October 16, 2017

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!


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.


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.

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.


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.


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


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


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.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Perform Today at 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration in Hawaii, Concert to be Streamed Live in School Auditorium at 5pm

The USS Missouri on which the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Band and Chorus will play tomorrow during the 75th anniversary commemoration of Pearl Harbor.

The USS Missouri on which the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Band and Chorus will play tomorrow during the 75th anniversary commemoration of Pearl Harbor.

BREAKING NEWS: We just learned that Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) will be streaming the concert in which the school’s band and chorus will be performing in Hawaii live in the high school auditorium today 5 p.m.  The public is welcome to come to the high school to watch the concert.

Today, Wednesday, Dec. 7, members of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Band and Chorus will assemble on the pier of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, along with student musicians from across the country and Japan, for the 75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Mass Band Performance, one of many events scheduled this week in observance of the anniversary.  The concert will be a remembrance of and a tribute to lives lost on Dec. 7, 1941 and the ensuing war, and an inspiring “gift of music” to the world. 

The backdrop for this concert is the Battleship Missouri, a World-War II-era ship that was engaged in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  It was on the Missouri, in Tokyo Bay in September 1945, that the papers of surrender were signed by representatives of the Allied and Axis powers — formally ending World War II. The Missouri is now docked in Pearl Harbor as a permanent memorial and museum, providing a fitting bookend to the story of the bombing on Dec. 7, 1941, that launched US involvement in the war.

Student musicians from Lyme-Old Lyme High School, along with Choral Director Kristine Pekar and Band Director Jacob Wilson, have been preparing for this trip for the past year.  There are 100 students on the trip, along with Pekar and Wilson,  LOLHS principal James Wygonik, and teacher and parent chaperones.Follow them on Facebook (@LOLHSPearlHarborTrip and @FriendsofMusicLymeOldLyme) or visit http://www.friendsofmusiclol.org/ (where you can also get the link for the live stream).

The 75th Pearl Harbor Mass Band concert will be streamed live at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at

Wildcats Win! Gleason’s Girls Take State Championship Title in 1-0 Win Over Old Saybrook

The team with their trophy.

The team with their trophy!  All photos by Caitlin O’Neil.

In Saturday’s Class S championship game, Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Caleigh O’Neil kicked the ball in the back of Old Saybrook’s net with 37 minutes left on the clock.

The four Wildcat seniors proudly display the trophy.

From left to right, Maddie Zrenda and Wildcat seniors Jenna Peduzzi, Caleigh O’Neil and Mary Bolles proudly display the trophy.

Old Saybrook failed to equalize before the final whistle and so Old Lyme brings home the state trophy, which they also won last year — but as co-winners with Fairfield Notre Dame.

Caleigh O'Neil, who scored the lone goal that won the championship for the Wildcats, was interviewed after being named game MVP.

Caleigh O’Neil, who scored the lone goal that won the championship for the Wildcats, was interviewed after being named game MVP.

This year, Paul Gleason and his amazing band of soccer players have it all to themselves and can place it alongside the Shoreline Championship trophy that they won a few weeks ago.

The Wildcats celebrate the moment of victory. Photo by T. Tinnerello.

The Wildcats celebrate the moment of victory. Photo by T. Tinnerello.

Congratulations, Wildcats on this awesome victory!


Wildcats Advance to State Soccer Final for Second Consecutive Year

Photo by Lori Archambault Wallace.

File photo by Lori Archambault Wallace.

Second-seeded Old Lyme dominated last night’s Class S state semifinal game against #11 seeds Terryville coming away with a convincing 3-0 win after goals by Jenna Peduzzi, Maddie Ouelette and Keelin Hurtt.

Paul Gleason’s team now advances to the final on Saturday against perennial Shoreline Conference rival Old Saybrook, who defeated Portland on penalties last night.  The Wildcats are defending Class S co-champions having drawn 2-2 with Notre-Dame Fairfield in the final last year.

The location and time of this Saturday’s game is yet to be determined.



Lyme-Old Lyme Students Honor Veterans in School Assembly, Friday

Students dressed in red, white and blue performed “America the Beautiful” and the armed forces salute in a tribute to veterans on Friday morning at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

“The service members we honor today came from all walks of life, yet they share so many of the same qualities,” high-school senior Matthew McCarthy … Read the full article by Kimberly Drelich and published in The Day Nov. 12, 2016 at this link.


Nancy Larson Foundation Opens Applications for 2016 Education Scholarships

The Nancy Larson Foundation is currently accepting applications from college upperclassmen and graduate students preparing to be elementary school teachers.

The Nancy Larson Foundation, which is headquartered in Old Lyme, is dedicated to helping promising students majoring in elementary education.

Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has awarded more than 50 scholarships to students across the country.

Eachyear the Foundation awards at least five $1,000 scholarships to deserving college students who excel in the classroom and their communities.

Nancy Larson is the author of two nationally successful curriculum programs: Nancy Larson® Science K–4 and Saxon Math K-4.

She feels that it is critical to support the development of young teachers who shape children’s minds and better position our country to become a leader in science and math.

“We want to provide a helping hand to aspiring teachers who have worked hard to position
themselves for anoutstanding career,’’ said Larson. “The Foundation works to positively affect the quality of education forthousands of students taught over the lifetime of our Nancy Larson Foundation Scholars.” Juniors, seniors, and graduate students who have declared an elementary education major are invited to apply.

They should submit a personal narrative about why they want to teach and what will make them excellent teachers.

Applicants are also asked to include community service activities as well as experiences they have had working with children. Applications are accepted from Oct.1 through Nov. 15, 2016. Applications must be completed in full and postmarked by Nov. 15 to be considered.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by Dec. 31, 2016.

Larson, a former teacher and curriculum director, has dedicated her life to advancing elementary education. Her original Saxon Math K–4 program  was developed because teachers needed a classroom-­tested math program that would prepare children for advanced math classes. In recent years, Nancy has used the same approach to develop Nancy Larson Science for kindergarten through fourth grade students.

The program was written to provide in ­depth science content in an easy-to-­teach format.

To learn more about the Nancy Larson Foundation and this scholarship opportunity, visit http://nancylarsonfoundation.org.

The Nancy Larson Foundation, founded in Old Lyme, CT, has a history of 10 years awarding prospectiveelementary educators scholarships to encourage and support their education. The Nancy Larson Foundation awards scholarships to the top entries.

For entry deadlines and requirements, or more information on the Foundation, visit http://nancylarsonfoundation.org.


Buy a Pie! Lyme-Old Lyme Class of 2017 Parents Host Safe Grad Pie Sale

pie-clip-art-pie_cherry_desserts_2929pxParents of theLyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2017 are now taking orders for fresh pies, tea breads and cookie dough from Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, Connecticut.

Deadline for orders is Nov. 8 for Nov. 18 delivery — just in time for the holidays!  Check out the Safe Grad website which has a link to the order form

There is a great tradition in Lyme-Old Lyme that for many years, parents of the LOLHS senior class have hosted an all-night “Safe Graduation Party” for the senior class. The goal is to provide a safe, substance free party in a “secret location” where students have the opportunity to share food, music, entertainment and memories with their classmates. For as long as these parties have been provided for our seniors, the community has enjoyed trouble-free graduation nights.

While the party is hosted entirely by parents of seniors, it takes a community effort to help our children remain safe and supervised while celebrating this wonderful milestone. Funding for the party comes entirely from fundraisers, donations from local businesses, organizations, parent and individual contributions.

Although LOLHS and the Regional School District 18 Board of Education support this event, they do not contribute any financial support. The parent organizers rely on fundraisers and donations from parents of seniors and the community to make this event a success.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS’s Bocian Joins Statewide Student Program to Increase Literacy Rates

Connecticut Voice's Executive Board gathers for a photo, From left to right (back row), Kelley Gifford, Haoyi Wang, Hannah Lamb, Priya Mistri, KaltenReese Hasankolli, Izzy King, Hailey Jimenez, Gary Bocian from Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Alexandra Chitwood, Evani Dalal; (front row), Isha Dalal (founder) and Stephen Armstrong (advisor).

Connecticut Voice’s Executive Board gathers for a photo. From left to right (back row), Kelley Gifford, Haoyi Wang, Hannah Lamb, Priya Mistri, Kalten Reese Hasankolli, Izzy King, Hailey Jimenez, Gary Bocian from Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Alexandra Chitwood, Evani Dalal; (front row), Isha Dalal (founder) and Stephen Armstrong (advisor).

Gary Bocian of Old Lyme, a sophomore at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, has been named a member of the executive board of a new, statewide, student organization called Connecticut Voice.  Katie Reid from LOLHS is also participating in the program.

A kick-off event to launch the program will be held in Hartford at the Capitol Building on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Literacy Director for the State Department of Education Dr. Melissa Hickey, and Governor Dannel Malloy are just a few of the featured speakers at the event.

Founded by Trumbull High School senior, Isha Dalal, Connecticut Voice is an innovative program to give students in the state of Connecticut an opportunity to directly impact their community. More than 60 students from across the state are part of the program.

The goal of the program is for students to pass a law at the state level. This year, the program will focus on literacy rates to help close the education gap within Connecticut. At the event on Wednesday, students will be able to ask questions and learn more about why it is so important to give back to the community.

Not only is the group going to work towards passing legislation, but members will also start new community initiatives as well. For example, they will be holding a statewide book drive.

Dalal started this program while volunteering for New Haven Reads. After realizing that a large population of students exists, who are not afforded the same educational opportunities she has enjoyed, she was motivated to try and change that situation.

With interests ranging from legislation to neuroscience, Dalal created Connecticut Voice, a program that could encompass both. “To understand how to increase literacy rates, it is important to understand the brain as well as the community aspect. Before one can solve a problem, he or she must understand it first,” Isha stated when describing the program.

Working closely with Stephen Armstrong, the Social Studies Consultant for the State Department of Education, and with organizations such as the Trumbull Business-Education Initiative and the Trumbull ACE Foundation, Dalal was able to create this program. She met with the Secretary of the State’s Office, members of the State Board of Education, her superintendent, and the Commissioner of Education to garner support and create a solid foundation for Connecticut Voice

When asked why she created this program, Dalal said, “I want every student to know that they can make a difference despite their age, their background, or their interests. “

“The unique aspect of our program is that it is for students, by students. If someone has an idea and they are willing to work hard, they can do whatever they set their mind to. After reaching out to different leaders, I realized that there are so many people that care just as much as I do and, together, we can create a better world and help improve the lives of hundreds of people.”

Bocian is eagerly anticipating the launch of the program on Wednesday.  When asked in an email by LymeLine what he is most excited about with regard to the program, he responded, “Being involved with Connecticut Voice, I most look forward to making a difference in the community,” and “through our focus of illiteracy rates in Connecticut,” to help as many as students as possible.

Bocian continued, “Through Connecticut Voice, I hope to learn more about working with others on a shared goal. Even at the [first] Executive Board meeting, I was able to work with students from across Connecticut. I heard different perspectives from students because of where they are from. It really brings students ideas together. I also hope to improve on my leadership skills as this is a new opportunity to become involved in my community.”


US Men’s Eight, with Old Lyme’s Austin Hack as Stroke, Finishes in 4th Place in Rio Olympics

The US Men's Eight in action yesterday morning. A determined Austin Hack is the first rower (the stroke) in the boat facing the camera. Photo courtesy of worldrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action Monday morning. A determined Austin Hack is the first rower (the stroke) in the boat facing the camera. Photo courtesy of worldrowing.com

Austin Hack

Austin Hack

In a commendable performance, the US Men’s Eight — with Old Lyme’s Austin Hack as stroke — finished in fourth place with a time of 5:34:23 in the Rio final Saturday morning.

The gold medal winners were England in 5:29:63 followed by Germany (5:30:96), who took the silver, while The Netherlands won the bronze medal in 5:31:59.

Congratulations, Austin and Team USA!


Local Student Named College Scholar at Middlebury College

Caius Mergy

Caius Mergy

Caius Mergy, son of Lee and Michele Mergy of Old Lyme, was named a College Scholar during the 2015 Fall and 2016 Spring terms at Middlebury College. To be named a College Scholar is the highest recognition for academic achievement at the liberal arts institution in Vermont.

A College Scholar at Middlebury must carry a full course load of four or more classes during the semester, achieve a grade point average of 3.6 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher, with no grade lower than a B–.

For more information on Middlebury College, visit www.middlebury.edu.


MacCurdy Salisbury Awards Educational Grants for Coming School Year

The 17 recipients of 2016 McCurdy-Salisbury awards gather for a photo.

The recipients of 2016 McCurdy-Salisbury awards gather for a photo at the presentation event held in the Lyme Art Association.

MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation held its Annual Reception for this year’s High School Seniors receiving Foundation awards in June at the Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme, Conn.

At the event, the Foundation distributed $61,400 in grants to 15 graduating seniors from Regional School District 18 (Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.) In addition, four students already in college received an additional $10,900 for a total of $73,300 in grants. 

Foundation awards are based on the degree of financial assistance a student requires to meet their college expenses. If a student keeps a satisfactory grade point level they will continue to receive the same award for another three years of their undergraduate studies. For the upcoming 2016 – 2017 school year, the Foundation will give out $270,000 to 79 students from Lyme and Old Lyme who are attending colleges throughout the United States.

Valedictorian Marissa Boyle  of Madison, Conn., received the William Griswold award from McCurdy Salisbury Foundation President Ned Perkins.

Valedictorian Maria Boyle of Madison, Conn., received the W.E.S. Griswold award from MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation Secretary Ned Perkins.

The Foundation also presented two $500.00 awards at the reception; the W.E.S. Griswold Valedictorian Award to Maria Boyle of Madison, Conn., who will attend Harvard University, and the Willis Umberger Salutatorian Award to Ryan Harty of Old Lyme, who will attend Carnegie Mellon University.  Bill Griswold was President of the foundation from 1965 to 1992 and Willis Umberger was Secretary/Treasurer of the Foundation from 1966 to 1986.

At the reception, Foundation President Rowland Ballek said we are fortunate that our communities support education not only with their votes but with their checkbooks. He said “thanks to community contributions and the good work of our Investment Committee, the Foundation has been able to distribute $2,000,000 to students from Lyme and Old Lyme over the past eight years.”

The MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, founded in 1893, has a long standing tradition of providing financial support to local students going on to further their education at colleges and universities after their high school years.


Chamber of Commerce Presents Scholarships to Local Students at Annual Meeting



From left to right, back row: State Rep. Devin Carney, Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber President Mark Griswold, Brett Hartmann, Gabriel Barclay, Austin Pilgrim, State Senator Paul Formica, State Senator Art Linares, Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Scholarship Chairman Russ Gomes; front row: Meredith Kegley, Allison Marsh and Sloane Sweitzer.

Gabriel Barclay, Brett Hartmann, Austin Pilgrim, Sophia Romeo and Sloane Sweitzer, all of Old Lyme, are the 2016 recipients of the Business Leadership Senior Scholarships awarded by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

Meredith Kegley of Lyme and Allison Marsh of Old Lyme are the 2016 recipients of the inaugural Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts also awarded by the Chamber.

All the students, except Sophia Romeo who was unable to attend due to a college orientation commitment, were presented with their awards at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting held June 15 at the Old Lyme Country Club.

The students were also acknowledged with proclamations from the state legislature presented by State Senators Paul Formica (R-20th) and Art Linares (R-33rd) and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), all of whom graciously attended the meeting.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce Scholarship program has awarded over $33,000 in scholarships and grants to local students since its inception. The Chamber Scholarship Fund is supported through donations to CMRK clothing donation bins located in Lyme and Old Lyme: at the Lyme Firehouse, behind The Bowerbird, at 151 Boston Post Rd., and on Rte. 156 at Shoreline Mowers.

For more information about the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber, visit www.visitoldlyme.com.


In 33rd CT Senate District, Incumbent Linares, Challenger Needleman State Their Respective Cases

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd)

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd)

In a recent fund raising e-mail message, State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) stated his case for re-election  for a third term in this November’s general election. The 33rd Senate District includes the town of Lyme.

He said, “Over the past two years, we have taken on the big spenders, as well as those who believe that temporary cuts are the way to deal with the budget up in Hartford. I stood up and voted against a budget that called for quick one time solutions, which would continue to be a burden on the citizens of our state.”

Linares continued, “I will not stop making the argument that in order to solve our fiscal problems, we need a real structural change to how we spend our tax payer dollars. We also need to put forth policies that promote a business friendly environment, so that those who create jobs have an opportunity to do so.”

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

When asked to comment on his qualifications as a State Senator, Norman Needleman, the Democratic candidate opposing Senator Linares, wrote, “As a local business owner for over 30 years and a first selectman for almost five years, I know how we can get Hartford to work better for our businesses and towns. I’m running for state Senate to change how state government budgets and operates. I will be a Senator who finds real solutions to Connecticut’s fiscal problems.”

Apart from Lyme, the extensive 33rd State Senate district for which Linares and Needleman are competing, includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook and portions of Old Saybrook.