Friday, March 31, 2023



Bedford Science Whizzes Image
The Bedford Middle School science olympiads team competed this weekend at the 2019 National Science Olympiad Tournament at Cornell University. The team placed 21st in the country overall. In individual events, it received two medals —  Boomilever, second place, Anja Gubitz and Benji Porosoff, and Dynamic Planet, fifth place, Mili Green and Tegh Singh. Team coaches are Art Ellis and Dan Cortright. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

House Unanimously Passes Bill on Bullying and School Climate

By Kathleen Megan

The House of Representatives has bickered for long hours this week on topics ranging from climate change to banning single-use plastic straws, but tonight they came together swiftly and unanimously for a bill that would help prevent bullying in schools.

The “Act Concerning School Climates” would establish a school climate collaborative to ensure that local districts have access to best practices in social-emotional learning. The bill also modifies the definition of bullying to include acts that are pervasive and persistent, as well as single acts that are severe.

Although the vote was unanimous, discussion of the bill was at times emotional.

When Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford raised concerns about “differentiating between behavior that should be reprimanded because a child might have acted up in a classroom … versus repetitious behavior that rises to a higher level,” Rep. Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire, a key proponent of the bill, offered her own personal experience.

Coley and Bedford Combined Into One, at Least for Next Year

By Jarret Liotta

In answer to class size balance and resource issues, students from Coleytown Middle School (CMS) and Bedford Middle School (BMS) will not be kept in separate teams next year when they are all attending the townwide 6-8 school at BMS. Image
New Interim Superintendent of Schools David Abbey (r) took his seat Monday night at his first Westport Board of Education meeting as schools’ head. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for

On Monday night Adam Rosen, BMS principal, explained to the Board of Education the reasons for combining the population of close to 1,300 students by grade level as part of his presentation on planning.

“We need to remove the internal division,” he said, citing the implementation of equitable class sizes, particularly where core classes were concerned.

“It’s always been my understanding that the two schools would be merged … because it’s very inefficient to run the two different schools,” BOE member Candice Savin said.

Silver Lining for Staples Assistant Principal Image
A group of nine Staples High School seniors wrapped their Assistant Principal James Farnen’s office in tinfoil as a senior prank. according to Inklings, the school newspaper. The seniors worked for two hours on the project on Thursday, individually wrapping every object, including pens, books and wires, in the office in tinfoil. Students were inspired by a similar prank done by seniors in 2009. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Audrey Bernstein ‘20 for

Four Westporters Among $2,500 Merit Scholarship Winners

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced today that four Westport residents, including three Staples High School students, are among this year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners.

The Staples students include two twin sisters who are the school’s 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian — Sirina V. Prasad and Anisa V. Prasad. The other Staples winner is Genevieve L. Domenico.

Also a winner is Catherine Lasersohn who attends the Hopkins School in New Haven. The Prasads said their probable career choice was undecided while Domenico listed corporate finance and Lasersohn said electrical engineering.

The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, an announcement said.

RTM Approves $118.25 Million School Budget

Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously approved a $118,250,464 Board of Education operating budget for 2019-20, a 1.79% increase over the current academic year.

That amount, plus aid to private and parochial schools and debt service brings next year’s the total education budget to $128,341,889.

The school budget coupled with the municipal budget approved Monday, makes the Westport’s total 2019-20 budget $210,812,563, which the RTM unanimously approved.

Prior to the vote on the operating budget, Board of Education Chairman Mark Mathias said the district was able to reduce the percentage increase from last year’s 3.26% increase by several key factors.

Interim Superintendent Named

By Jarret Liotta

UPDATE In a unanimous vote, the Board of Education (BOE), tonight named David E. Abbey, a one-time Westport administrator, interim superintendent of schools. Image
David Abbey: a return to Westport. Jarret Liotta for

“He’s well-aware of what’s going on here,” Chairman Mark Mathias joked, noting it was nice to have him returning to town.

Abbey, 70, of Fairfield, replaces Acting Superintendent Anthony Buono who took over following the departure of Colleen Palmer whose leave was announced April 8 for medical reasons after serving since July 1, 2016.

Abbey was coordinator of the Westport Regional Center and Department of Special Education at Staples High School from 1981 to 1987.