The Westport Woman’s Club today presented college scholarship grants to seven graduating Staples High School seniors. Pictured (l-r) Rebecca Lee (UMass), Nicole Arellano (Univ of Chicago), Case Videler (Univ of Delaware), Dylan Marone (Norwich Univ) and Hunter Duffy (Univ of New Haven.) Two recipients were absent: Jonathan Maisonet (Univ of New Haven) and Tyler Jatzeck (Univ of New Hampshire.) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Despite one member’s last-minute attempt to reduce the size of staff reductions, the Board of Education tonight unanimously approved a revised $116,173,800 budget for the 2018-19 school year.
Teachers Kelly Zatorsky, library media specialist at Bedford Middle School, and Rob Rogers, instructional technology teacher at Coleytown Middle School, watch the Board of Education approve reduction in instructional technology teaching positions across the district, which they spoke passionately against. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for WestportNow.com
Representing a 1.6-percent increase over the current budget, the approval followed a lengthy discussion over $972,000 in last-minute reductions and staff cuts proposed by Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer.
This figure, coupled with $1,078,000 expecting to come from the school’s bargaining units joining the state health plan, add up to the $2,050,000 cut made by the Board of Finance last month.
Noting that the district would be “spreading our resources a little more creatively,” Palmer put forward plans that includes cutting two instructional technology teaching positions across the district, one elementary teacher, one paraprofessional, and 0.5 FTE equivalent for a middle school literary coach, a math intervention teacher at Bedford Middle School, and a secretary, among other cuts.
The Staples Players production of “Twelve Angry Men,” opening on Thursday, explores what happens when 12 men and women from various backgrounds are summoned to court on a hot summer day to decide one man’s fate.
Tension fills the room as the jurors deliberate in “Twelve Angry Men.” Pictured (l-r) Sophia Sherman (SHS’ 18), Nick Rossi (SHS ‘19), Sam Gusick (SHS ‘19), Antonio Antonelli (SHS ‘19), Chad Celini (SHS ‘19), and Tucker Ewing (SHS’ 18). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kerry Long photo
During the heated deliberations of a homicide trial, the hidden preconceptions and assumptions of the jurors are revealed in the play originally written by Reginald Rose as a teleplay for CBS in 1954.
David Roth, Staples class of 1984, and Kerry Long, Staples class of 1987, will co-direct the show, which will run from Thursday to Sunday in Staples’ Black Box Theatre. Adding to the intensity of the drama, the play will be performed in the round.
“With racial profiling and challenges to justice ever present in the news today, this felt like the right time to bring back this show,” says Roth, who last directed the play in 2009.
With word of a high school shooting today in Illinois broken up by a school resource officer (SRO), the issue of adding SROs in Westport took on a new urgency, First Selectman Jim Marpe told the Board of Finance tonight.
After a meeting with Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer and Police Chief Foti Koskinas earlier in the day, Marpe said he will fast track a $320,000 appropriation request to add two SROs to the schools in the fall.
He said he would bring the funding request to the board in June and to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) in July.
In answer to a question, Marpe said he and school officials and police were working on a long-term plan for SROs and noted that he had heard requests from residents to eventually add up to eight SROs to cover every school.
The Westport Board of Finance tonight approved the additional expenditure of almost $300,000 for continued mold remediation at Coleytown Middle School (CMS).
The approval of $286,605.55 to be taken from the Board of Education Carryover Account is in addition to what Elio Longo, director of school business operations, estimated last August was $600,000 to $680,000 already spent on the issue.
“We believe at this time that we have addressed the identified mold concerns-issues at Coleytown Middle School,” Longo said. “What remains at this time are some water infiltration problems throughout the front entrance.”
He said 28 classrooms at CMS have been remediated along with two major hallways.
The Saugatuck Elementary School (SES) began its 13th annual walk-a-thon today, a week-long event involving about 500 students to raise money for Staples Tuition Grants in celebration of its 75th anniversary. A new scholarship, entitled the Saugatuck Elementary School Community Award, will go to a SES “graduate” who has given back to the shared community in a meaningful way. Today’s featured speaker was Officer Ned Batlin, Staples High School graduate and a Staples Tuition Grant recipient himself. Batlin is pictured with some of his recent D.A.R.E. graduates from SES’s fifth grade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo