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Monday, October 09, 2017

National Merit Commended Honors Students Named

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It was announced today that 23 Staples High School students have earned Natiional Merit Commended Honors with 263 named as Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Commended Honors students include (l-r), back row) Creighton Kerr, Andrew Saunders, Daniel Kleine, Nicholas Attkiss,  and Henry Carter​; (second row from back) Julia Feldman, Lauren Thomson, Samuel Effman, Isabelle Grosgogeat, Seohyun Hong, Sarah Acselrod, and Jackson Delgado; (third row from back)  Lauren Schmidt, Malini Wimmer, Katherine Flug, Vanessa Wynter, and Jacqueline Rhoads; (front row) Angela Zhai, Luke Sauer, Sudhanshu Mathur, and Molly Mahoney. Missing from picture are Jared Edwards and Zoe Lieberman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


10/09/17 12:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Greens Farms Academy Names New Head of School

The Greens Farms Academy Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Bob Whelan as its next Head of School, effective July 1, 2018.

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Bob Whelan: Will succeed Janet Hartwell. Contributed photo

He will succeed Janet Hartwell, Head of School since 2003.

“From the moment I set foot on campus I was impressed by the energy, joy and incredible sense of community,” Whelan said in a statement.

“I was inspired by the faculty and staff, the core values and a school that puts students at the center where they’re known and engaged as true partners in their learning.”

More "Greens Farms Academy Names New Head of School"


10/04/17 05:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Kings Highway Students Mark Walk to School Day

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Kings Highway Elementary School (KHS) students today joined schools around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day. Organizers said the events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


10/04/17 08:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Walking to School

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Jamie Viesselman, Kings Highway Elementary School teacher, and First Selectman Jim Marpe led students on a walk to school today to mark International Walk to School Day.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


10/04/17 08:30 AM Comments () • Permalink

Everyone Gets a Certificate

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Jamie Viesselman, Kings Highway Elementary physical education teacher, today hands out certificates to students who participated in International Walk to School Day. The event began with students, parents teachers, and staff walking from the Westport Board of Education Technology Center on Riverside Avenue, arriving at the school before the start of classes. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


10/04/17 08:25 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Four Staples Students Are Merit Semifinalists

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Four members of the Staples Class of 2018 have qualified as National Merit Scholarship Corporation semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Pictured (l-r) Nicole Arellano, Jessica Xu, Marshall Heiser, and Leya Luo.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/27/17 11:37 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Innovation Fund an Educational First for Westport Schools

For the first time, the Westport Public Schools have established an Innovation Fund, with $50,000 available for students, faculty and staff, school officials announced today.

The money is earmarked “to energize projects that encourage new ways of thinking and doing that are not constrained and have promise of a positive impact,” the announcement said.

“Innovation and creativity are integral components of the core beliefs of the Westport Public Schools and our community at-large,” said Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer.

“Our goal is to inspire the imagination of our students, faculty, and staff to think out-of-the-box and pursue new ideas that make a difference in the lives of our students and our work. We are eager to foster this important work and learn from it.”

More "Innovation Fund an Educational First for Westport Schools"


09/12/17 02:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, September 11, 2017

Teacher of Year: Award Not About Her But People Who Helped Her

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Westport Teacher of the Year Courtney Ruggiero, Bedford Middle School social studies teacher, told the Board of Education tonight that her award “is not about what I have done, but the people who have helped me do it.” She added: “I work with the best teachers, and I am honored to represent them.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/11/17 09:42 PM Comments () • Permalink

Teacher of Year With Fellow Nominees

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Westport Teacher of the Year Courtney Ruggiero posed tonight with peer nominees at the Board of Education meeting where she was officially introduced. Pictured (l-r) Michael Gordon (BOE chairman), Peter Alfano (Coleytown El and Middle), Tanya Kaplan (Coleytown Middle), Allison Beggs (Coleytown Middle), Cecilie Schachte (Long Lots), Linda McClary (Staples), Heidi Howden (Staples), Lisa Weand (Bedford Middle), Courtney Ruggiero, Bedford Middle,Teacher of the Year, Emily Soler (Greens Farms), Nicole Moeller (Greens Farms), Eric Lawrence (Saugatuck), Karen DeFelice and John Horrigan (Westport Education Association co-presidents) and Superintendent Colleen Palmer. Absent from the ceremony: Lenny Klein (Staples) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


09/11/17 09:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Greens Farms Academy Students Return to Classes

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Greens Farms Academy opened its doors today for the school year. This marks the last “first day of school” for Head of School Janet Hartwell (r), who will retire in June. In her opening remarks to the student body, Hartwell announced that this year’s theme will be “empathy.”  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/06/17 10:34 AM Comments () • Permalink

Welcome Back

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Head of Lower School Aléwa Cooper today welcomes students back to classes at Greens Farms Academy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


09/06/17 10:29 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Home Safely After First Day of School

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Twins Ava and Ethan, 8, are welcomed home today to their Woodside Avenue home by mom, Tricia Lewis, after their first day in third grade class at Kings Highway Elementary School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 03:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: Westport Students Return to School

Scenes from today’s return to classes for the first day of school in Westport. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com and contributed photos


08/31/17 09:20 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Long Lots Principal Welcomes Students

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The new principal of Long Lots Elementary School, Debra Dunn, welcomes students today along with Peter Barcello (l) head custodian, and Ryan Butler, security manager. Dunn, formerly schools superintendent of the York, Maine public schools, had earlier served as an elementary school principal in Massachusetts. She replaces Jeffrey Golubchick, who was removed and placed on administrative leave in February while an interim principal finished out the school year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

New Coleytown Kindergartner

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Coleytown El Principal Jana Sirowich, starting her eighth year as principal and 10th year at Coleytown, today welcomes new kindergarten student Nevaeh Grant. Sirowich said there are 61 new kindergartners at Coleytown this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:41 AM Comments () • Permalink

A Greens Farms Warm Welcome

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Greens Farms Elementary School Principal Kevin Cazzetta welcomes students back to school today. He is starting his third year at Greens Farms where he was previously assistant principal for six years with two years in between as principal in Simsbury. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 08:35 AM Comments () • Permalink

Photo Souvenirs

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Parents snap pictures today at Keyeser Road and Imperial Avenue as youngsters board a bus for the first day of school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 07:45 AM Comments () • Permalink

Early Welcome From Senior Girls

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Staples High School senior girls were out early today to welcome fellow students on the first day of school. Pictured (l-r) Alexa Moro, Dara Kissel, Avery Mendillo, Meghan Johnson. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


08/31/17 07:10 AM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, August 28, 2017

Palmer: Enrollment Down Slightly, Preschool to Open at Staples in January

Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said tonight Westport schools will open Thursday with slightly fewer students than last year. 

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Colleen Palmer: “Active, vibrant preschool” set. Dave Matlow / WN file photo

She also announced the January opening of the Little Wrecker Preschool at Staples High School as well as the selection of the 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Addressing the year’s first Board of Education meeting, Palmer said kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment stands at 5,528, down 32 students from last fall as expected by demographic projections.

She also broke news that the Little Wreckers Preschool will open at Staples in January. It will be open daily from 7 a.m. “until the last teacher meeting in the afternoon,” Palmer said.

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08/28/17 11:10 PM Comments () • Permalink

BOE Gives Back Unspent $390K to Town

By James Lomuscio

In its first meeting of the 2017-18 academic year, Westport’s Board of Education tonight voted 5 to 1 to give back $390,000 of its unspent funds to the town and to put $327,075 of its unused money into its carryover account.

The return was requested by Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer as “an act of good faith” to the town. She said it would help to build a strong partnership with the town, which had shown the school system support by providing the money at the end of the school year.

Her request was met with some resistance.

“I think we should put it all in the carryover account,” said Mark Mathias, calling the account “a mitigating tool for uncertainty,

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08/28/17 10:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Bedford Middle School Teacher Named 2018 Teacher of Year

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Courtney Ruggiero, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Bedford Middle School, is Westport’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. Her selection was made public at a staff convocation earlier today and was announced tonight by Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer at a Board of Education meeting. Ruggiero, 32, has taught at Bedford since 2009. A 2003 graduate of Bates College, she earned a Master’s at Brown University and a sixth year degree at Sacred Heart University. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo


08/28/17 10:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, August 18, 2017

Malloy Would Reduce, Dramatically Redistribute School Aid in October

Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas


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


08/18/17 06:53 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Staples Scores No. 5 in Newly Released SAT Scores

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.

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08/01/17 07:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, July 24, 2017

Staples Delegation in Singapore for Young Leaders Summit

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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


07/24/17 09:51 AM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Students Tell Staples Grads ‘Be Yourself,’ ‘Help Each Other’

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.

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Staples valedictorian Emily Hope Schussheim talked of her love of elephants. She will attend Yale in the fall.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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. 

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06/22/17 04:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Gallery: Staples High School Class of 2017 Graduation

Scenes from today’s Staples High School Class of 2017 graduation ceremony. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/22/17 04:37 PM Comments () • Permalink

Leading the Procession

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Staples High School Music Director Nick Mariconda carried the scepter at today’s Staples graduation ceremony as the senior faculty member.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/22/17 03:55 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gallery: Baccalaureate Ceremony for Staples Class of 2017

Scenes from tonight’s baccalaureate ceremony for the Staples High School Class of 2017, Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com


06/21/17 10:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Cameo Appearance

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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


06/21/17 09:33 PM Comments () • Permalink

Salutatorian: ‘Compete and Live Fully’

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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


06/21/17 09:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

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