bill Mitchell, a sponsor and long-time member of the Wilbur Scholarship board, also attended the event. Each recipient received a check in the amount of $3,500. Pictured are (l-r) Bill Mitchell, Logan Rice, 20, of Trumbull, Charlie Sampson, 18, of Derby, Officer Brendan Fearon, Mariah Ventrella, 19, of Norwalk, Dennis Poster, Christopher Wolf, 18, of Oxford and Joan Poster. Three recipients were unavailable to attend the event—Brittany Kelley of Shelton, Matthew Librandi of Stamford, and Amber Myer of Fairfield. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, May 22, 2017
Ethan Parker, 16, of Westport is off to Washington, D.C. this summer to work as a U.S. Senate page under the sponsorship of New York Sen. Charles Schumer, the Senate minority leader.
The Greens Farms Academy honor roll sophomore is one of 30 students from across the country who will serve the 100 senators.
His passion for politics goes back to elementary school when he closely followed the 2008 presidential election won by Barack Obama over John McCain.
“I was this 8-year-old kid watching the debates, speeches and party conventions,” Ethan said. “I even had a map that I updated daily, marked with red and blue states, electoral numbers and the candidates.”
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Julia Feldman, a junior at Staples High School, has earned the highest possible ACT composite score of 36 on her first try.
The ACT college readiness assessment is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions produced by ACT, a nonprofit of the same name.
On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn a top score.
“When I checked the scores and saw that I had gotten a 36 on the ACT, I was pretty surprised,” Julia said.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Dignitaries were aplenty today at the Saugatuck Congregational Church as Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe (r), Weston First Selectman Nina Daniel (c), and Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer addressed the Westport-Weston Y’s Men. During a break in the meeting, they took time to greet some of the students at the church’s nursery school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Westport Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer told parents today there is a renewed threat of a bus drivers strike on Thursday.
The district and drivers from Dattco Bus Company represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371, have been in negotiations since the current contract expired at midnight April 26. On May 3, drivers voted to authorize their leadership to call a strike if needed.
“Negotiations are continuing, but we have been advised by Dattco to prepare for a possible strike on Thursday morning this week if negotiations on Wednesday are not sufficiently productive.” Palmer said in an email to parents.
“With that in mind, I want to remind you that in the event of strike, our schools will be open.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Westport’s Bedford Middle School tonight presented “Art 2017: Celebrating a Year of Creativity.” Turning itself into the Bedford Museum of Fine Artists for the evening, the school offered up music, artwork, and food under the direction of art teachers Lynn Karmen, Cecily Anderson, and Mark DeRosa. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
The Saugatuck Elementary School today kicked off its week-long walkathon to raise money for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. The camp was founded in 1998 by Westporter Paul Newman with a mission ito “provide a different kind of healing to seriously ill children in the Northeast, free of charge.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Thursday, May 11, 2017
The World Affairs Council of Connecticut tonight awarded its Global Engagement Award to students from Staples High School for their Change for Syria community efforts to bring attention to the Syrian refugee crisis and to raise funds for displaced Syrians. On hand for the dinner presentation in Hartford were Contemporary World Studies teacher Catherine Shager and students Julia Ethier, Eli Debenham, Molly Liebergall, Michael Simons,Theo Koskoff, Emir Beg, and Sarah Maybruck. (Not pictured: Eden Schumer). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo