November 18, 2017

Last Night to See Disturbing Story of ‘Radium Girls’ at LOL High School

Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Fall Play this year is Radium Girls by DW Gregory, a play based on the true story of women, who were factory workers and contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with self-luminous paint.

In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease.

Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court.  As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire.

Performances will be for two nights only, Friday, Nov. 17, and Saturday, Nov.18.   Showtimes are at 7 p.m. and admission is $8 for students, $12 for adults.

For more information, call 860.434.1651.

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Host Rousing Veteran’s Day Assembly, Filled With Emotion

Last Friday, when many public schools gave students a vacation day in honor of Veterans Day, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools took a different approach. With students attending school for a full day, LOL Schools chose to honor veterans in their community in a highly respectful and meaningful morning of ceremonies that begin in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School with a hearty breakfast.  After a ceremony there, the veterans moved to the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) where, after a short reception, they were ushered into the school’s auditorium.

After a welcome by Assistant Principal Jeanne Manfredi, colors were presented and then Emma Sked led the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for a moment of silence in honor of all the nation’s veterans.

Senior Emily Rivera (pictured above) gave opening remarks in which she spoke fondly of her life as the child of military parents and how her dream now is to pursue a career in the US Air Force.

Lyme-Old Lyme Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #1467 Commander Larry Olsen (right in photo above) was the first guest speaker. He described the origin of Veterans Day and spoke of his deep pride in the strength and integrity of the American military.  Olsen went on to present LOLHS student Alex Williams (left in photo above) with the Voice of Democracy Essay Award and Williams then read an excerpt from his essay.

The screening of a poignant video titled, “A Soldier’s Story,” featuring Old Lyme resident James Keenan followed. A deep hush fell over the auditorium as Keenan described his experience in World War II’s European area of operations in which he initially fought and was then captured, held under horrific conditions in a prison camp, transported in a truck packed with other prisoners almost to the point of suffocation for three long days and nights, before ultimately being liberated by the Allies.

After Brynn McGlinchey and Bella Hine had read the names of the fallen from Lyme and Old Lyme in all wars from World War I onwards, the band changed the somber tone of the proceedings when they struck up the Armed Forces Salute.  Members of each branch of the military stood when their respective part of the Salute was played.

At the end of the music, Caroline LeCour proudly stepped forward to introduce her grandfather, Morris LeCour (pictured below), who offered his own remembrances of his military service.

Following  a spirited rendition of ‘America The Beautiful’ by the combined LOLHS chorus and band, all the individual veterans present were acknowledged one by one.

The colors were retrieved and as the color guard climbed the auditorium stairs, physics teacher and US Navy veteran Glenn Elliott (pictured above) proudly saluted.

After the ceremony, Manfredi (left in photo above) took the opportunity to chat with Emily Rivera (right) and her parents, while each veteran filed out and was presented with a gift bag as a remembrance of the day.

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Old Lyme Soccer Girls Storm Into State Semis, Face St.Paul Tonight

Saving a goal! File photo of Wildcat Emily Rivera.

After the major disappointment of their loss in the Shoreline Conference final, Paul Gleason’s Wildcats are bouncing back in a big way.  Yesterday they advanced to the semi-final of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Class S state tournament by crushing Coventry 2-1.  Significantly, the “crushing” was not in the scoreline but rather in the fact that Old Lyme had scored both of its two goals within the first four minutes.

Goal! File photo by Jennifer Alexander.

Maddie Ouellette was first to score for Old Lyme with an assist from Danielle McCarthy. The team’s leading scorer Mya Johnson was the second to score unassisted. Coventry’s lone goal was scored by Alexa Stinson after 15 minutes.

In goal for Old Lyme was Emily Rivera with three saves while Grace Galey made 10 saves for Coventry.

Old Lyme advances to the semi finals on Tuesday against St. Paul with a 6:30 p.m. kick-off at Falcon Field in Meriden.

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Country School Runners Enjoy Record-Breaking Season

From left to right are Kayla Uzwiak, 8th Grader from Killingworth; Ryan Wei, 8th Grader from East Lyme; and Conor Selfor, 8th Grader from Old Saybrook.

MADISON — While local public high school cross country teams have been building toward their championship races, The Country School’s cross country team has been quietly compiling a season record for the girls of 33 wins and only one loss and 35 wins and four losses for the boys. This is the best record for cross country at the PreSchool-8th Grade Madison independent school since it began offering the sport 20 years ago.

The team competes this Saturday in the Connecticut Middle School State Championships at Wickham Park in East Hartford. Many student-athletes are also looking forward to the Junior Olympics cross country state championship, set to take place on November 12. In years past, dozens of Country School athletes have gone on to qualify for Regional Junior Olympics Championships, with several going on to Nationals, including one, Robbie Cozean of Madison, now a sophomore at Xavier High School, who earned All America status three times and finished 2nd in the United States.

The Country School serves 214 students between the ages of 3 and 14, and with only eight boys and seven girls running cross country, its Middle School teams are typically the smallest teams competing in any race. Head of School John Fixx attributes the success of their athletes to many factors, among them, dedication. The team holds optional practices two or more times a week throughout the year during the off-season, including the summer, while practicing five and even six days a week during the fall cross country season. Inevitably, the entire team shows up, with younger running enthusiasts, and even some parents, opting to join in.

Seen here in action are, from left to right, Christopher Yuh, Madison; Gabriel Goodwin, Old Lyme; Liam Boone, Clinton, and Sam Duffy, Madison.

Another factor is school culture. At The Country School, running is regarded as an activity that is fun, inclusive, and open to all ages. The program begins as early as Kindergarten, when interested runners join a group known as the Flying Owlets, a nod to the school’s mascot, an owl. More than 35 students participate in Flying Owlets, with practices taking place a few times a week. They also have opportunities to compete in road races, Junior Olympics, and other venues. As older students and younger students train alongside each other, more seasoned runners are able to model teamwork and persistence for younger runners. It is not unusual to have a 6-year-old 1st Grader running alongside and listening to a 13-year-old 8th Grader talk about the effort it takes to run repeat 200s or a “ladder” workout on the track.

With a history of strong cross country and excellent academics, the school also has the advantage of attracting strong students who are also strong runners. This year, for example, Conor and Margaux Selfors joined the school, entering 8th and 7th Grades respectively. The siblings, from Old Saybrook, have placed at or near the top in multiple races this fall, adding depth and leadership to the team.

The talent on the team is also homegrown. Eighth Grade co-captain Ryan Wei from East Lyme, a top place finisher in several races this year, has attended The Country School for several years, rising up through the running ladder, and Robbie Cozean, the school’s most successful runner ever, began in PreKindergarten. In addition to his successes at The Country School and at Junior Olympics National, Robbie was named All-Courant Cross Country Runner of the Year as a freshman at Xavier.

In addition to Robbie at Xavier, several Country School runners have gone on to compete at the high school level, making their mark at Choate Rosemary Hall, Pomfret, Westminster, Guilford High School, Daniel Hand, Hamden Hall, St. Paul’s, Cheshire Academy, and Avon Old Farms.

Training so many runners, and working with such a wide age span of athletes, requires many coaches, and The Country School is fortunate to have a team of experienced runners and educators leading the effort. In addition to Head of School Fixx, a former cross country and track captain of Greenwich High School and Wesleyan University who founded the Country School cross country team with Jordan Katz, a former student, 20 years ago, the team benefits from the likes of Laura Morrison. A recent and very fast graduate of SUNY Fredonia who now runs for Southern Connecticut State University, where she is attending graduate school during the evenings, Laura oversees The Country School’s after-school program and also coordinating TEDxTheCountrySchool. Spanish teacher Blair Balchunas, a frequent road racer and half marathoner, is another inspiring member of the coaching staff. Organizational genius and great rapport with runners all ages comes from Beth Coyne, Country School Dean of Student Life and Secondary School Counselor.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is an independent, coeducational day school serving students from across the Shoreline. In addition to a rigorous academic program that seeks to educate the whole child through active, hands-on learning, The Country School is committed to vital offerings in the arts and athletics. Athletic contests are played on the school’s new, state-of-the-art outdoor complex, featuring two full-sized athletic fields, four tennis courts, a basketball court, and the cross country course through the woods that flank the 23-acre campus. The campus is a frequent host for athletic events, including a recent nine-school cross country meet. Although the student body is small in number, The Country School has a long tradition of athletic and academic excellence. This year alone, more than 20 Country School alumni are competing on teams at colleges across the country, including Amherst, Bates, Bryant, College of Charleston, Columbia, Dickinson, Fairfield, Hamilton, Harvard, Kenyon, Middlebury, Northeastern, Northwestern, Princeton, St. Lawrence, Union, the University of Rhode Island, and Villanova. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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See ‘Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age,’ Tonight; All Welcome to This Free Event

The Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) is hosting a free screening of the film Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age on Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme High School Auditorium.

Screenagers is the first feature documentary to explore the impact of screen technology on kids and to offer parents proven solutions that work.  This is the parenting issue of our time, and LYSB hopes this film will begin to foster community-wide and family conversations.

Teens and kids are spending more time on their phones than ever before.  Kids spend on average 6.5 hours a day on screens and that doesn’t include classroom or homework screen time. Boys spend on average the equivalent of 1.5 days on video games every week.  Some recent studies show us that screen time increases dopamine production and causes behavior that mimics addiction.

Physician and filmmaker, Delaney Ruston decided to make Screenagers when she found herself constantly struggling with her two kids about screen time. Ruston felt guilty and confused, not sure what limits were best, especially around mobile phones, social media, gaming, and how to monitor online homework. Hearing repeatedly how other parents were equally overwhelmed, she realized this is one of the biggest, unexplored parenting issues of our time.

Director Ruston turned the camera on her own family and others—revealing stories that depict messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.  In this 60-minute documentary, she probes into teens and their digital lives, exploring her own family as well. The film reveals how tech time impacts the development of kids, and offers solutions on how they can better navigate their cyber world.

Interwoven into compelling stories, are cutting edge science and insights from thought leaders such as Peggy Orenstein, Sherry Turkle, Simon Sinek, as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on real changes happening in the brain. Screenagers goes far beyond exposing the risks of screen time, but reveals multiple approaches on how parents and educators can work with kids to help them achieve a healthy amount of screen time.

The screening is sponsored by the LYSB, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, and made possible by a grant from the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation.  The 60-minute documentary and subsequent discussion will explore social media, video gaming, use of screens in academics, and Internet addiction. The film will also explore ways parents can intervene and educate in a way that empowers their teens. The film is not available for streaming, renting, or purchasing, and can only be seen at a community screening.

The screening on Nov. 6 in Old Lyme is free and open to the public, and is suitable for all audiences ages 10 and up.  The film will be shown to all Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School students during the school day.

For more information, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or www.lysb.org  or www.screenagersmovie.com

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Wildcats Soccer Girls End Regular Season With Perfect Record, First in School History

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach Paul Gleason has much celebrate with one of his assistant coaches (and daughter) Allyson Gleason after his team ended the regular season with a perfect record

The Old Lyme soccer girls wrapped up the first perfect season in the school’s history yesterday with a convincing 4-0 victory over Valley Regional at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Maddie Zrenda was first to score with an assist from Mya Johnson, who scored the second goal with an assist from Danielle McCarthy.

The third goal was scored by Danielle McCarthy with assist from Britney DeRoehn and the final goal was put in the net by Kaylee Armenia with assist from Bianca Tinnerello.

Emily Rivera with in the Old Lyme goal and made two saves whileLexi Dellarocco defended Valley’s net making 12 saves.

Paul Gleason’s girls finished their regular season with a 16-0-0 record and 10-0-0 in the Shoreline Conference.

Old Lyme will host the Shoreline semi finals Tuesday against the winner of the Cromwell/East Hampton game.

GO WILDCATS!

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The Country School Hosts Open House Today

The Country School is holding an Open House Sunday, Oct. 28, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. This event offers the opportunity to meet engaged students and teachers, and hear about the rigorous academic program at the school with its commitment to honoring the creativity and exuberance of childhood.

Learn about the school’s signature programs – STEAM, Elmore Leadership, Outdoor Education, and Public Speaking – and its extensive offerings in the arts and athletics. Tour the recently renovated 23-acre campus, with its new outdoor athletic complex. Hear where alumni have continued their education at top high schools and colleges across the country and how they have thrived at these institutions.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8.

To learn more and register for Sunday’s Open House, visit this link.

For information about the $10,000 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship opportunity for students entering Grades 4-8, visit http://www.thecountryschool.org/scholarship.

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Artful Living Invites Students to Submit Original Short Plays for Possible Production at ‘The Kate,’ Scholarship Award

AREAWIDE — Artful Living, Killingworth’s multi-generational community theatre, is seeking original scripts of short plays from Connecticut high school students.  This new program, Playwrights For Tomorrow, offers students the opportunity to win a scholarship and have their play produced on stage at Old Saybrook’s Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) on April 29, 2018.

Plays will be reviewed by a panel of theatre professionals. Selected playwrights will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with directors and other theatre artists in the staging of their plays.  Submission Deadline is Jan. 8, 2018.

For full details and an application form, visit www.ArtfulLivingCT.com

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School Hosts Open House for Prospective Students Today

Lyme-Old Lyme High School hosts an Open House for prospective students on Oct. 20th

School offers tuition options for students not resident in Lyme or Old Lyme

On Friday, Oct. 20, Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) welcomes prospective students who do not currently attend a Lyme-Old Lyme School and/or their parents to visit the high school during its Fall Open House for Prospective Students.  In order to offer a customized experience for each prospective student and/or their parents, interviews are being offered throughout the day to accommodate varying schedules.

Each meeting with a school counselor will be preceded by a student-led tour of the high school. This format is intended to allow all attendees an opportunity to gain a general overview of the school and interact with current students, as well as to obtain answers to individual questions and information on curriculum, student opportunities and more.

In terms of the type of students and/or families the District is aiming to attract, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explains, “This event is offered for students in a variety of situations such as students whose families are looking to move to the area, students who reside here but attend private, parochial, or magnet schools, and tuition-paying students who live in other towns.”

In April 2016, LOLHS was named the eighth best public high school in Connecticut by US News & World Report in their listing of Best High Schools. Moreover, LOLHS was ranked nationally at #429 and consequently, as one of the top 500 schools in the country, was awarded US News & World Report’s highest honor of a gold medal. Within the state, LOLHS had the highest ranking of any school in New London County and came in ahead of Simsbury, Greenwich and Darien High Schools.

Year after year, LOLHS graduates are accepted into a wide range of diverse and highly selective schools across the US and in some cases, internationally. The Lyme-Old Lyme School system has become a pipeline to the Ivy League schools and the “Little-Ivies” including such schools as Duke, MIT and Stanford.

Facilities at the high school are exceptional with state-of-the-art technology implemented throughout the building thanks to a $49 million renovation project completed in 2014. The math, science, language, and technology and engineering areas along with the art, music, drama and athletic facilities are now of a quality and sophistication that resembles a college environment, rather than a high school.

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 483 students across Grades 9 through 12 and the average class size is between 15 and 18. The school offers a full spectrum of core subjects taught in-house, including 17 Advanced Placement subjects, and also an extensive range of online classes taken through the Virtual High School program. Students also have the option to pursue the acclaimed Techno-Ticks robotics program along with more than 35 other extra-curricular clubs.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School enjoys exceptionally strong music, drama and art programs, which have been recognized with numerous awards both at the state level and nationally. The school’s athletic program has similarly received innumerable honors over the years and is proud to have several past, present and future Olympians among its alumni.

If you would like to attend this informative event, call Glynis Houde at 860-434-2255 to schedule your appointment. For further information, contact Tracy Lenz, LOLHS Director of Guidance, at 860-434-2255 or lenzt@region18.org or James Wygonik, LOLHS Principal, at 860-434-1651 or wygonikj@region18.org.

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Community Music School Announces Caroline Wholean as one of Greenleaf Award Winners

Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Caroline Wholean.

AREAWIDE — The selection committee for the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund of Community Music School has chosen two local music students as the recipients of the Fall 2017 Carolyn R. Greenleaf Music Award: pianist Caroline Wholean and violinist Schuyler Dragoo.  This award is given each semester to two high school students who have demonstrated exceptional musical ability and motivation, and awards a semester of private lessons at Community Music School in Centerbrook.

Caroline Wholean is a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Her rigorous academic schedule is supplemented with rowing for the crew team, competing on the math team and playing clarinet in the high school band and wind ensemble. A student of Community Music School for 12 years, she has taken violin and piano lessons and is a member of the String Ensemble. She was recently awarded the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Excellence in Citizenship Award. Caroline plans to continue her music education in college next year.

Schuyler Dragoo is both a violinist and a vocalist who will be entering her sophomore year at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Schuyler has been studying violin for eleven years with Irene Rissi in Waterford. She has participated in the CT Southern Region Orchestra for the past four years, and has attended Point CounterPoint, a chamber music camp in Vermont, for the past five years. Schuyler will be singing with the select choir in school this coming year, and is looking forward to using this scholarship to further her vocal technique and abilities at the Community Music School.

The Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in 2008 by her friends to honor Greenleaf’s dedication to music and education. The Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award is open to students of Middlesex County and the Lymes and is awarded twice a year, based entirely on merit.

Editor’s Notes: i) Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.

ii) Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Working with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments since 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 850 grants totaling more than $2.5 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities,  environmental improvements, and for health and human services. 

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In Tight Contest, Old Lyme Swim Team Ultimately Falls to H-K

On Sept. 28 at Haddam-Killingworth, the co-op swim team of Lyme-Old Lyme and Valley competed against Haddam-Killingworth. Despite a strong performance by Old Lyme-Valley, Haddam-Killingworth won the meet in the end with a score of 76 to 61.

Lyme-Old Lyme placed first in the following races:
-medley relay (Kim Beradis, Kaeleigh O’Donnell, Lily Cox, and Connie Pan)
-200 yard freestyle (Lily Cox)
-200 yard individual medley (Kaeleigh O’Donnell)
-100 yard freestyle (Connie Pan)
-500 yard freestyle (Lily Cox)
-200 yard freestyle relay (Kim Beradis, Kaeleigh O’Donnell, Lily Cox, and Connie Pan)
-100 yard backstroke (Kim Beradis)
-100 yard breaststroke (Kaeleigh O’Donnell)

Haddam-Killingworth came first in the 50 yard freestyle (Kiera Bragdon).

Lyme-Old Lyme notched second in the 50 yard freestyle (Connie Pan).

Lyme-Old Lyme divers Anna Donato and Britney Detuzzi earned Honorable Mentions in the 50 yard freestyle coming in respectively 5th and 6th.

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Musical Masterworks, Community Music School Announce Scholarship Recipient from Old Lyme

From left to right, Alden Murphy and Abigail Nickell stand with Musical Masterworks scholarship winner Giovanna Parnoff at the piano.

Musical Masterworks and Community Music School are pleased to announce the recipient of the first Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas.

Giovanna Parnoff, already an accomplished pianist and exceptional sixth grade student from Old Lyme, was presented with the scholarship by Alden Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks and Abigail Nickell, Executive Director of Community Music School.

“We are so pleased to honor Nancy’s memory with an award to one of her very own students, in partnership with another of her most beloved arts organizations.’ said Nickell.  Nancy Thomas was a devoted staff member of Musical Masterworks for nearly 25 years.   “It is particularly fortuitous that Giovanna, as a life-long student of Nancy Thomas, is the first winner of this scholarship; we couldn’t be more pleased,” added Murphy.

Giovanna has attended The Community Music School since she was six months old. She discovered her love of music through Kindermusik and Kate’s Camp programs and eventually started individual piano instruction under the tutelage of Nancy Thomas at the age of 3.

She has received perfect scores at the New London Piano Festival organized by the Middlesex/New London Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teacher’s Association. Giovanna is a member of Mensa and Intertel, two high IQ societies and was recently inducted into the Junior Mensa Honor Society for her academic performance, leadership skills and volunteerism/community service.

Giovanna has been accepted into Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, Stanford University’s Gifted and Talented Program, and Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. She is a competitive foil fencer, and has been coached for six years by the Fencer’s School of CT.

Giovanna is an award-winning poet, having seen her work published in “The Mensa Bulletin” and “The Young American Poetry Digest.” She lives in Old Lyme with her parents, Dr. John Parnoff and Ms. Monique Heller, and her younger sister, Mattea, who is also a piano student at The Community Music School.

The Musical Masterworks Scholarship in Honor of Nancy D. Thomas provides the tuition for a middle school student to take music lessons, 30 minutes each, for one full year at Community Music School.  The scholarship will be awarded annually for the next four years.  To be eligible, the candidate must be a student of classical voice or instrumental music and reside in Middlesex County or New London County.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call 860.767.0026.

Musical Masterworks brings to Southern New England world-class chamber music performances and outreach programs which attract, entertain, and educate a diverse audience. Now planning its 27th season, Musical Masterworks offers five weekends of performances from October through May in Old Lyme.  Learn more by visiting www.musicalmasterworks.org or by calling 860.434.2252.

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Old Lyme Girls Crush East Lyme 3-0, First Win in Wildcat History Over Vikings

Senior Captain Keelin Hurtt races towards the goal in Saturday’s game against East Lyme.

In their first game of the season, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School varsity soccer girls defeated East Lyme 3-0 at East Lyme High School for the first time in school history. The Wildcats are coached by Paul Gleason with Assistant Coaches Allyson Gleason and Jeremy Kiefer.

The Wildcats gather in their famous huddle before the game begins.

Senior captain Keelin Hurtt scored two goals assisted respectively by Mya Johnson and Kaylee Armenia. The ‘Cats third goal was unassisted by senior captain Maddie Ouellette.

Emily Rivera was in goal for Old Lyme where she made 13 saves.

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Cournoyer Named LOL Schools 2016-17 ‘Teacher of the Year’

On an unseasonably cold day, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools sailed smoothly into the 2017-18 academic year today with both a new principal and assistant principal — Mark Ambruso and Noah Ventola respectively — in charge at LOL Middle School.

The middle school is also home to the LOL Schools ‘Teacher of the Year’ Patricia Cournoyer, who was “crowned” yesterday at the All-School Administration, Faculty, and Staff Convocation. A popular choice, Cournoyer has been the physical education and health teacher for more than 10 years at the middle school and interacts with all students at each grade every year.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Non-Certified Employee of the Year Eileen Griswold stands with Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Business Manager Holly McCalla, and Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser.

Eileen Griswold, who works in the Business Office was named Non-certified Employee of the Year at the same event.

Asked his aspirations for the new school year, Ian Neviaser, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent, responded, “We are excited for another year of new learning, growth, and development in the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. It is our intention to continue on the path of success that has been our standard for many years. We are excited to welcome all of our students back to campus to continue the tradition of excellence that has become synonymous with Lyme-Old Lyme.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme High, Middle Schools Publish Q4 Honor Rolls

Lyme-Old Lyme High School has published the Honor Roll for Quarter 4, 2016-2017, as follows:

HIGH HONORS

Grade 12: Margaret Berger, Avery Bikerman, Mary Bolles, Lauren Boulay, James Coburn, Morgan Constantinou, Sydney Cowell, Rose Datum, Olivia Ellis, Hunter Friel, Alexandra Gourlay, Everett Grethel, Brennan Griffin, Rachel Hayward, Hayden Hendrik, Joseph Lester, Haley Mahon, Matthew McCarthy, Francesca Melluzzo, Julia Morrison, Julian Muller, Caleigh O’Neil, Peyton Ogden, Jacob Olson, Jenna Peduzzi, Olivia Reneson, Natalie Rugg, Lauren Schillawski, Skyelar Shaw, Cody Stalls, Tanner Sutton, Sophie Warlitz, Laura Wayland, Brendan Wright

Grade 11: Samantha Barretta, Cara Cahill, Erin Cornelius, Adam Drummond, Keelin Hurtt, Maeve Kolb, Sarah Kwon, Lindsay Lewchik, Claudia Mergy, Lauren Mitchell, Shannon Nosal, Emma Pennie, Julia Ritchie, Emily Rivera, Julia Smith, Reed Spitzer, Gabriel Stephens-Zumbaum, Alexander Swanski, Bianca Tinnerello, Caroline Wholean, Ellie Wiese, Lauren Williams, Hannah Wisner, Abigail Zelmanow, Madeline Zrenda

Grade 10: Kathryn Atkinson, Catherine Battalino, Lauren Birk, Casey Blue, Mackenzie Blue, Claire Britton, Paige Britton, Liam Clark, Ann Cote, Britney DeRoehn, Corey Drummond, Olin Frederiks, Grace Gilbert, Kylie Hall, Colin Hallahan, Sarah Hayward, Kate Hickie, Liam Holloway, Aoife Hufford, Mya Johnson, Ciara Klimaszewski, Sophie Kyle, Elyza Learned, John Manthous, Danielle McCarthy, Brynn McGlinchey, Hannah Morrison, Nicholas Myers, Emily O’Brien, Sydney Ogden, Thomas Pennie, Katherine Reid, Nicholas Roth, Olivia Rugg, Noah Rumm, Kellie Sablone, Caroline Sagristano, Anna Sather, Robert Sedlatschek, Parker Stone, Emily Tan, Colleen Walsh

Grade 9: Alexander Williams, Alexandra Alpha, Anabella Arias, Emma Bass, Audrey Berry, Madison Cann, Faith Caulkins, Rory Cavicke, Emilia Cheesman, Elizabeth Cravinho, Isabel Dean-Frazier, Maria Denya, Raymond Doll, Nicholas Fava, Jada Fuentes, Sophia Griswold, Kamber Hamou, Jeffy Joshy, Daniel Kendall, Renate Kuhn, Daniel Kwon, Rachael Larson, Brenna Lewis, Jacqueline Malizia, Melissa Mauro, Thomas McCarthy, Ryan McTigue, Chandler Munson, Samantha Olson, Jenna Porter, Jared Ritchie, Jane Scheiber, Garrett Smith, Emily Speckhals, Evan St.Louis, Olivia Stack, Haley Stevens, Olivia Tetreault, Taylor Thompson, Lydia Tinnerello, Sydney Trowbridge, Kiera Ulmer, Megan VanSteenbergen, Theodore Wayland, Katelyn Wells, Trevor Wells, Clair Wholean, Maggie Wisner, Conner Wyman, Katherine Zelmanow

HONORS

Grade 12: Graham Aird, Abigail Berger, Ethan Bushy, Adam Czarnecki, Meredith Duxbury, Sophie Edson, Alexander Edwards, Julie Golebiewski, Anthony Gryk, Hannah Guenther, Emma Hoyt, Lily Iannitti, Jack Machnik, Bilal Malik, Megan McCarthy, Anna Mesham, Allison Murphy, Kiran Nadkarni, Bailey Nickerson, Lauren Quaratella, Caeli Rice, Camron Roberts, William Roberts, Matthew Sapere, Olivia Schumacher, Marissa Smith, Jacob Stack

Grade 11: Reilly Bair, Kameron Bohan, Anna Catlett, Lily Chamberlain, Rose Cheney, Jacob Coverdale, Anna Donato, Hope Femia, Samuel Fuchs, Jace Funaro, Audrey Gavin, Luke Hoffman, Gillian Holloway, Mikela Jacobson, Liam Johnston, Tasha Joshy, Amanda Marsh, Alec Maskell, Madeline Ouellette, Emma Paynter, Katherine Pettersen, Tabatha Rubitski, Caroline Sirna, Emma Sked, Collin Stalls, Alexandra Sulmasy, Mason Swaney, Ryan Wallace, Erik Zawodniak

Grade 10: Teresa Allan, Madison Babcock, Jocelyn Campbell, Tyler Clark, Lily Cox, Noah Crolius, Grace Edwards, Evan Getz, Zachary Gidius, Patrick Looney, Priyal Patel, Eaven Rivera, Eli St.Germain, Carson Swope, Adam Syed, Ethan Tracano, Caroline Wallace

Grade 9: Devin Burton, Chloe Cahill, Daisy Colvin, Sarah Conley, Samuel Dushin, Emily Evers, Leah Fouquette, Cameron Gagnon, Lucy Gilbert, Tanner Griffin, Darin Hamou, Grace Hanrahan, Lauren Huck, Benjamin Kelly, Caroline King, Elizabeth McCarthy, Mason Morrissey, Dylan Mulligan, Samantha Owen, Sofia Pecher-Kohout, Samuel Roth, Taylor Sedlatschek, Summer Siefken, Philip Sweeney, Aedan Using, Jackson Warren

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School has published the Honor Roll for Quarter 4, 2016-2017, as follows:

HIGH HONORS

Grade 8: Emily Ashton, Juliette Atkinson, Rachel Barretta, Maxwell Bauchmann, Ava Berry, Kyuss Buono, Kate Cheney, Emerson Colwell, John Cox, Megan Cravinho, Bianca Dasilva, Emily DeRoehn, Francette Donato, Leslie Farrell, Isabella Flagge, Sadie Frankel, Eveliz Fuentes, Jackson Goulding, Schuyler Greenho, Emma Griffith, Isabella Hine, Steven Jette, Aryn Jones, Regan Kaye, Paige Kolesnik, Grace Lathrop, Owen Macadam, Brendan McTigue, Marina Melluzzo, Riley Nelson, Timothy O’Brien, Connie Pan, Olivia Papanier, Margot Paynter, Jacob Quaratella, Tait Sawden, Jesper Silberberg, Mara Sked, Lian Thompson, Angus Tresnan, Katrina Wallace, Lauren Wallace, Kelly Walsh, Alison Ward, Avery Welch, Ellery Zrenda

Grade 7:  John Almy,Grace Arnold, Andrew Bennett, Elizabeth Boulay, Hannah Britt, Mackenzie Bussolotti, Chloe Campbell, Evan Clark, Ryan Clark, Anne Colangelo, Nicholas Cox, Lauren Creagan, Elias D’Onofrio, Elise DeBernardo, Eleanor Dushin, Liam Fallon, Victoria Gage, Samantha Geshel, Aiden Goiangos, Fiona Hufford, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Owen Kegley, Robyn King, Michael Klier, Felse-Alexandra Kyle, William Larson, Megan Loflin, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Mikayla Masilotti, Evan Morgan, John Moriarty, Elle Myers, Victoria Nichele, Emily Nickerson, Bella Orlando, Margaret Rommel, Frank Sablone, Aksel Sather, Calvin Scheiber, Abigail Sicuranza, Abby Speckhals, Meghan Speers, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Victoria Stout, Madison Thompson, John Videll, Evan Visgilio, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Mary Wholean, Paige Winchell

Grade 6: Bridget Allan, Olivia Alpha, Whitney Barbour, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Jillian Beebe, Jordan Beebe, Cooper Bowman, Gillian Bradley, Ava Brinkerhoff, Jamie Bucior, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Jennifer Cajamarca, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, Luke Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Grace Colwell, Marjorie Curtis, Arthur Danford, Anna Davis, Cole Dobratz, John Eichholz, Zachary Eichholz, David Evers, Alexis Fenton, Mason Freer, Amy Gonsalves, Matthew Grammatico, Makenna Harms, Willa Hoerauf, Dylan Hovey, Karissa Huang, Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack, Katie Johnston, Aidan Kerrigan, Hannah Kwon, Celia LaConti, Phoebe Lampos, Theodore Lampos, Karleigh Landers, Jonah Lathrop, Jacob Lopez-Bravo, Ford Macadam, Marielle Mather, Madalyn McCulloch, Caden Monte, Calvin Monte, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Allott Patterson, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Olivia Powers, Kelsey Pryor, Jacob Rand, Izzadora Reynolds, Benjamin Roth, Rhyleigh Russell, Eli Ryan, Jenna Schauder, Dylan Sheehan, Anders Silberberg, Ned Smith, Malcolm Speirs, Alyssa Spooner, Joseph Steinmacher, Samantha Tan, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten, George Williams, Quinn Williams, Andrew Zelek

HONORS

Grade 8: Paige Alpha, Colbe Andrews, Sophie Arnold, Emma Boardman, Sadie Bowman, Connor Britt, Hunter Collins, Axel Cruz, Samantha Gray, Alayna Harlow, Destiny Kus, Gabriel Lavoie, Emma McCulloch, Emma Meekhoff, Brianna Melillo, Michael Milazzo, Sophia Ortoleva, Paige Phaneuf, Lauren Pitt, Jeremy Rand, Tessa St.Germain, Kassidy Standish, Isabella Warren

Grade 7: Nicholas Adeletti, Kate Bauchmann, James Creagan, Caroline Crolius, Meyer Goldberg, Nicolette Hallahan, Lillian Herrera, Madison Hubbard, Camden McMinn, Emily Mesham, Brendan O’Brien, Aman Patel, Jacob Ritchie, Alexander Roth, Maverick Swaney

Grade 6: Elsie Arafeh-Hudson, Eli Brown, Sebastian Burgio, Ian Diaz, Kylie Dishaw, Archer Evans, Richard Frascarelli, Reece Guillet, Ethan Hale, Madison Krol, Monique Lavoie, Joseph Montazella, Thomas Moore, Jack Morgan, Jaden Reyes, Santiago Rodriguez, Trinity Velazquez, Colin Wiese

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Four Lyme-Old Lyme Students Receive Leadership Awards from CT Board of Education

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Principal Jim Wygonik (left) stands with CABE Leadership Award  high school winners Callie Kotzan and Daniel Cole.

Daniel Cole and Callie Kotzan, 12th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, and Aidan Powers and Isabella Hine, 8th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, were recently recognized by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) with a Student Leadership Award.

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal Michelle Dean stands with CABE Leadership Award middle school winners Aidan Powers and Isabella Hine.

Students are nominated to receive this award by their school principal. Students nominated exhibit the following leadership skills:

  • Willingness to take on challenges
  • Capability to make difficult decisions
  • Concern for others
  • Ability to work with others
  • Willingness to commit to a project
  • Diplomacy
  • Ability to understand issues clearly
  • Ability to honor a commitment

Superintendent Ian Neviaser and the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education recognized these students at the June 7 Board of Education meeting.

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Old Lyme’s Children’s Learning Center Creates a Delicious ‘Edible Garden’

The OLCLC Edible Garden is thriving.

The cold start to the month of June may have had many gardeners worried about their harvest. Thanks to the pro bono labor of Anu Koiv, the children of the Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) have already been enjoying fruits and vegetables from their thriving edible garden.

Anu Koiv not only works pro bono on the edible garden, but also on the beds that surround the OLCLC.

“Not only do the kids get to learn about eating healthy foods, but they learn about sustainability and how to manage their own garden,” says Alison Zanardi, director of the OLCLC. It is not very often that preschoolers have the opportunity to interact with a garden and a myriad of different fruits and vegetables like this one. The kids can interact with the plants in the sensory garden, feeling and smelling different tantalizing plants, like mint, cacti and more.

Vegetables patiently waiting to be picked by the preschoolers.

Preschoolers are free to walk around the garden during their time outside and select whatever food that they choose from their luscious garden. Kale chips, fresh tomatoes, blueberries, and strawberries are often enjoyed as snacks.

More vegetables in the Edible Garden that are ‘ripe for the picking’ by the preschoolers.

Anu Koiv is the mastermind behind the garden, and the staff and students are all extremely appreciative of the work she has done.  Not only is she building a garden for the benefit of the preschooler’s education, but also to benefit the wildlife who will be inhabiting the garden. “We’re inviting nature back into the landscape of the courtyard. Each and every plant has ornamental and food value,” notes Koiv.

Pike’s Playground is named in honor of Connie Pike, founder of the OLCLC.  Children can interact with plants in the sensory garden.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Graduates Told, “Go Off … Save the World,’ But Know, ‘Old Lyme Will Forever Welcome You Home’

The traditional cap toss rounded off a special evening celebrating the Class of 2017.

It was a truly beautiful June evening last Thursday as 118 students received their high school diplomas along with the privilege of calling themselves alumni of Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS.) Principal James Wygonik, class advisor Brett Eckhart, and four empowering students reflected in different ways on the class’s past four years at LOLHS.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Principle Jim Wygonik told the Class of 2017 they had made the school “An even better place.”

Wygonik recalled the Class of 2017 as one never to be put down nor to sidestep a challenge. He described how, when told that public prom proposals would no longer be permitted this year as in some cases they could be upsetting, the class dutifully complied on the personal level, but, on the group level, took matters into their own hands. In a very public event, a large group of class members proceeded to invite him to the prom!  Wygonik said that inspired response demonstrated, “The culture you have fostered,” and as a result, that day, “Our school became an even better place.”

Class of 2017 Adviser Brett Eckart proudly wears the Class of 2017 pin with which he displaced the one for the Class of 2005.

Brett Eckart, who served as Class of 2017 Adviser and is a social studies teacher at the high school, used a multiplicity of props to enhance his speech to the class.  He confessed that he knew this class was tired of hearing about the “Great Class of 2005,” which he had always regarded as the ultimate class in terms of their character and achievements.  He duly placed a large 2005 pin on his gown to remind them of that fact one last time.

Lauren Quaratella stands with a fellow graduate, whom she first met at Lad & Lassie Pre-School.

But by the end of his speech, after describing some of the many memorable times he had shared with the Class of 2017, he reached down into the podium, pulled out something and then proceeded to stick an even larger 2017 pin over the 2005 one to indicate how this class has now risen to prominence in his mind over that of 2005.  Eckart also reminded the class not always to focus on their destination but to savor the journey along the route.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent ian Neviaser, Board of Education Chairman Mimi Roche and Board of Education member Nancy Edson share a smile after the ceremony.

Class President Callie Kotzan opened the ceremony by saying goodbye to all things about high school that will be missed, both important and unimportant. She formally gave her last goodbye to the Class of 2017 and encouraged her classmates to hold on to that inner child, despite all of the changing that comes with growing up, saying, “As we go off into the rest of our lives I encourage you to find the beauty, and although we are growing up it does not mean we must lose our passion and excitement for life.”

Twins Maggie and Abbie Berger celebrate their graduation.

Honor Essayist Rachel Hayward used the children’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Doctor Seuss to highlight the accomplishments she and her classmates have made, and the endless opportunity that awaits the class in the future. Quoting Seuss’s famous words, she told her classmates, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,”  …  and the direction Hayward has chosen for herself in the autumn is Lafayette College, Pa.

Salutatorian Laura Wayland steps down from the podium after giving her speech.

Salutatorian Laura Wayland, who is headed to Yale University in the fall, compared the hard work, pain and accomplishments she had experienced as a dancer, to those she had endured and achieved as a student. She encouraged her fellow classmates never to forget the hard work needed to find blissful happiness in life, advising them to, “Let those passions guide you, and ground you, in the complex dance that is life, and then noting optimistically, “As long as you continue to follow your passions, and follow your dreams, you will be able to accomplish anything.”

Valedictorian Natalie Rugg smiles after giving an emotional, stirring speech.

Valedictorian Natalie Rugg opened her speech by thanking her family, friends and teachers, “who have supported and inspired me through the past 18 years,” saying, “I would not be the person I am today without you all.” Then she addressed her classmates, declaring, “We all have bright futures ahead of us. With the unmatched education that Region 18 and Lyme-Old Lyme High School have offered us, we have a breadth of tools at our disposal.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education members, administrators, faculty and seniors file into the Thursday evening’s graduation ceremony led by the Class Marshals.

Rugg continued by recognizing the beauty and intimacy of the town of Old Lyme and encouraged her peers never to forget the town from which they came.  As the daughter of a career submariner, Rugg commented, “My hometown could have been anywhere: Guam, Hawaii, California. But I ended up growing up here in Old Lyme.” Noting that, “The beaches may not be as beautiful as those in Guam,” and “the weather isn’t as predictable as California,” she stated proudly, “Out of all the places in the world, I would not have rather grown up anywhere else than in Old Lyme.”

Celebrating a certain graduate with a special sound.

Rugg elaborated noting, “Yes, Old Lyme is small, but it’s also a beautiful, tight-knit community,” adding, “I realized that this place, this is my hometown.” and stating unequivocally, “When I’m in Providence next year {Rugg will be attending Brown University in the fall], I’ll introduce myself as growing up in Old Lyme, and one day I’ll bring my children here and show them around, just as my parents did for me.”

The LOLHS Chorus sang ‘Unwritten’ under the direction of Chorus Director Kristine Pekar.

Looking out over the “sea of seniors,” an emotional Rugg gathered her composure and said firmly, “And, my classmates, this is your hometown, too. Even when we’re taking on the world, we’ll still have Old Lyme to keep us together.” Fighting back tears, Rugg took another long pause and then concluded, “Though we will soon be going off to save the world, remember that Old Lyme will forever welcome you home. Reserve this one day to revel together and embrace the place that has made you the brilliant person you are now.” 

Mildred Sanford Outstanding Educator Award winner Jon Goss chats with a graduate after the ceremony.

Continuing a privilege afforded to the senior graduating class, officers of the Class of 2017 then presented the Outstanding Educator Award in memory of Mildred Sanford to the faculty member selected by their class, Technical Education teacher Jonathan Goss.

Jay Wilson conducts the LOLHS band playing Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance.’

After the distribution of diplomas, the newly-pronounced alumni threw their caps high into the air in the traditional, celebratory hat toss, the band struck up the Sine Nomine Ceremonial March in a British Style by Ralph Vaughn-Williams and the graduates marched out into the arms of awaiting friends and family to celebrate their success.  

The LOLHS Chorus led the singing of the school’s Alma Mater.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

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Local Resident Caius Mergy Graduates from Middlebury College

Caius Mergy after his graduation from Middlebury College.

Caius Mergy, son of Michele and Lee Mergy of Old Lyme, Conn., received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics from Middlebury College on Sunday, May 28.  Caius graduated summa cum laude and also received Honors from the Department of Classics. 

In addition, Caius was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious academic honor society, to which about one college senior in 100 nationwide is invited to join annually.

Middlebury College President Laurie L Patton presided over the ceremony and conferred degrees on the 552 graduating seniors. Each graduate also received the traditional Middlebury cane, a replica of the one used by Gamaliel Painter, one of the college’s leading founders. 

Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, gave a 20-minute Commencement address.

In the Fall, Caius will be attending Oxford University in England, where he will be pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree in Classical Archaeology, where he plans to focus on Ancient Greece. 

Prior to moving to England, Caius will spend this summer working at a new archaeological excavation of a religious sanctuary on a small island off the coast from Athens, Greece.

Founded in 1800, Middlebury is a top-tier liberal arts college located in the Champlain Valley of central Vermont. Middlebury offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is particularly strong in environmental studies, international studies, languages, sciences, and literature. The college’s undergraduate enrollment is about 2,500.

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Ventola Named New Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Assistant Principal

The new assistant principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, Noah Ventola

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools have announced the appointment of Noah Ventola as the next Assistant Principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Ventola will begin his new position on July 1.

Ventola joins the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools after serving the East Haddam Schools as a social studies teacher, assistant principal, and department chair as well as chair of the Curriculum Council. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds advanced degrees from both Eastern Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “Noah really impressed the interview committee with his passion for student engagement and learning. His extensive knowledge of curriculum and instruction combined with his even-keeled demeanor and practical approach to problem solving will serve him well in his new role.”  Neviaser continued, “Noah comes highly recommended by his colleagues, and we look forward to the partnership between Noah and our new principal, Mark Ambruso. We are excited to welcome this new team to our district.”

Ventola also has previous experience in the Region #8 Schools as a social studies teacher. He lives in Durham with his wife and children.

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