Monday, March 20, 2023



History Trail Leads to Washington, D.C. Image
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

Board Picks Maine Superintendent to Head Long Lots Elementary

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. Image
Debra Dunn: from superintendent to principal. Contributed photo

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.

Letter: Thanks From the Superintendent

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. 

Colleen Palmer
Westport Superintendent of Schools

PAL Awards Scholarships Image
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

Comings & Goings: Meliora Education Opens Image
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

Woman’s Club Awards Scholarships Image
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