August 23, 2017

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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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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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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Fitness Fundraiser Being Held Today for Rob Wallace’s Liver Transplant Medical Expenses

Rob Wallace (center) of Old Lyme is suffering from liver cancer, but now after an extended search, a donor has been found for Rob and surgery is scheduled at the end of the month. His wife Lori (second from left) is an instructor at ‘Fitness on the Water’ at Water’s Edge in Westbrook, where they are holding a fundraiser Saturday for Rob’s medical expenses associate with the surgery that are not covered by insurance. Rob and Lori’s three children complete the photo.

Old Lyme resident Rob Wallace, diagnosed with liver cancer in 2015, has found a live organ donor. The surgery is scheduled for the end of June and he will be out of work at Arch One Glass in Old Saybrook for quite some time.

To help defray some of the medical expenses not covered by insurance, the Wallace Family is getting a leg up from Fitness on the Water in Westbrook, where Rob’s wife Lori is a popular Spin and Yoga instructor.

A fitness fundraiser, Saturday, June 10 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., offers all exercise classes for $10 (cash and check only) with 100 percent of the funds going to the Wallace family. Fitness on the Water instructors are all donating their time for this special event taking place in the three exercise studios, located at 1587 Boston Post Road at Water’s Edge.

Classes may fill quickly, so register promptly by calling 860-961-4507, e-mailing donna@fitnessonthewater.com, or viewing the class schedule and signing up via the mindbody mobile app or online at clients.mindbodyonline.com/launch

Enjoy raffles and refreshments to support this event and make a donation of any size to the Wallace family.

For additional information about Rob’s journey, visit www.gofundme.com/robwallace-sjourney

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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!

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2nd Annual Tag Sale Today at LOL High School Supports Mission of Friends of Music

The 2nd annual Friends of Music Tag Sale, will bring bargains galore to the Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) gym and Commons areas on Saturday, April 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Proceeds from the sale will help advance the mission of the Lyme-Old Lyme Friends of Music, who provide support to the music programs in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools at all levels.
Items for sale will include housewares, toys, books, CDs and DVDs, sporting goods, furniture, tools, and more.  Clothing and bedding will not be included in the tag sale.
 
Spring cleaning? Moving? Donations of items to the Friends of Music Tag Sale will be gladly accepted on Friday, April 21, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the high school:  housewares, furniture, sporting goods, toys, books, CDs and DVDs, artwork, tools, etc., in good condition—but no clothing, please.
 

Friends of Music was established in the early 1980s in response to District budget cuts that threatened to affect arts programs in our schools. Today Friends of Music provide support to Lyme-Old Lyme Schools music programs at all levels: materially, by funding unbudgeted and unexpected items, and administratively, by assisting with uniform distribution, staffing at events, and more.

 

Friends of Music also supports LOLHS students individually by awarding scholarships to selected graduating seniors.

 

More information on Friends of Music and the 2nd annual Tag Sale can be found at www.friendsofmusiclol.org or e-mail friendsofmusiclol@gmail.com. 
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Friends of Music can accept matching funds from employers. 
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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!

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Last Night to See Musical-Comedy-Whodunit ‘Curtains’ at Lyme-Old Lyme HS, Final Performance Tomorrow 2pm

The cast of the show-within-the-show mourns the loss of their leading lady. All photos by Ellen Cole.

Apparently the opening couple of nights of ‘Curtains’ have been a huge success, so ticket sales are expected for the two remaining performances are expected to be strong. Don’t miss the chance to see this great production — reserved seats are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at http://tinyurl.com/hjvw7yc or at the door.

Songwriting team Georgia (Maria Donato) and Aaron (Dan Cole), along with show investor Oscar (Sean Spina) and producer Carmen (Callie Kotzan) read a review of their show. All photos by Ellen Cole.

The Old Lyme Players’ production of Curtains, a musical comedy whodunit from the creators of Cabaret and Chicago. Curtains plays tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) in Old Lyme.

The cast of Curtains features 40 Lyme–Old Lyme High School students, with another 20 involved in the crew, pit orchestra, and production staff.

It’s 1959, and opening night at Boston’s Colonial Theatre for Robbin’ Hood! — the flawed show-within-the-show at the center of Curtains. Robbin’ Hood’s untalented leading lady has been murdered, and the entire company is under suspicion as Boston police detective Frank Cioffi investigates the crime.

Detective Frank Cioffi (Ben Jackson) flirts with ingénue Niki (Lauren Mitchell).

But Cioffi may be more interested in saving the show than finding the murderer! Meanwhile, the body count is rising …

Luc Bolduc, Phil Sweeney, and Liam Clark perform in the big number of the show-within-the-show.

The composers and producers of the show-within-the-show (Sean Spina, Callie Kotzan, Maria Donato, Dan Cole) wonder ‘what kind of man’ could be a theater critic.

Curtains opened on Broadway in 2007, starring David Hyde Pierce (Frasier, Spamalot) as Cioffi, for which he won the Tony Award for best actor in a musical. It ran for more than 500 performances.

The Old Lyme Players’ production is directed by LOLHS teacher James Motes with choreography by Bethany Haslam (director of the Dance Center of Old Lyme), and orchestral direction by LOLHS band teacher Jacob Wilson.

The cast features 38 LOLHS students, with another 20 students involved in the production’s stage crew and pit orchestra.

Lyme–Old Lyme High School is located at 69 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

The school and auditorium are fully accessible, and there is ample parking.

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Last Day, Two Chances, to See ‘Hello Dolly!’ at Lyme-Old Lyme High School

Dolly_2_girls

Meghan Cushman (left) plays the title role in Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s production of ‘Hello Dolly!’

The Old Lyme Players present “Hello Dolly!” in the Lyme–Old Lyme High School auditorium this evening, Thursday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m., with subsequent performances Friday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, at both 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults/$12 for seniors for reserved seating and can be purchased via this link. General admission tickets can also be purchased for $10 at the door by cash or check only.

Dolly 1
“Hello, Dolly! is a musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 farce “The Merchant of Yonkers,” which Wilder revised and re-titled “The Matchmaker” in 1955.  It won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical — a record held for 35 years.

See “Hello Dolly!” at Lyme-Old Lyme High School before Bette Midler reprises the role on Broadway in 2017!

And if you still have any doubts about whether to go see this great production, check out this ‘commercial’ for the show made by students at the high school.

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After Solid Start, Wildcats End Up Clawing Desperate Overtime Victory

Josh Turkowski makes a shot from the foul line during last night's game against Lyman Memorial.

Josh Turkowski makes a shot from the foul line during last night’s game against Lyman Memorial.

Sixth-seeded Old Lyme appeared to be on their way to an expected victory last night over Lyman Memorial (seeded 27) at half-time when the score stood at 35-22.  Things were still on track at the end of the third quarter when the Wildcats had advanced to a comfortable 45-32 lead.

And then it all fell apart in the fourth quarter when Lyman outscored the ‘Cats  23-10 to force a completely unanticipated and nerve-wracking overtime at 55-55.

Kirk Kaczor’s boys fought back in overtime ably assisted by senior George Doll, who had sat on the bench until the final minutes of the fourth quarter due to an injury.  Doll scored five critical points in overtime, which helped Old Lyme finally claim a 67-60 victory.

Drake Gavin was top scorer for Old Lyme with 19 points, while Matt Watts St-Germain added 16.

Old Lyme now faces No. 11 Coginchaug tomorrow evening at Lyme-Old Lyme High School with a 7 p.m. tip-off.  Despite their lower ranking, Coginchaug defeated the Wildcats in the regular season so the game promises to be intense.

Go Wildcats!

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New Senior Administrative Appointments Announced in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools have announced the appointment of three members of the administrative staff.

For the 2015-2016 school year, Michelle Dean will serve as the Interim Principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School while Ellen Tyler is on a one year leave of absence. Superintendent Ian Neviaser praised Dean’s work stating, “For the past three years Mrs. Dean has earned the respect of the entire Region #18 community in her role as the Assistant Principal of Lyme- Old Lyme High School. Her leadership has been a key component of the ongoing success of the school. Mrs. Dean’s drive and passion will allow for a seamless transition in leadership at the middle school furthering the great work of Mrs. Tyler, the students, and the staff.”

In Mrs. Dean’s absence, Heather Fitzgibbons has been appointed to the position of Interim Assistant Principal at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Fitzgibbons comes to Region #18 from Saint Bernard School where she served as the Assistant Headmaster for Academics. A graduate of Skidmore College, Fitzgibbons earned a Master of Education in Curriculum Development from DePaul University and completed the Education Leadership Program at Sacred Heart University. In addition to her administrative duties at Saint Bernard, Ms. Fitzgibbons has extensive experience teaching science in Connecticut, New York, and Illinois.  She will begin her new position on Aug. 14.

Neil Sullivan

Neil Sullivan

Neil Sullivan has been appointed to the role of Assistant Principal at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Sullivan currently serves in the same capacity at Torrington Middle School and comes to Region #18 with a wealth of experience teaching English in Connecticut and Illinois. Sullivan is a graduate of Fairfield University, holds a master’s degree from DePaul University, and completed his sixth year work at Southern Connecticut State University. Mr. Sullivan will begin his position on Aug. 24.

In response to the appointments of Fitzgibbons and Sullivan, Superintendent Neviaser stated, “I, along with the Board of Education, am extremely pleased with the quality of candidates that showed an interest in working in our district. Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Fitzgibbons will be great additions to what is a very strong administrative unit. I encourage all members of our school community to stop in and meet these two exceptional educators.”

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Congratulations to the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2015!

The traditional hat toss ended the ceremony.

The traditional hat toss ended the ceremony.

It was a perfect evening last Friday for the commencement ceremony of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2015. Eighty-seven students received their diplomas from Region 18 Superintendent Ian Neviaser and Region 18 Board of Education Chairman James Witkins.

Region 18 Board of Education Chairman James Witkins (left) and Superintendent of Schools ian Neviaser stand at the podium in front of the speakers and board of education members.

Region 18 Board of Education Chairman James Witkins (left) and Superintendent of Schools Ian Neviaser stand at the podium in front of the faculty speakers and board of education members.

We offer here some memories of the evening in both images and advice from a selection of the speakers.

Class President Meredith Aird at the podium.

Class President Meredith Aird at the podium.

“Growing up in a town where it is impossible to drive down Lyme street and not recognize almost every car along the way, our close knit community and the environment it fosters, has created for us the means to find success in whatever it is we hope to do … The memories these towns and the people in it have created for us are unique and unmatchable.” Meredith Aird, President, Class of 2015.

Commencement speaker and English teacher Jill Ressler.

Commencement speaker and English teacher Jill Ressler.

“Be committed to taking in each moment of your new day. Take out the ear buds, close the i-pad and turn off that cell phone … Take notice of the world around you … Always carry a great piece of literature with you … reading will exercise your brain … Don’t just look at the dashboard while someone else does the driving. Drive your own car.” Jill Ressler, Commencement speaker

Honor Essayist Liam Corrigan

Honor Essayist Liam Corrigan speaks.

“Don’t be content with monotony or material enjoyment. Do what you love, and love what you do. Wake up! You’ve got a life in front of you. Seek out all the things that you can do with a true sense of enjoyment, and above all, just have fun, because as Van Wilder says, “You shouldn’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.” Liam Corrigan, Honor Essayist, Class of 2015.

LOLHS Graduation 2015

Salutatorian Abigail Cipparone at the podium.

‘As Margaret Meade put it, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” … Let’s be that fulcrum of change that opens doors to the poor, oppressed and forgotten. Let’s go out there and be 86 living hinges, and see just how much good we can do.” Abigail Cipparone, Salutatorian, Class of 2015.

Valedictorian Eric Pan gives his speech.

Valedictorian Eric Pan gives his speech.

“Don’t forget where you came from, and don’t forget where you’re going … As a very wise band director, Mr. Wilson, once said, “Try something new, and don’t be afraid to fail.” Remember that your ability to do anything is limited, but only by your lack of willingness to try. As we go forth, remember … “The limit does not exist.”” Eric Pan, Valedictorian, Class of 2015

Michelle Dean

Vice Principal Michelle Dean addresses the audience.

“Do not be afraid to take a risk, step out of your comfort zone or pursue an experience that may change your intended path … learn from your struggles, relish the places you will explore and take care of your relationships with family and friends as life with these components is ultimately sweeter. If you keep these things in mind, I promise, your destination will take care of itself.” Tracy Lenz, Director of School Counseling.

choir

The graduates in the choir sing the school song one last time.

And as the evening came to a close, a hawk settled on the school’s flagpole — perhaps a symbol of the great heights to which the Class of 2015 will soar.

LOLHS graduation Hawk_on_flagpole_cropped

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Lyme-Old Lyme Rowers Seek Donations for Florida Trip to Compete in Nationals

Photo by Brian Corrigan. Rowing away from the award's dock with their silver medals are (from right to left) Liam Corrigan (stroke), Jeremy Newton, Harry Godfrey Fogg, Joshua Swanski and coxswain Tom Crisp.

Florida bound! Rowing away from the award’s dock with their silver medals are (from right to left) Liam Corrigan (stroke), Jeremy Newton, Harry Godfrey Fogg, Joshua Swanski and coxswain Tom Crisp. Photo by Brian Corrigan.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) crew team, as a whole, has had a very successful season this spring; theirs is a story of which movies are made; an unlikely bunch with the heart, skill and determination of champions.  They medalled at the Founder’s Day regatta for the first time, winning four state championship titles (Girls and Boys 1st and 2nd boats). Then, through the state championship, all four boats qualified to participate in the National School’s Championship Regatta in Virginia this weekend, June 6-7.

After competing at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association championships (NEIRAs) against the top private schools in New England, the 2nd Boy’s Boat brought home bronze and the 1st Boy’s Varsity Boat won silver, qualifying them for the prestigious 2015 Youth National Championships being held in Sarasota, Fla., June 11-14.

Crew_varsity_1st_boat

The LOLHS Boy’s Varsity 1st Boat crew.

 

Despite a tight budget, LOLHS plans to contribute towards the team’s travel expenses with additional fundraising efforts underway such as today’s carwash to assist with transportation and lodging costs. The team would be grateful to receive any tax deductible contributions which can be made payable to “Old Lyme Rowing Association”, earmarked “NEIRA” and mailed to 6 Stonewood Drive, Old Lyme, CT. 06371

The 1st Boys Varsity four of Liam Corrigan, Harry Godfrey, Jeremy Newton, Josh Swanski and coxswain Tom Crisp, won silver at the Head of the Charles regatta last October against a competitive field of 85 international participants, rowing as the Blood Street Sculls.  They have now gone on to demonstrate that they are as successful in head to head sprints as they are in 5K time trials.

Coach Louis Zubek

Coach Louis Zubek congratulates the boys on their qualification for the US Rowing National Youth Championships – a first for Lyme-Old Lyme High School!

Coached by Louis Zubek and Steve Baranoski, the LOLHS boys and girls 1st  and 2nd boats will row for the National School’s Championship title in Virginia, hoping to improve on the silver and bronze medals that they won last year.

 

When these boys return from Florida, Corrigan and Newton are off to National Selection Camp to seek selection for the US National Team to travel to Rio this summer for the World Rowing Championships.  Corrigan will return briefly to graduate from LOLHS before returning to Pittsburg.

Godfrey, a dual American:Finnish Citizen is off to Finland to perform his National Service, Swanski will be taking up a place on the Division 1 rowing team at Marist College in New York and Crisp will be teaching robotics at The Country School and sailing before entering Colby College in Maine.

Visitors are always welcome to watch the team train on Roger’s Lake.

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Team Wins Middlesex Math League for Second Consecutive Year

Eric Pan receives his scholarship from the Tresurer of the Math League, Bill Varas of Portland High School.

Eric Pan receives his scholarship from the Tresurer of the Math League, Bill Varas of Portland High School.

In an extraordinary victory, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team recently won the overall title of the Middlesex County Math League.  Comprised of Middlesex County high schools along with Regional Hebron Andover Marlborough (RHAM) High School and Lyme-Old Lyme High School, this League has 11 members and is divided into a large and a small conference.  Lyme-Old Lyme is a member of the latter, making this overall championship win for the second consecutive year even more exceptional.

The leaders of the team are seniors Eric Pan and newcomer Jared DiCarlo.  Pan has played for four years and recruited teammate DiCarlo last year.  Pan was recognized as the highest scorer as a freshman, sophomore, junior and again this year.  As a senior, this accomplishment was recognized with a scholarship.  DiCarlo also scored very well and similarly earned a scholarship for his second highest score of all seniors.

LOLHS Varsity Math Team League Champions 2015

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team are the Middlesex League Champions 2015!

The team consists of five official scoring members of which only two can be seniors and at least one must be a freshman or sophomore.  These junior members also contributed to the success, especially junior Ryan Harty who scored the most of any junior in the League.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team proudly display their trophies

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team proudly display their trophies

Other contributors to the team include senior Thomas Roth, juniors Austin Pilgrim, Evan Deng and Jason Feng, sophomores Jeff Zhang, Natalie Rugg, Laura Lee Wayland and Cole Dushin and freshmen Reed Spitzer and Gabriel Zumbaum-Stephens.

Congratulations to the team and their coach Glenn Elliott on this amazing result!

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See Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Fall Play, Nazi Labor Camp Survivors to Speak After Performance

Director and history teacher Brett Eckhart gives instruction to cast members during a recent rehearsal for "Letters to Sala."

Lyme-Old Lyme High School fall play director and history teacher Brett Eckhart gives instruction to cast members during a recent rehearsal for “Letters to Sala.”

This year the Lyme-Old Lyme High School fall play will be “Letters to Sala.”  The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 15, with an admission price of $7, or $5 with a canned good.

LymeLine.com has received an exciting update to the performance details as follows:

Henny Rosenbaum Simon, an 89-year-old survivor of three camps and Ben Cooper, a liberator of Dachau, will be attending the Saturday performance.

Following the show, they will share some of their stories, and Cooper is going to bring some of the artifacts he has collected over the years.  He is a wonderfully engaging speaker and the items he has to share (e.g., his army jacket to match the one in a photo of himself at age 19, or the 20 foot Nazi flag taken from a building), are both chilling and fascinating.

“Letters to Sala” is a true story about a woman “sharing her past with her family” through letters that she wrote while in a labor camp during World War II, according to Brett Eckhart, the director of the play, who also teaches in the history department at the high school.  Eckhart says he “came across [the play] by accident” while “sifting through some [play options] online.” He chose the play because students had asked for a more dramatic piece, rather than his usual comedic selections.  Being a history teacher, Eckhart says he just, “fell in love with the story,” which is based on real life.

The play details the “trials and tribulations of a young lady in the Holocaust,” comments Eckhart.  Sala is an old woman by the time she divulges the letters to her daughter, Ann, and her two granddaughters, Caroline and Elizabeth, so the play takes place in both the modern day and the 1940s during World War II.  Eckhart wants “Letters to Sala” to “shed light on labor camps,” which were not like the well-known concentration camps.

“Not many know about the labor camps, which were instituted during the war,” says Eckhart. Operation Schmelt, which began at the start of World War II, involved the creation of 177 different labor camps around Nazi Germany and its allies so that those countries were supplied with people to sew uniforms and complete other menial tasks for the soldiers.  In the labor camp, Sala, along with the other workers, was allowed to send and receive mail until 1943.

Cast members rehearse a scene from "Sala's Gift."

Cast members rehearse a scene from “Letters from Sala.”

Eckhart wants the performance to be “educational as well as entertaining” and has reached out to local survivors of the war and also children of survivors to attend the performances and speak to the cast, so that they might gain insight in to what life was like at that time.  At the end of each performance, a screen will come down in front of the stage, and Eckhart will show pictures of the real Sala and her family, as well as other labor camp workers whom Sala knew.

“Letters to Sala” is based on a book titled, “Sala’s Gift,” written by Ann Kirschner, Sala’s daughter, as well as the true accounts that Sala gave her daughter and grandchildren when she showed them the letters.  Anne donated the letters to the New York Public Library, which currently has the letters on show in an exhibition in their building. The Library also has a permanent online exhibition on their website, so that people can view the historical documents from any online location worldwide.

Eckhart concludes, “If the play is done right, the audience will be emotionally drained — in a good way.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme School Budget Referendum Today

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the District 18 Board of Education hosts a public hearing in the Lyme-Old Lyme HIGH SCHOOL auditorium on their proposed budget of $31,963,401 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 as recommended by the board.  The proposed budget reflects a 0.7 percent increase over the current budget with just over three-quarters of a percentage point of the increase made up of debt service on the high school renovation.  The remainder of the increase is accounted for by changes in programs and operations through out the district.

The budget is split between the two towns according to enrollment with Old Lyme being responsible for 79.1 percent of the total while Lyme pays for the remaining 20.9 percent.

Click to view options for reading the Region 18 Budget Book online.

A district-wide referendum on the budget will be held tomorrow in both Lyme and Old Lyme  between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.   Voting will take place at Cross Lane Firehouse for Old Lyme residents and Hamburg Firehouse for Lyme residents.

The individual town results will be announced at the respective polling stations shortly after 8 p.m. and published on LymeLine within  minutes of their announcement.  The final result reflects the combined tallies from both towns.

Regular board of selectmen’s meetings are also scheduled for today with Lyme’s starting at 3:30 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall and Old Lyme’s commencing at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Town Hall.

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Environmental Club Honored by Old Lyme Land Trust

LOLHS members (from left to right) Isabel Ritrovato, Hugh Cipparone, Madalyn Gibson-Williams, Philip Hallwood and club adviser Heather Fried were honored as 2013 Volunteers of the Year at  the Old Lyme Land Trust's Annual Meeting last Sunday.

LOLHS Environmental Club members (from left to right) Isabel Ritrovato, Hugh Cipparone, Madalyn Gibson-Williams, Philip Hallwood and club adviser Heather Fried were honored as 2013 Volunteers of the Year at the Old Lyme Land Trust’s Annual Meeting last Sunday.

At its 48th Annual Meeting, the Old Lyme Land Trust (OLTT) presented its “Volunteer of the Year” award to members of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Environmental Club.  On hand to receive the award were Isabel Ritrovato, club president, Madalyn Gibson-Williams, Hugh Cipparone and Philip Hallwood, as well as club adviser and LOLHS teacher, Heather Fried.

The Club has provided OLLT with critical stewardship assistance, clearing trails on the OLLT Goberis-Chadwick Preserve and blazing a new trail on the Esther and Bob Heller Preserve.

“There is discussion among environmental groups that today’s youth is not connected to nature and the outdoors, and concern about where the next generation of conservationists will come from,” said OLLT President Christina Clayton. She noted Ritrovato and Fried had participated on a panel devoted to this subject co-sponsored by OLLT, Lyme Land Conservation Trust and Connecticut Audubon Society in the autumn of 2012.

Clayton continued, “But it was a pleasure to behold how efficient these high school students were; how comfortable they were in the woods; and how they were enjoying themselves.  You would have no concern about the future of conservation if you watched them.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Teams Share Victory in CT Science Olympiad

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School science team members display their medals after both LOLMS teams shared  first place honors in the state tournament.

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School science team members display their medals after both LOLMS teams shared first place honors in the state Science Olympiad.

Two Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) teams shared top honors to win the Connecticut Science Olympiad for the third year in a row.  In an extraordinary performance, team members from LOLMS won a medal (1st,2nd or 3rd) in 23 of the 24 events.

The teams now move on to the national competition in Florida which takes place May 16-17.

Congratulations to science teacher Shannon Glorioso, and Lucy and Johnny Walters, who head up the after-school science program that makes this all possible.  And, of course, congratulations also to all the students who participate in the program.

Go Wildcat Scientists!

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LYSB Hosts Kindergarten Readiness Workshop This Evening,

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Join members of the Kindergarten and Preschool Teams from Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Media Center to learn about how you can prepare your child for kindergarten.

Some of the topics to be covered under the title , “How Do I Know If My Child Is Ready?” include:

  • Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
  • Kindergarten Today – It’s Not What it Used to Be
  • Late Birthdays – new Connecticut dates to consider
  • Emotional, Social and Academic Development

This program is free and open to the public.  Parents of children age 3 and up are welcome to attend.

Childcare  will be provided

For more information, contact LYSB at 860.434.7208.

This event is sponsored by the Lyme-Old Lyme Early Childhood Council.

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Wildcat Boys Win 4 x 800 Class ‘S’ State Title

Class 'S' 4 x 800m state champions!

Class ‘S’ 4 x 800 meter state champions!

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) boy’s team of (from left to right in photo) Ross Golebiewski, Cole McKnight, Stuart Ross and Jeff Davis won the 4 x 800 meter relay yesterday during the  Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class S boys’ indoor track and field championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.

The boys finished in an outstanding time of 8:18.49.  Click here to watch a video by Euan Ross of the race.

Congratulations boys, on this amazing achievement!

Kaylin Wiese successfully clears the bar in the Class 'S' pole vault.

Photo by G. Wiese.  Kaylin Wiese successfully clears the bar in the Class ‘S’ pole vault.

In the girl’s competition, Old Lyme’s Kaylin Wiese finished sixth in the pole vault — extraordinarily Wiese only took up this sport three short months ago.

The LOLHS girl’s 4 x 200 meter relay team of Sam Lee, Megan Burns, Caroline Cox and Allison Scott came in sixth in their race in a time of 1:54.37.

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