June 24, 2017

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.

Share

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!

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

Boys Relay Team Advances to State Open; Other Wildcat Sports Notes

The LOLHS 4 x 800 relay team of (from left to right), Danny Cole,Trevor Wells, Danny Reid, and Corey Knepshield, has advanced to the State Open Championship.

Track

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School boy’s 4 x 800 team of Danny Cole, Trevor Wells, Danny Reid, and Corey Knepshield raced their way to 3rd place in the CIAC Class S track state championships Thursday. They now advance to the CIAC State Open Championship on Monday.

Congratulations to this great team and Go Wildcats!

Baseball

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School baseball team fell to Lyman Memorial 2-1 in a CIAC state quarter-final Saturday afternoon at Lyman Memorial.

Congratulations on a great season, boys!

Girl’s Lacrosse

Sadly, Emily Macione’s girls, who had already claimed the Shoreline Conference championship, bowed out of the state tournament on Thursday after a devastating 12-11 loss to New Fairfield. Congratulations on a great season, girls!

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Science Olympiad Team Sets New State Record at National Contest in Ohio

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Science Olympiad team has just returned from the 2017 National Science Olympiad held at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, after breaking the Connecticut state record for their final position in the B Division (Grades 6 through 9)

The Lyme-Old Lyme team broke the Connecticut state record at last year’s tournament when they came in as the top-placed team from Connecticut and in 33rd place overall.

At this year’s event, Lyme-Old Lyme placed 28th overall beating their previous year’s record.

Lyme-Old Lyme debuted in the National Science Olympiad tournament in 2012 placing 51st nationally. The competition includes over 60 teams representing the United States as well as a dignitary team representing Japan.

Nick Fava’s and Regan Kaye’s “Wright Stuff” placed 8th nationally thanks to their tremendous effort and the strong support they received from community member and event coach John Koptonak. 

Head coaches Shannon Glorioso and Elizabeth Dushin credit their ongoing success to the talent and commitment of both the students and volunteers involved in this community effort.

Share

New Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal Announced

The new Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal, Mark Ambruso.

This morning Lyme-Old Lyme Schools announced the appointment of Mark Ambruso as the next principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Ambruso, who is currently serving as the Principal of Windham Technical High School, will begin his new position on July 1, 2017. He will succeed Michelle Dean, who will begin a new position as Director of Curriculum also on July 1, 2017.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are pleased to welcome such an accomplished and seasoned administrator to our district. Throughout the entire interview process, Mr. Ambruso impressed us with his innate leadership skills and his strong commitment to his students. This appointment will allow us to continue on the successful path that has been established at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.”

Ambruso has previously served as the both the principal and, prior to that, the assistant principal at Bacon Academy in Colchester. He began his career in education at Norwich Free Academy as a science teacher and coach.

The district has also begun advertising for the position of Middle School Assistant Principal after Mr. Neil Sullivan announced his resignation effective June 30, 2017 to embark on new professional challenges. High quality applicants are encouraged to apply for this opening at www.region18.org.

Share

School Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sends details of the referendum results to Region 18 Board of Education members.

Voters in both Lyme and Old Lyme passed the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ 2017-18 proposed $33.6 million budget convincingly yesterday.

In Lyme, only four people voted against the $33,634, 371 budget while in Old Lyme, 88 voted No. In an extremely low turnout in both towns, the Yes votes in Lyme and Old Lyme respectively were 111 and 271 giving final totals across the Regional School District of 382 Yes’s to 92 No’s.

A delighted Lyme-Old Lyme School’s Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented after the results had been announced, “I’d like to thank the voters for supporting the education budget.  We were proud to bring forward the lowest budget increase on record and are happy to continue the great work of educating the children of Lyme and Old Lyme.”

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Multi-Class Reunion to be Held July 29

A Lyme-Old Lyme High School multi-class reunion spanning the years 1985-1995 has been announced.  It will be held on Saturday, July 29, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Groton Motor Inn & Suites99 Gold Star Hwy., Groton, CT.

The cost (non-refundable) is $50.00, which includes a buffet dinner and cash-only bar.  The menu includes:

•Tossed Salad

•Warm rolls & butter

•Teriyaki Chicken

•Baked Cod

•Top Round w au jus

•Pasta and Sauce

•Green Bean Almondine

•Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

•Desserts

•Coffee regular and decaffeinated, and hot tea

Hotel Policy:  debit and credit cards are not accepted for our bar.  ATM on premises.

For discounted hotel arrangements, call the hotel @ 860-445-9784.  Ask to reserve a room in our room block for a discounted rate.  Use “Lyme-Old Lyme High School Reunion 2017” as the Group Code.  The cut-off date for reserving the room block at the hotel is Thursday, June 29.

Share your favorite pictures by sending them to LOLH8992@gmail.com

Visit the event Facebook page at LOLHS Wildcat Reunion Hub: https://www.facebook.com/groups/544288812424026

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Hosts Open House for Prospective Students

US News & World Report ranked Lyme-Old Lyme High School 8th in Connecticut in their just published listing of America’s Best High Schools.

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

Next Thursday, March 23, 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 spring 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.  Interviews will be preceded by a student-led tour of the high school.  This format is intended to allow all attendees an opportunity to gain an 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.”

Last month, the College Board released the Class of 2016 Advanced Placement (AP®) Cohort Data, which showed that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools came in as the school system in Connecticut with the second highest overall performance. No other Middlesex or New London County school system achieved a ranking higher than 20th

View from inside the Commons atrium at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

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” in addition to such schools as Duke, MIT and Stanford, and in the most recent figures available, over 88 percent of LOLHS 2014 graduates pursued higher education.

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.

Students hard at work in a Chinese class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, where recently released results show the school achieved the second highest AP scores in the state.

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 487 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 including High School Bowl, Mock Trial, and Key Club.  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, Director of School Counseling, at 860-434-2255 or lenzt@region18.org or James Wygonik, Principal, at 860-434-1651 or wygonikj@region18.org.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme MS Science Olympians Win State Championship, Now Move Onto National Contest in Ohio

State champions! The Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Science Olympians proudly display their winner’s trophy.

It’s not only the UConn Women’s Basketball team that’s enjoying an extraordinary run.  This weekend, the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Science Olympiad team completed a remarkable feat by taking top honors in the 2017 Connecticut Science Olympiad State Championship for the fifth time in the past six years.

And now, as reigning state champions, the Lyme-Old Lyme team moves forward to the National Science Olympiad Competition on May 19-20, in Dayton, Ohio, where its members will represent the State of Connecticut.  The Lyme-Old Lyme team again dominated the Connecticut contest amassing gold medals in nine events, silvers in 10, and bronze medals in three events.

Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.

Proudly wearing their medals, team members Sadie Frankel (right) and Bella Hine share smiles after their team won the state Science Olympiad championship.

By combining events from all disciplines, the Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to become involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal (https://www.soinc.org/).

Lyme-Old Lyme Science Olympiad coaches Shannon Glorioso and Elizabeth Dushin credit the support of the community for their continued success. “The Lyme-Old Lyme community support, whether it is directly coaching the Olympians, helping to manage all the behind-the-scenes tasks, making monetary donations to allow the team to purchase much-needed supplies or any of the other ways the community has supported the team are truly why this team has been so successful.”

Asked his reaction to the result, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser responded, “We are so proud of the ongoing success of our students and coaches in this amazing program. This is yet another example of the strong STEM programming offered by the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools where we offer a private school experience in a public school setting.”

Congratulations to these budding scientists and good luck in Ohio!

Share

Dean Appointed Director of Curriculum & Professional Development at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

Michelle Dean, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools newly appointed Director of Curriculum & Professional Development.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools have announced the appointment of Michelle Dean as the next Director of Curriculum and Professional Development. Dean, who is currently serving as Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal, will begin her new position on July 1, 2017.

Dean will replace Beth Borden, who is retiring after 17 years with the district and 44 years in the field of education. 

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are pleased to promote Mrs. Dean to this position as she has proven herself time and time again in the roles she has played throughout the district. Her varied background in education, combined with her passion for research and professional development, will allow us to continue the great work that is taking place under Beth Borden’s leadership.”

Dean first came to the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools as Assistant Principal at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. She also has experience as an English teacher and school counselor.

The district has begun advertising for the position of Middle School Principal and encourages high quality applicants to apply at http://www.region18.org.

Share

Visgilio of Old Lyme Wins Silver, Bronze Medals in Vermont Special Olympics

Evan Visgilio of Old Lyme stands on the podium proudly wearing the silver medal that he won in the Vermont Special Olympics.

Evan Visgilio of Old Lyme returned from the Vermont Special Olympic Winter Games held this past weekend (March 3-6) in Woodstock, Vt., with a fourth place ribbon, along with a Bronze and a Silver Medal.

Suicide Six located in Woodstock, Vt., hosted the Vermont Special Olympics Winter and Visgilio, who was a member of the Hermitage at Haystack Team, participated in his first ever Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G events. By the end of the competition, Visgilio had won an impressive collection of awards taking fourth place in Slalom, and winning a Bronze Medal in the Giant Slalom and a Silver Medal in the Super G.

Evan, who is 13-years-old, lives in Old Lyme with his parents John and Wendy Visgilio, along with his siblings Brenna, Will and John. Evan attends Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School where he is in  seventh Grade.

Evan was born with Down Syndrome and has been skiing for seven years. This was Evan’s first year competing in the Vermont Special Olympics. He trains at The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain in Wilmington, Vt., with his coaches Scott Serota, Corey Robinson and Kate Riley.

Many congratulations to our friend and neighbor, Evan, from all of us at LymeLine.com!

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Achieves Second Highest AP Scores in Connecticut

Students hard at work in a Chinese class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, where recently released results show the school achieved the second highest AP scores in the state.

The College Board released the Class of 2016 Advanced Placement (AP®) Cohort Data, Feb. 22, which showed that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools came in as the school system in Connecticut with the second highest overall performance. No other Middlesex or New London County school system achieved a ranking higher than 20th

Performance is calculated based on the number of students in the Class of 2016 cohort who participated in at least one AP exam at any time during high school and who scored a ‘3’ or higher on at least one of those exams. Neither students nor exams are counted more than once.

In response to this exceptional news, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser stated, “To be ranked second in the entire state is an incredible achievement and further supports the notion that the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools provide an education which rivals or exceeds both public and private schools throughout the State of Connecticut. This is a credit to the students, staff, and communities of Lyme and Old Lyme to achieve at such a high level in what is a very competitive atmosphere.”

The national AP® report shows an increase in both the participation and passing rates for the high school graduating Class of 2016 showing that equity and excellence can go hand in hand. Neviaser commented, “There is a widespread belief in education that it is impossible to expand access while maintaining high performance. The AP Program tells a different story.”  

This too holds true in Lyme-Old Lyme as the school system ranked 5th in the state in terms of AP® participation. Participation is calculated based on the number students in the Class of 2016 cohort who participated in at least one AP exam at any time during high school. Neither students nor exams are counted more than once.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools accept students from all communities throughout Connecticut. If you would like to become a part of this high performing school system, visit www.region18.org or contact Ian Neviaser, Superintendent of Schools, at neviaseri@region18.org or 860.434.7238 for more information.

Share

Last Chance to see ‘Alice in Wonderland Jr.’ at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, 1pm Today

Members of the cast of Alice in Wonderland Jr. rehearse their roles. From left to right, Emma Boardman as Alice, Caroline Crolius, Elle Myers and Maeve Burrier as Flowers, and Sadie Bowman as Tweedle Dee.

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School’s 2017 student musical is Alice in Wonderland Jr.  Eighty students are involved in the cast and crew of the production that is based on the two novels written by Lewis Carroll in the 1860s and 1870s and the 1951 Disney movie.

Victoria Stout as the Queen of Hearts onstage with students in the ensemble.

Artistic direction is by Laura Gladd, school chorus director, and professional opera tenor Brian Cheney, who lives in Lyme.

Lillian Grethel of Lyme as the White Rabbit, with members of ensemble.

Two new matinee performances have been added this year. Shows are 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.  All performances are in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, 53 Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

Kate Chaney (in olive green) and Isabella Warren as Small Alice.

Tickets are $8 and can be bought in advance at The Bowerbird in Old Lyme Marketplace or at the door.
Share

The Country School Hosts Open House Today

The Country School is holding an Open House today, Sunday, Jan. 29, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The events offers the opportunity to meet engaged students and dynamic 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 rich 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, visit http://www.thecountryschool.org/admission/open-house.

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

Share

The Country School Offers $10,000 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship

A new academic year all-school photo of The Country School taken in September 2016 on the school’s new athletic fields. Photo by Joseph’s Photography, Inc.

In honor of The Country School’s 60th Anniversary, the school’s Board of Trustees is providing a $10,000 merit scholarship to a student applying for admission to Grades 4-8 for the fall of 2017. Additional scholarships will be offered to students entering those grades based on applicants’ qualifications and/or need.

This will be the third 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship awarded in celebration of The Country School’s founding six decades ago. An 8th Grader from Lyme won the first 60th Anniversary Scholarship, while a 4th Grader from Madison was the second recipient. In addition, other students received partial scholarships after applying for the merit scholarship.

Head of School John Fixx will share information about the 60th Anniversary Scholarship program on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 12:30 p.m. in conjunction with the school’s Winter Open House (taking place from 1 to 3:30 p.m.). While students sit for the Merit Scholarship test, parents will have the opportunity to tour campus and speak directly with faculty members, current parents, and administrators. To learn more and register, go to http://www.thecountryschool.org/scholarship.

The recipient of the $10,000 Merit Scholarship will be selected on the basis of academic merit and personal promise as demonstrated by merit scholarship testing, school records, and an interview. Finalists will be asked to write an essay describing how a Country School education might benefit them and will be invited to spend a day on campus. The scholarship recipient will be notified in early March.

On Jan. 29, visitors will learn about the academic program and the wide academic, artistic, athletic, and leadership opportunities on campus. They will also learn about The Country School’s six-decade history of preparing graduates for the strongest independent secondary schools and high school honors programs in the area. Families will receive the impressive list of where Country School graduates attend college and hear how the Secondary School Placement Office assists families in attracting similar scholarship support for secondary school.

The 60th Anniversary Scholarship is for a new student and is renewed each year that the student is enrolled at The Country School, provided the recipient stays in strong academic standing and consistently demonstrates good citizenship. It is The Country School’s expectation that merit scholarship recipients will contribute significantly to the life of the School, creating a stronger overall experience for all students.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving 200 students in PreSchool through Grade on its 23-acre campus in Madison. In celebration of the school’s 60th anniversary, the campus has been undergoing a major transformation, with the installation of new athletic fields, tennis courts, and playground areas completed last year and a reconfiguration of campus infrastructure and outdoor common spaces taking place this year.

For more information, contact Pam Glasser, Director of Admission and Curriculum, at 203-421-3113, extension 122, or pam.glasser@thecountryschool.org. You may also learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

Share

Old Lyme Selectmen Announce LOLHS Life Skills Program Members as 2016 Citizens of the Year

Citizens of the Year 2016 (students, aides and teacher Leslie O’ Connor at right) gather for a photo in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium with former Citizens of the Year Jeff Sturges (2011), Lynn Fairfield-Sonn (2014) and Mary Seidner (2015) (second, third and fourth from right respectively), Peter Cable (2013 – second from left) and the board of selectmen (Selectman Skip Sibley, Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal and First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, first, third and fourth from left respectively.)

Noting that the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen was doing “something just a little bit different,” this year in terms of the Citizen of the Year announcement, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder introduced the 2016 recipients as not one person in the traditional manner, but rather a group of people.   She went on to name Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) Life Skills & Transition Program Teachers, Aides & Students as the 2016 Citizen of the Year at the Old Lyme Annual Town Meeting held last night in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) auditorium where around 50 people had gathered.

Reemsnyder explained, “A wonderful thing happens regularly in town hall,” and then added, reading from the 2016 Citizen of the Year citation, “Members of our community may be unaware of the important role played in our community by the teachers, assistants/job coaches, and especially the students from Regional District 18’s Life Skills program.”

She continued, “It has been nearly 10 years since the Town first began working with student interns from Lyme-Old Lyme High School. The relationship has been considered a success for the students and has proven invaluable for the Town.”

Adding, “Historically, Regional District 18 contracted with outside agencies to provide vocational experiences and transition services to students with Individual Education Plans,” Reemsnyder noted, “The decision made a decade ago to bring vocational experiences “home” to Old Lyme meant significant financial savings to the district and created a unique opportunity for our community. The Town Hall internships alone represent over 3,000 work hours.”

Old Lyme resident and LOLHS Special Education teacher Leslie O’Connor was coordinator of the Life Skills program when the Town Hall internship program was developed. Pointing out that, “The program was considered a chance for our community to really be a community,” Reemsnyder commented, “And, because of the success of the Town Hall internships, many other organizations and businesses have also welcomed Life Skills interns: OLPGN’s Book Cellar, the Big Y, Lyme Academy College, the Nearly New Shop, Elements florist, Old Lyme Veterinary Clinic, Bee & Thistle Inn, Rivers End Bait &Tackle, and Gladeview among them. Local attorney Greg Carnese has offered to develop a job in his office for interns.”

Reemsnyder added, still reading from  the citation, “Students have worked alongside the Regional District’s maintenance staff as landscapers. In the Life Skills program, students work as the High School’s recycling technicians, and have run small businesses including making and selling gift tags, dog treats, and jars of tomato sauce and soups. They have also catered staff luncheons and meetings. According to Leslie, our community has supported them by buying every product offered.”

Reemsnyder cited one task that has stood out in terms of the award saying, “With the help of job coaches Elaine Niles, Gina Wohlke, and Elizabeth Watrous Stopa, Town Hall interns Taylor Saunders, Kelly Mastrianna, Leah Migliaccio, and Alexa Agostine took on the mammoth, ongoing task of converting paper records into electronic ones.”

A delighted Bilal Mahal receives his Citizen of the Year award from Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal

Bilal Malik was also given high praise by Reemsnyder for performing an ADA accessibility assessment of the Town Hall. Reemsnyder described this project as, “work that continues to guide us through necessary changes to the building.” 

Reemsnyder also acknowledged the exceptional role that her Executive Assistant Catherine Frank had played in both the establishment of the program in town hall and in its ongoing support and management.

In conclusion, Reemsnyder stated, “The students have gained vocational skills, practiced invaluable social and communication skills, and been able to create some impressive resumes,” while at the same time, “Through our work with the young interns, we have gained an appreciation for the dedication and caring of their teachers and job coaches, and a life-changing awareness of the limitless potential of our most exceptional citizens.”  

The students present were given flowers and a certificate each and along with their job coaches and teacher Leslie O’Connor, they were all given a standing ovation.

O’Connor graciously spoke on behalf of the students and the coaches thanking the board of selectmen for the award.  She also thanked all the businesses and organizations that have welcomed interns from the program into their places of work, adding with a smile that she would be happy to welcome any new businesses or organizations into the program immediately

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Junior Appointed to Governor’s Prevention Partnership Youth Council

Emma Sked

Emma Sked

Emma Sked, a junior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), has been appointed to the Governor’s Prevention Partnership Youth Council.

She is one of eight Connecticut youth selected through a competitive application process to serve as a member of this statewide organization whose mission is to help prevent underage drinking and substance use, prevent youth violence and bullying, and promote youth mentoring and peer to peer interactions.

“I am very excited to meet other teens from around the state and work together on state-wide projects to have an impact on a larger community,” Emma stated.  “I know that I cannot stop all teens from using substances all at once. But if each project I collaborate on results in one person stopping to think, ‘Why am I doing this?’, then my efforts are worth it.”

Emma is the daughter of Elizabeth and Ken Sked of Old Lyme.  Since her freshman year, she has been an active member of the Lyme-Old Lyme local prevention council, Community Action for Substance Free Youth Coalition (CASFY).

Emma serves as CASFY’s Youth Advocate, taking a formal role in leading youth prevention projects with the Lyme-Old Lyme High School club REACH (Responsible Educated Adolescents Can Help), and participating in all aspects of the coalition.   Emma’s work with the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau and CASFY created the opportunity for her work on prevention at the state level.

Emma’s activities at LOLHS include serving as a member of the Student Advisory Council, Student Leaders, Community Service, Spanish, Amnesty International clubs, and varsity softball.  She is an Honor Roll student and has received awards in multiple subjects for academic excellence.  Emma also works after school at the Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center.

To learn more about CASFY, visit www.lysb.org

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Return Home Safely After Playing in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Ceremony

WFSB's Kevin Hogan interviews Ellen Cole from Lyme-Old Lyme High School's Friends of Music during yesterday's viewing event of the Pearl Harbor commemoration in Hawaii at the high school.

WFSB’s Kevin Hogan interviews Ellen Cole from Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Friends of Music during yesterday’s viewing event of the Pearl Harbor commemoration in Hawaii at the high school.

Members of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) band and chorus performed yesterday on the pier adjacent to the USS Missouri in Waikiki, Hawaii, as part of the 75th anniversary commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile, here in Old Lyme, around 150 people gathered in the auditorium of the high school late yesterday afternoon to watch the band and chorus perform as part of a 1,200-strong contingent of musicians and singers from schools across the country.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School was the only school from Connecticut represented at the event.

News Channel 3’s Kevin Hogan, whose son attends LOLHS and is out in Hawaii, did a live segment from the auditorium during which he interviewed a member of the Friends of Music Inc. organization that has been fundraising all year to make the trip possible.

View the News Channel 3 segment at this link.

News Channel 8 ran this piece from Lyme-Old Lyme High School about the trip to Hawaii.

Fox 61 also broadcast a story about the LOLHS students in Hawaii at this link.

Share