July 7, 2022

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Win Major Awards at 2022 CT Scholastic Art Contest

This work by Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Elle Myers titled, ‘Coming to the surface,’ was awarded a Gold Key in Painting at the CT Scholastic Awards.

OLD LYME — Six students from the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Art Department were recognized at this year’s prestigious Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards. The contest celebrates the work of talented young artists in the state in grades 7 through 12.

Student artwork is juried by professional artists and university art faculty and selected on merit for inclusion in a statewide art exhibition held at the Hartford Art School. Beyond the honor of being chosen for this highly selective exhibition, students are eligible for Gold or Silver Keys and Honorable Mention awards in each of 17 media categories.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Elle Myers received a Gold Key in Painting, as well as Silver Keys in both Painting and Drawing.

‘Timothy Posing’ by LOLHS Senior Elle Myers received a Silver Key in Drawing at the CT Scholastic Art Awards.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Olivia Schaedler was awarded a Gold Key in Photography for her work titled, ‘Cables,’ pictured below.

The winners of Gold Keys will subsequently have their artwork submitted digitally to the National  Scholastic Art Awards where they will be juried against Gold Key winners from all 50 states.

Senior Samantha Geshel received two Honorable Mentions in Painting, and Senior Shawn Grenier was given an Honorable Mention in Digital Art.

Junior Lea Wilson was awarded a Silver Key in Comic Art for the work titled, ‘Bread Duck,’ pictured above, and Sydney Goulding received an Honorable Mention in Ceramics and Glass.

The Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards Program is sponsored by the Connecticut Art Education Association and the University of Hartford, Hartford Art School.

A virtual Awards Celebration was held Feb. 12.

Mask Mandate for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Lifted From Feb. 28, But Masks Still Recommended; “Individual’s Decisions” Must be Respected (Neviaser)

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser (File photo)

OLD LYME — Subsequent to Gov. Lamont’s decision to end the statewide mask mandate in schools on Feb. 28, and delegate masking decisions to local authorities, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser has announced that masks would no longer be required in LOL Schools from Feb. 28 onward, although they would still be recommended.

He communicated this decision to the school community via an email sent Thursday (Feb. 17) evening. The full text of his email is printed below.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are on winter break for the coming week and return to school Feb. 28.

Neviaser stresses in his email, “Discrimination, harassment, or bullying of anyone who chooses to wear, or not wear a mask, will not be tolerated,” adding, “All students and staff must respect each individual’s decision.”

He also notes that mask-wearing will continue to be mandatory on school buses since that is governed by federal regulations and that, similarly, student athletes will remain subject to Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) regulations regarding mask-wearing.

Asked by phone Friday morning what the key factors were in making the decision to lift the mask mandate, Neviaser stated that “The [LOL] Schools are still recommending masks be worn to prevent the spread of disease,” but noted, “The advice from the [CT] DPH (Connecticut Department of Health), based on the significant decrease in the positivity rates in Connecticut, allows us now to make masks optional.”

He emphasized that he had discussed the decision with representatives of various stakeholder groups — administration, faculty, staff and parents — and, although there were mixed opinions, “There was a majority in favor of making masks optional at this time and having a positive attempt to return to ‘normal,’ while still allowing for personal choice in terms of masking.”

Neviaser said the district will continue to monitor any changes in DPH recommendations as well as the ongoing COVID transmission rate in LOL Schools, and make any further changes in mask policy as required.

The full text of the Superintendent’s Feb. 17 email is as follows:

Effective February 28, 2022, the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will continue to recommend the use of masks to prevent the spread of disease, but will no longer require their use for students, staff, or visitors inside any of our buildings.  In accordance with that position, please note the following: 

  • Discrimination, harassment, or bullying of anyone who chooses to wear, or not wear a mask, will not be tolerated.  All students and staff must respect each individual’s decision.
  • Through the end of March we will continue to send daily COVID-19 case numbers for those who are interested in tracking this information.  Beginning in April, we will report these numbers on a weekly basis.
  • The mask mandate for school buses will remain until its expiration (which is anticipated to be sometime in mid to late March) as that is governed by the federal government, not the state of Connecticut.
  • Parents who wish for their child to continue to wear a mask, or may wish them to return to wearing a mask at any point in the future, should communicate clearly to their child their expectations for mask wearing.  Teachers and administrators will not be responsible for monitoring student mask wearing.
  • Unless the forthcoming guidance from the Department of Public Health (DPH) deems otherwise, all other mitigation strategies including, but not limited to, quarantine and isolation guidelines, physical distancing, and increased ventilation will remain the same. 
  • Student-athletes will remain subject to all CIAC guidelines specific to mask wearing and return to play guidelines following a COVID-19 positive case.

Thank you for your patience while we evaluated many factors regarding this decision.  As noted above, we are still awaiting additional guidance from DPH specific to this issue. Once that is received, we will communicate any changes that may result from said guidance.

Death Announced of Jennie A. Rubera; Beloved Teacher in Old Lyme Schools for 37 Years

Jennie A. Rubera

OLD LYME — Jennie A. Rubera, of Old Lyme, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at her residence on February 12, 2022.

She was born in Waterbury, the daughter of Angelo and Rose Petraroia and was the wife of the late Joseph A. Rubera.

Mrs. Rubera lived a life of serving others as a nurse and business owner before embarking on a 37-year career as a teacher in the Old Lyme public school system, first at Center School and then at Mile Creek Elementary School.  

Teaching was not just a career it was her passion.  Her years in the classroom were marked by many accomplishments including the study of the Connecticut River and its tributaries, her yearly Broadway East second grade play productions (Bambi: The Musical and Turkey Turkey Tell Me True were among the more memorable), her 1999 State of Connecticut Celebration of Excellence Award for Exemplary Teaching and her Memorial Day Commemoration Program celebrated by her 2nd grade students for 29 years in the small cemetery next to Mile Creek Elementary.

It was for her leadership in that Memorial Day Commemoration that she was nearly featured as ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson’s Person of the Week in 2009. ABC News was about to send a news crew to Old Lyme before deciding instead to profile a 107-year-old Army veteran, the last surviving American veteran of World War I.  She and her son in law B.J. Finnell would joke that the first line in her obituary would read: 

Jennie A. Rubera, who was almost ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson’s Person of the Week, passed away in Old Lyme, harboring no ill will toward the 107-year-old World War I veteran who edged her out for national recognition of her patriotism and commitment to her students!

She could laugh about it because her patriotism and commitment to her students were unquestioned and she never sought any kind of recognition for her efforts.  Her family always knew the Memorial Day ceremony was held in part to honor her brother Michael, who was killed in action in Germany in February 1945, a loss similar to those suffered by so many American families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Mrs. Rubera retired from teaching in 2011, having left a permanent impact on her colleagues and the hundreds of students who passed through her classroom for nearly four decades. She believed each student could become president of the United States and she asked only that they remembered her when they became famous!

She was a graduate of a two-room schoolhouse in the Bucks Hill section of Waterbury, Wilby High School, the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, the University of Connecticut (Bachelor’s Degree of Science) and Southern Connecticut State University (Master’s Degree of Science).  She also spent a summer at Oxford University in England, where she participated in an international program on teaching the gifted child (her philosophy was that every child was gifted and that such programs could be open to all students).

She began her career as a nurse, caring for polio and tuberculosis patients in the Hartford area, even after she and her husband moved to Old Lyme in 1951.  She also served as a Justice of the Peace in Old Lyme since 1981, marrying many couples on Old Lyme beaches, in private homes and in her own living room on Mile Creek Road.

Her colleagues, friends and in particular her family appreciated her enthusiasm, love of travel and  quirky sense of humor. She was known for telling jokes, most of which were told out of order, usually starting with the punchline then working backwards to the set-up.  Her unique approach to these anecdotes was actually funnier than the jokes themselves, adding a unique level of hilarity for which she will always be fondly remembered.

She is survived by her daughters Nancy Rubera of Berlin and Joan Finnell and her husband B.J. of Chester, VT; her sister Angela Brunetti of Prospect; her granddaughters Jennifer DelBiondo, Sarah DelBiondo, Kimberly DelBiondo and Melissa Casso and her husband John; grandsons Nicholas Finnell and Benjamin Finnell; her great grandchildren Madison, Anthony and Peyton Casso; and nieces, nephews and cousins. 

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her sister Marie and brother Michael.

There will be no calling hours and burial will be private.  A celebration of her life will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, and in honor of her dedication to educating the children of Old Lyme, donations in her name can be made to the Lyme Youths Services Bureau at www.lysb.org.  

To share memories of Mrs. Rubera’s extraordinary life and to sign the online guest book, visit www.fultontherouxoldlyme.com.

Gov. Lamont Ends Statewide Mask Mandate, Feb. 28, Delegates Future Policy to Local Authorities; LOL Schools Deciding Next Steps

LYME/OLD LYME — After Gov. Lamont directed that he was gong to  lift the statewide mask mandate and transfer decisions regarding masking to local municipalities, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sent out the following letter yesterday (Feb. 10) to the LOL school community indicating no decision has yet been taken on mask-wearing in schools after Feb. 28.

By now you have heard of Governor Lamont’s announcement that he is endorsing a plan developed in consultation with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE).  This plan will end the statewide requirement that masks be worn in schools effective February 28, 2022.  I am writing to inform you of the considerations that we are contemplating to determine how the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will proceed based on that announcement.  Our goal is to best balance the health and safety of our students and staff while returning to more normalcy in a mask optional environment, as soon as it is prudent to do so.  As always, we will continue to consider the guidance of our district medical advisor, Ledge Light Health District, the CDC, DPH and other public health and medical professionals, though those recommendations at times contradict one another.  I expect that we will have a definitive plan to respond to this announcement prior to our upcoming February vacation.

Some current considerations include:

  • The vaccination rates for our middle and high school students are high, yet the rate of vaccination for our elementary students is average. 
  • We have been tracking our number of confirmed student/staff cases and determining whether or not said cases have led to outbreaks, which, fortunately, so far has not occurred.
  • As of this writing, the CDC recommends that masks continue to be worn indoors in all K-12 settings. In addition, based on the continued high rate of transmission in the area, the CDC recommends that everyone in New London County should wear a mask in public indoor settings.
  • We have received some recommendations to consider extending the mask mandate for at least an additional week or two (to March 7 or 14, 2022) for the following reasons:
    • February 28, 2022 is the day we return from our February break over which many families will have traveled.  Based on our experience from our most recent school vacation, the number of infections could be elevated for a week or two after our return.
    • Students who are unvaccinated, or are not yet eligible for the vaccine, would have additional time to get vaccinated or possibly become eligible for the vaccine.
    • The weather in mid-March will be slightly warmer allowing for more outdoor opportunities, reducing the possibility of virus transmission.
  • Unless the federal government changes their position on masks for public transportation, the mask mandate for school buses will remain as that is governed by the CDC, not the state of CT.
  • The Governor’s plan is contingent upon the Connecticut General Assembly voting to extend the Governor’s existing Executive Order which gives DPH the ability to implement mask requirements in certain settings.  Until this legislative process is complete, we must continue to comply with current masking requirements, which remain in effect through February 15, 2022 when the current Executive Order expires.  Should the legislature vote to extend mandatory school masking, we will be required to continue to comply with this legislation.   
  • DPH has indicated that they will be issuing further guidance regarding isolation and quarantine recommendations associated with this new plan. As you know, current guidance requires masking in the various scenarios presented in response to a positive case.

Please do not misinterpret any of the above to imply that a decision has been made either in support of immediate removal of masks or opposed to such.  Once all considerations have been evaluated, along with anything additional as advised by the forthcoming DPH guidance, we will notify everyone of what to expect on February 28, 2022. 

We will publish details of the decisions taken regarding future mask policy by both LOL Schools and the Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as soon as they are made.

Lyme-Old Lyme Preschool Peer Visits Offered; Register Now for a March 11 Visit

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Preschool is a tuition free program designed for identified special education students and selected peers. This program serves preschool age children in the communities of Lyme and Old Lyme.

If you are interested in having your three-year-old child participate in the Lyme-Old Lyme Special Needs Preschool as a peer during the 2022-2023 school year, visits are being scheduled for March 11, 2022.

Children who are three by Sept. 1, 2022 are welcome to participate in a spring peer visit.

All mitigating measures as recommended by the Department of Public Health and Connecticut State Department of Education will be implemented during the visits.

Peer selection is lottery-based, with consideration for age and gender balance in each preschool class.

Contact Jennifer Frazier or Tracy Pompano at Center School (860-434-0487) for more information.

Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Announces Scholarships to Lyme-Old Lyme Music Students

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — UPDATED 2/3/22 with revised information sent by the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation:
The Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Board of Trustees has announced its awards for private study music scholarships for 2020-21 to students from Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) High School and LOL Middle School.

Award recipients from LOL High School are:
Ava Gilbert Gr 9 Flute
Andrew Liu Gr 9 Bari Sax
Natalie Buckley Gr 10 Flute
Jacob Derynioski Gr 10 Percussion
Phoebe Lampos Gr 11 Oboe/English Horn
Marielle Mather Gr 11 Clarinet
Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum Gr 12 Percussion
Avery Wyman Grade 12 percussion

Award recipients from LOL Middle School are:
Jonah Filardi Gr 6 Saxophone
Gavin Gray Gr 6 Alto Sax
Sophia Huang Gr 6 Percussion
Avery Zbierski Gr 6 Flute
Ceciley Buckley Gr 7 Clarinet
Morgan Buerger Gr 7 Saxophone
Gavin Goulis Gr 7 Trumpet
Harrison Goulis Gr 7 Trombone
Arthur Riccio Gr 7 Trumpet
Warren Volles Gr 8 Trumpet
Oliver Wyman Gr 8 French Horn
CJ Zapatka Gr 8 Trombone

As a supporting organization for LOL Schools, the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation awards scholarships to be used for private music instruction to students participating in LOL Middle and High Schools band programs.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation was formed in 1999 after the retirement of Ruth Ann (King) Heller from LOL High School, with a mission to strengthen and improve the instrumental music program in LOL Schools.

Donations to the foundation in any amount are gratefully accepted. The mailing address is: Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation, PO Box 298, Old Lyme, CT 06371, or alternatively, donations may be made through PayPal at http://www.rahmf.org/#donate.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release issued by the Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host ‘Invention Convention’ for Grades 5, 7

The cheerful inventors gather for a group photo part way through the event.

OLD LYME — Inventors from Grade 5 (20 inventors) and Grade 7 (14 Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School inventors) participated in the District-Wide Invention Convention last Thursday, Jan. 29, when their inventions were displayed at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall.

Inventors learned about the engineering and design process, created display boards and gave speeches to pitch their invention ideas.

Kylie Grethel stands with her invention “Pedal 4 Prizes,” which now advances to the statewide contest.

Thirteen judges from Lyme and Old Lyme including Mentor Corps for Community Development members, Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau staff, Town Hall employees and Region 18 Board of Education members, volunteered their time to judge the inventions in four different categories:

  • purpose and practicality of the invention
  • attention to detail related to the invention
  • presentation skills of the inventor
  • quality of the display board detailing the invention

We are extremely proud of all the inventors for the time, commitment, and hard work they have put into this project as they have been working on this project since September.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser asks Annie Gingras a question about her invention, the “Tangle Tamer 2000.” This entry also advanced to the state competition.

Students advancing to the “virtual” state competition to be hosted by UConn during April and May will be:

From Lyme Consolidated:
Griffin Karpinski with his invention “Hive Alive”
Lillian Reynolds with her invention “Scoli-Cool”
Jack Montmeat with his invention “The Blanketing”

From Mile Creek:
Annie Gingras with her invention “Tangle Tamer 2000”
Victoria Glaras with her invention “Hen He​lper”
Kylie Grethel with her invention “Pedal 4 Prizes”

From Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School:
Lucy Arico with her invention “Sea Cow Saver”
Vinny Pietrowicz with his invention “Flex Tube”
Ainsley Rinoski with her invention “Wrist Guard”

Kindergarten Registration Now Open at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

LYME/OLD LYME — Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools for the fall of 2022 is now open at Lyme Consolidated and Mile Creek Schools.

Children who will be five-years-old on or before Jan. 1, 2023 are eligible to register for the 2022 Kindergarten class  starting Aug. 2022.

Registration packets may be picked up at either school. The following are also needed for registration:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Three forms of proof of residency

While you may complete the registration process at either school, your  child’s school placement will depend on District attendance zones, which are determined in August.

If you would like additional information, call either school at these numbers:

  • Lyme Consolidated: 860-434-1233
  • Mile Creek: 860-434-2209

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools look forward to welcoming your child to their community.

Letter to the Editor: Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition Responds to Hartford Fentanyl Tragedy, Encourages Community Approach to Substance Abuse Issues Locally

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to the Lyme-Old Lyme Community

I’m sure many of you have heard the tragic news about two recent drug exposure incidents in two Connecticut middle schools. Tragically, a young 13-year-old boy died after being exposed to fentanyl at his middle school in Hartford. The following day, five students were hospitalized after ingesting THC edibles (candy) at their New Haven middle school.
As we process these tragic incidents, the Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition is sharing resources and support to our community’s youth and families.
We strongly encourage you to join us and embrace a community approach to supporting youth and families around substance abuse prevention. Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) staff is working to schedule community Narcan trainings.
To receive prevention updates, visit this link to join our mailing list.
To find upcoming events and links to useful resources about current drug trends, conversation starters, and data, visit our website.
Our Coalition depends on input, expertise, and energy from community members, and we welcome you to our meetings. We are available to answer questions about substance abuse prevention, personal concerns, and be a resource to any youth, parent, or community member needing support, referrals, and/or guidance. Please let us know if we can be of help to you or your family. You can reach me at 860-434-7208 or by email at abehnke@lysb.org.
Sincerely,
Allison Behnke, MSW,
Old Lyme.
Editor’s Note: The author is the Prevention Coordinator at LYSB.

COVID-19 Cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, Aug. 26 Through Dec. 23, 2021

LYME/OLD LYME — Under new state protocols for schools starting Jan. 1, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing. Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community, however, that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

We therefore are publishing for reference this list of positive cases of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Schools during the period between the date LOL Schools opened for the 2021-22 academic year, Aug. 26, 2021, and Dec. 23, 2021, when they closed for winter break.

In all these cases, contact tracing was completed and those individuals who needed to quarantine were notified. They were able to return to school following their quarantine period. All other students and staff continued to attend school as scheduled.

This list will no longer be included as part of our COVID-19 Daily Update.

On Thursday, Dec. 23, Neviaser informed the school community that two positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) and a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Tuesday, Dec. 21, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) had been reported.

On Monday, Dec. 20, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) had been reported.

On Thursday, Dec. 16, Neviaser informed the school community that two separate positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS and Lyme School respectively had been reported.

On Monday, Dec. 13, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Thursday, Dec. 9, Neviaser informed the school community that a total of three positive cases of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS), Center School, and Lyme School respectively had been reported.

On Monday, Dec. 6, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLMS had been reported.

On Friday, Dec. 3, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Center School had been reported.

On Monday, Nov. 30, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Monday, Nov. 29, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Monday, Nov. 22, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Sunday, Nov. 14, Neviaser informed the school community that over the weekend a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported the previous evening.

On Thursday, Oct. 23, Neviaser informed the school community of two intrafamilial positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLMS. He stated, “We were able to complete our contact tracing and the one individual who must quarantine has been notified.”

On Thursday, Sept. 23, Neviaser informed the school community of two intrafamilial positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLMS. He noted, “We were able to complete our contact tracing and the one individual who must quarantine has been notified.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Neviaser informed the school community of a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, Neviaser informed the school community that a previously reported positive case of COVID-19 is now impacting Mile Creek School and Center School.

On Monday, Sept. 13, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19,  which had been reported the previous day, was impacting LOLMS.

On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 was impacting Mile Creek School.

On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Neviaser informed the school community that late on Monday, Aug. 30, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, Neviaser informed the school community that late on Friday, Aug. 27, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme School had been reported.

Tonight, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host In-Person Community Forum on Strategic Plan

LYME/OLD LYME — On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the second of two community forums focused on reviewing and updating the strategic plan for the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will be held. The strategic plan outlines expectations and goals in the areas of curriculum, human resources, facilities, and community as well as metrics for success in each area.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) auditorium.

The Superintendent recognizes evening meetings can be challenging for some to attend. All meetings are recorded and available for replay on the Region 18 website and YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF2_W7yYtFwx067Ici9776Q/live.

The dates, location, and time for all meetings, including regular Board of Education meetings, are also posted on the Region 18 website.

Input from consultants and feedback from the community allow Lyme-Old Lyme Schools to plan and budget in a responsible, proactive manner and ensure high-quality schools are maintained. Participation and ideas from the public are welcome.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Middle School Announce Honor Rolls

Scroll down for Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Honor Roll.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
Quarter 1 Honor Roll   2021-22

High Honors
Grade 12:

Emily Almada, John Almy, Grace Arnold, Dylan Avelange, Hannah Britt, Ryan Clark, John Conley, James Creagan, Elise DeBernardo, Cheikh Diagne, Elizabeth Duddy, Eleanor Dushin, Lauren Enright, Aiden Goiangos, Shawn Grenier, Nicolette Hallahan, Austin Halsey, Jackson Harris, Daniel Hoblin, Fiona Hufford, Julia Johnston, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Cora Kern, Robyn King, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Stephanie Mauro, Elle Myers, Emily Nickerson, Bella Orlando, Isabel Prentice, Jacob Ritchie, Alexander Roth, Olivia Schaedler, Calvin Scheiber, McLean Signora, Abby Speckhals, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Victoria Stout, Madison Thompson, John Videll, Evan Visgilio, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Mary Wholean, Paige Winchell, Avery Wyman, Jerry Zhang

Grade 11:

Olivia Alpha, William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Sarah Birkmeyer, Jamie Bucior, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, Grace Colwell, William Danes, Anna Davis, Jacob Derynioski, John Eichholz, Matthew Grammatico, Angus Griffin, Willa Hoerauf, Arber Hoxha, Phoebe Lampos, Yanza Lata, Jonah Lathrop, Ford Macadam, Marielle Mather, Madalyn McCulloch, Madeleine Morgado, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Izzadora Reynolds, Benjamin Roth, Eli Ryan, Anders Silberberg, Ned Smith, Alyssa Spooner, Tova Toriello, Gesami Vazquez, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten, George Williams

Grade 10:

Beatrice Barnett, Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Alis Bicic, Elliot Bjornberg, Henry Boller, Drew Brackley, Natalie Buckley, Jackson Bullock, Ava Cummins, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Macklin Cushman, Eric Dagher, Sydney Doboe, Amelia Gage, Dominic Gerardo, Marcia Geronimo, Calla Gilson, Ryder Goss, Sydney Goulding, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Abby Hale, Ella Halsey, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Grady Lacourciere, Griffin McGlinchey, Delaney Nelson, Isabelle O’Connor, Ronald Olin, Grace Phaneuf, Jack Porter, Luisa Raby, Hannah Thomas, Keara Ward, Louisa Warlitz, Mason Wells, Tyler Wells, Duohui Yan, Grace Zembruski

Grade 9:

Quinn Arico, Molly Boardman, Mark Burnham, Mason Bussmann, Andrew Clougherty, Gloria Conley, Chloe Datum, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Grace Ferman, Benedict Frazier, Hoshena Gemme, Manu Geronimo, Ava Gilbert, Nicolas Hatch, Kaela Hoss, Shyla Jones, Thomas Kabel, Simon Karpinski, Aven Kellert, Olivia Kelly, Ella Kiem, Peter Kuhn, Ada LaConti, Elise Leonardo, Andrew Liu, Kanon Oharu, Sophie Pennie, Ryan Shapiro, Kelly Sheehan, Drea Simler, Nicholas Turtoro, Kathleen Walsh, Gabriella Ziegler

Honors
Grade 12:

Andrew Bennett, Nihad Bicic, Mackenzie Bussolotti, Evan Clark, Grace Coverdale, Lauren Creagan, Michael DeGaetano, Victoria Gage, Delaney Gagnon, Samantha Geshel, Meyer Goldberg, Liam Grethel, Andrew Hedberg, Lillian Herrera, Michael Klier, Zachery Lodi, Grace McAdams, Emily Mesham, Jacob Meyers, Samuel Mullaney, Brendan O’Brien, Michael O’Donnell, Adeline Riccio, Margaret Rommel, Aidan Russell, Frank Sablone, Abigail Sicuranza, Parker Sprankle, Alexandra Tinniswood, Olivia Turtoro, Jenna Woods, Ryan Zbierski

Grade 11:

Elsie Arafeh-Hudson, Whitney Barbour, Cooper Bowman, Gillian Bradley, Ava Brinkerhoff, Jennifer Cajamarca, Ava Catalano, Luke Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Nicholas Cox, Bridget Donovan, Zachary Eichholz, Alexis Fenton, Ethan Hale, Clarence Hinckley, Karissa Huang, Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack, Charlotte Judge, Madison Krol, Caden Monte, Kelsey Pryor, Jaden Reyes, Rhyleigh Russell, Stefan Ryer, Alden Sarnoski, Jenna Schauder, Mary Surprenant, Samantha Tan

Grade 10:

Peighton Andrews, Alexis Antonellis, Jedidiah Arico, Morgan Bell, Sarah Colangelo, Lucas DaSilva, Eva D’Onofrio, Douglas Griswold, Katherine Gryk, Mohamad Hamou, Jordan Hanes, Sedona Holland, John Holzworth, Dakota Kotzan, Brodie Lippincott, Anna McAdams, Alexander McPherson, Elaina Morosky, Katherine Mullaney, Ava Roth, Charles Sahadi, Noah Sanford, Sydney Siefken, Madeleine Soriano, Gabriel Tooker, Kalea VanPelt, Summer Wollack

Grade 9:

Christopher Anderson, Oliver Avelange, Justin Bonatti, Hannah Bonilla, Chase Calderon, Dylan Carnaroli, Dominic Clark, Tabitha Colwell, Andrea DeBernardo, Ella Evans, Parker Holland, Rowan Hovey, Kyle Ingersoll-Bonsack, Colette Marchant, Abigail O’Brien, Shea Quashie, Trinity Rando, Ysabel Rodriguez, Cajamarca Salazar, Nola Slubowski, Charlotte Tinniswood, Ava Wood-Muller

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
Quarter 1 Honor Roll   2021-22

High Honors
Grade 8:

Ilona Binch, Zoe Brunza, Alec Butzer, Trevor Buydos, Makayla Calderon, Tyler Cann, Jack Conroy, Colman Curtiss-Reardon, Christopher Dagher, James Dahlke, Sophia D’Angelo, Rose Dimmock, Alexa Donovan, Gabrielle Field, Chase Gilbert, Alexander Glaras, Benjamin Goulding, Scarlette Graybill, Christopher Kachur, Thomas Kelly, Katherine King, Harrison Kleefeld, Jade Lawton, Maya LeQuire, Jayden Livesey, Emily Looney, Elise Marchant, Samuel Masanz, Bridget McAdams, Carter McGlinchey, Ryan Miller, Nina Nichols, Ryan Olsen, Ryan Ortoleva, Marleigh Piacenza, Jacob Prokopets, Taylor Quintin, Jenna Salpietro, Sophia Shaposhnikova, Luca Signora, Emma Singleton, Addison Spooner, Carson St.Louis, Andrew Taylor, Meredith Thompson, Margaret Thuma, Lucian Tracano, Madeleine Trepanier, John Turick, Connor Vautrain, Eve Videll, Elisabeth Viera, Warren Volles, Oliver Wyman, Stella Young, Carl Zapatka

Grade 7:

Lucia Arico, Addison Arndt, Zak Avelange, Phineas Barrett, Zachary Belval, Mia Bonatti, Ceciley Buckley, Morgan Buerger, Marla Bulas, Reagan Bullock, Brooke Burgess, William Burgess, Anna Bussmann, Brennan Butzer, Lillian Calabrese, Aidan Carpentino, Chase Catalano, Isaac Chartier, Sophia D’Amico, Amirah D’Lizarraga, Brady Donovan, Samson Edmed, Edward Fiske, Lauren Fulara, Angeline Gencarella, Antonio Gencarella, Kaedin Gerster, Samuel Gilbert, Gavin Goulis, Harrison Goulis, Tessa Grethel, Charles Halsey, Owen Holth, Marley Iaia, Elsa Jungkeit, William Kabel, Josephine Kiem, Paul Kuhn, Alexa Legein, Olivia Lovendale, Matilda Miller, John Morosky, Emelia Munster, Grace Osborne, Mia Palmer, Arthur Riccio, Ainsley Rinoski, Cameron Russell, Owen Shapiro, Kevork Shegirian, Nicholas Sokolowski, Madeline Stiles, Magdalena Tooker, Ethan Trepanier, Bowen Turick, Kaylyn Vernon, Ivy Wilson

Grade 6:

Kaitlyn Ackerman, Lillian Acosta, Lauren Belval, Scarlett Blatter, Vivian Boller, Noah Brant, Lana Brunza, Payton Burr, Gabrielle Clark, John Comstock, Madeline Cummins, Colin Discordia, Ashlynn Edwards, Katharine Ferman, Jonah Filardi, Avery Goiangos, Frederick Goss, Elaina Graves, Gavin Gray, Sawyer Graybill, Alistair Grenier, Aiden Guidi, Alistair Hampton-Dowson, Colleen Harrington, Morgan Harris, Ryan Hill, Fiona Judge, Jillian Kleefeld, Kaedyn Koproski, Henry Kyle, Treyton LaConti, Holden Leonardo, Graham Macadam, Benjamin Mattox, Rowan McCormick, Charles McEwen, Caitlyn McHugh, William McKeever, Clarissa Mock, Addyson Morosky, Grace Morrissette, Marielle Munster, Theodore Neary, Remi Patz, Jonah Scheckwitz, Audrey Sheehan, Abigail Singleton, Avery Spooner, Charlotte Thuma, Delilah Tooker, Jonathan Toriello, Renee Viera, Ashlynn Ward, Avery Wesch, Charles Zapatka, Avery Zbierski, Ella Ziolkovski

Honors
Grade 8:

Julia Clark, Michael DeFiore, William Donnelly, Jonathan Farrell, Elena Gerardo, Ian Maeby, Nayeli MarinYanza, Eiley Montanaro, Isabella Presti, Tanner Snurkowski, Pierre St., Katherine Zhang

Grade 7:

Collin Anderson, Johanna Coker, Taiyo Gemme, Skylar Graybill, Zachariah Guidi, Marley Igersheimer, Curtiss Johnson, Callahan Lacourciere, Eva Oulahan-Smith, Carli Teixeira, Charles Zelek

Grade 6:

Albert Enman, Warner Grenier, Reese Holland, David McAdams, Judah Waldo

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Updated Presentation on Initial Findings of PreK-8 Facilities Study, Tonight; Architects Seek Community Input, All Welcome

Lyme Consolidated School is one of the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools under consideration in the Pre-K to 8 Facilities Study undertaken by QA+M Architecture.

LYME-OLD LYME — On Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m., Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools will host a Community Presentation by QA+M Architecture, who will offer an updated presentation of initial findings from their study of the LOL Schools Pre-K to 8 Facilities and solicit community input.

The meeting will be held in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium at 53 Lyme Street in Old Lyme. All are welcome.

The facilities study includes a review of existing conditions, assessment and evaluation of the buildings, and the future budget cost estimation for repairs/updates. 

The information resulting from this study will allow the superintendent and board of education both to plan and budget in a responsible, proactive manner.

The objective of this planning and budgeting will be to maintain the quality facilities that are an integral part of a Lyme-Old Lyme Schools education.

A Veterans Day to Remember in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

Herb Arico gave the keynote address at the Veterans Day Assembly at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. At 99 and a half years of age, he captivated the audience with tales of his experiences in World War II. All photos by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

OLD LYME — In the words of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser, “What an amazing day!” He continued in his email to LymeLine, “I have always said that Veterans Day is one the best days of the year in our schools … and this year was no exception.”

The flags were out at each school in the district …

… and each veteran was given a rousing welcome.

Ceremonies were held at every school including an ‘Introduction of Veterans’ followed by a Town Meeting Assembly at Lyme Consolidated School  …

… and various classroom visits and activities honoring veterans throughout the day at Mile Creek School .

At Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School a Breakfast honoring veterans was held followed by an Assembly …

and at Lyme-Old Lyme High School similarly there was a reception for the veterans followed by an assembly.

Neviaser noted, “For the first time in a long time, we had not one, but two World War II veterans.  One was 98-years-old and the other was 99 going on 100.” The latter, Herb Arico, delivered a keynote speech about his time during the war at the high school assembly and completely captivated the audience as he shared his experiences.

Neviaser commented with a smile, “The students were so impressed they all wanted photos with him [Mr. Arico] after his speech.”

Neviaser admitted that COVID had been a concern saying, “I was worried that COVID might scare away some of our older veterans, but that clearly was not the case as we averaged about 50 veterans at each school.”

Editor’s Note: Here at LymeLine, we echo the respect paid to our veterans by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools on Nov. 11, and thank the veterans sincerely for their service.

Old Lyme Registrar Explains Why No Recount for Region 18 BOE Race Between Lowry, Staab; Result Announced After Polls Closed Was Incorrect

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Republican Registrar Cathy Carter confirmed to LymeLine by email Monday morning that there would only be one recount Monday evening for the Old Lyme Zoning Commission position with a five-year term beginning 2022.

She explained in the email that the results for the fourth position on the Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) were “… read incorrectly on Election night.”

The results announced election night were:

Alexander Lowry (D): 1568
Christopher Staab (R): 1,578

giving Staab a margin of 10 votes, which generates an automatic recount in Connecticut since a margin of 20 votes or less triggers an automatic recount.

Carter noted, “however a tape from the tabulator was posted for public viewing with the correct numbers.”

Responding to our request as to where and when the tape was posted, Carter informed LymeLine by email Monday afternoon that, “The Tabulator tapes were posted on the wall of the middle school to the left of the entrance.”

We have requested a photo of the tapes after they were posted but have not received one yet.

Carter added that the final vote counts for BOE candidates Staab (R) and Lowry (D) were respectively 1578 and 1555, thus giving Staab a margin of victory of 23 votes.

This 23-margin difference places the result just outside the number needed to generate an automatic recount.

Letter to the Editor: Nov. 2 Election of Critical Importance for Future of Old Lyme, LOL Schools; Voting for Democratic Slate Essential

To the Editor:

I cannot begin to fully express the importance of voting for the Democratic slate on November 2. My family and I have lived in Old Lyme since 2005, during which time I have never been as concerned for this town as I have been in the last two years.

Incumbent Tim Griswold may have sixteen cumulative years of municipal experience in this town, but I feel that he is no longer a fair representation of this town, nor what it stands for. He has shown, time and time again, that he is out of touch with the town and appears to be stuck in the past when it comes to several aspects of today’s world. In June of 2020, for example, Mr. Griswold chose to discuss & praise the police at a Black Lives Matter rally, rather than address recent events and speak on how he will ensure racism has no place in our town.

Since August of 2020, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal has attempted to get a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis passed, but neither the First or Second Selectman will even discuss the resolution. If Mr. Griswold won’t even consider the resolution, what kind of a message does this send about the town of Old Lyme?

Additionally, I want to express my concern over the Republican Town Committee’s proposed additions to the Board of Education. As has been established by numerous letters to the editors of LymeLine, Mona Colwell has taken a strong anti-vaccination stance. While she is certainly entitled to her beliefs, the language used in Colwell’s Facebook posts is appalling and certainly not becoming of a potential Board of Education member. Colwell’s posts are filled with misspelled words, half-cooked theories, and delusions that the pandemic was created in an American lab to usher in “the Great Reset”. Is this really the kind of person we want making decisions about Region 18 and its school system?

Furthermore, this brings in to question the qualifications of the other candidates endorsed by the RTC. While they may not hold the same beliefs as Colwell, none of the candidates have come forward to denounce Colwell’s stance or posts. Silence is complicity, and I refuse to believe that we would let such people make decisions that would have such negative impacts on Region 18’s students.  

I am asking every voter in Old Lyme to consider this election, and who they are voting for, very carefully. The results of this election will have a long-lasting impact on both our town and our school system, and it is up to us to make the best choice for our future. 

Sincerely, 

Jacob Olsen,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2019.

Letter to the Editor: Candidates Endorsed by Old Lyme Democrats for Region 18 BOE Are Impartial, Consider All Sides, Bring a Wealth of Experience

To the Editor:

As a former member for 11 years of the Salem Board of Education (BOE), I can attest to the importance of BOE members being impartial and willing to look at all sides in any discussion or debate.  They must be prepared to ignore any ideological differences among their members and make a careful, thoughtful and considered decision after a full examination of the matter at hand.

The four candidates endorsed by the Old Lyme DTC offer these attributes.  Additionally, they all have considerable experience in the education or child advocacy fields:  Martha Shoemaker, currently on the Region 18 BOE and a retired teacher with 35 years experience; Alexander Lowry, presently a middle school science educator with two young children in the Region 18 school system; Jason Kemp, armed with a law degree, now a family counselor with the Family Services division of the Connecticut court system; and Marisa Calvi-Rogers, with a doctorate in Educational Leadership, retired after 25 years as an educator, ending as a high school principal.

I have no doubt that these individuals will not only come to the BOE with a deep understanding of the needs of our children and the issues confronting Region 18, they will be prepared to consider all points of view as they make the decisions required to best prepare our students for the future.   Please give them your vote on November 2nd.

 Sincerely,

Christine Gianquinto,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Chair of the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee.

Region 18 BOE ‘Meet the Candidates’ Event to be Held In-Person Tonight, Also Live-Streamed and Recorded

Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce are hosting an in-person, Meet the Candidates for Board of Education event this evening, Wednesday, Oct. 20, starting at 7 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

LymeLine.com is proud to sponsor the event and all are welcome.

The eight candidates running for the Old Lyme open seats on the Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) will give prepared statements and answer questions posed by the Event Moderator, Attorney John A. Collins III of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law.

Three Old Lyme incumbents on the current Region 18 BOE — Chair Diane Linderman, Treasurer Jean Wilczynski and Rick Goulding — have chosen not to seek re-election. Old Lyme incumbent Martha Shoemaker is seeking reelection.

Lyme incumbent Stacey Leonardo (D) is also not seeking re-election.

The eight candidates running for the four, four-year-term Old Lyme seats are:

  • Marisa Calvi-Rogers, (D)
  • Mona Colwell, (U) Endorsed by Old Lyme Republicans
  • Laura Dean-Frazier, (U) Endorsed by Old Lyme Republicans
  • Jason Kemp, (D)
  • Alexander Lowry, (D)
  • Michael Presti, (R)
  • Martha Shoemaker, (D), incumbent
  • Christopher Staab, (R)

Anna James (D), who is unable to attend the event, is running uncontested for the open Lyme seat.

Many thanks to all the readers, who submitted questions for possible use at the event. A significant number was received – far more than can be asked within the event’s timeline. The event planning committee will be solely responsible for selecting the questions asked at the event.  There will be no questions taken from the floor.

The program will be livestreamed on the Region 18 BOE YouTube channel at this link. It will also be recorded and posted at the same link for future viewing. Note: this is a new link from that previously announced.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

For further information, contact Mary Seidner at mseidner@lysb.org or 869-434-7208.

Letter to the Editor: Political, Personal Agendas and Extremist Rhetoric Have No Place at Board of Education Table

To the Editor:

Parents and taxpayers of Old Lyme, please pay close attention to this year’s November municipal elections, particularly to the candidates for the Region 18 Board of Education.

Old Lyme enjoys a school system that is broadly recognized for its quality across the region, the state, and indeed the nation.

Based on my tenure of sixteen years as a former member and chair of the Region 18 Board of Education, I cannot adequately stress the importance of having a Board composed of well-qualified members to maintain that level of quality.  Political and personal agendas and extremist rhetoric have no place at the Board of Education table. The top priorities must always be preserving a highest standard of educational excellence, and protecting the health and safety of the school community.

In my personal experience, the Old Lyme Democrats have always put forth responsible, qualified and reasonable candidates for the Board of Education seats, and they have done so again this year. They clearly understand their role in delivering quality education to our students, as well as responsible budgets to the taxpayers. 

In our electoral process, political parties have a principal role in nominating suitable candidates. When that process fails, it becomes even more important for the electorate to be informed and active, and most importantly, to vote.

Choose wisely, Old Lyme!

Sincerely,

Susan Fogliano,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Lowry Explains His Reasons for Running for Region 18 BOE, Notes Democratic Slate Offers 90 Collective Years of Education Service

To the Editor:

I am running for a seat on the Lyme-Old Lyme Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) because I believe that my experience and ability will enable me to make a strong contribution to the continued excellence of our well-regarded school system.  Through my 22 years of experience as a professional educator, I have gained first-hand knowledge of the policies, procedures, and vernacular pertinent to district-level decision-making. 

I am committed to life-long learning and accustomed to assimilating new concepts and skills.  I am flexible in my thinking, consider the reasoned positions of knowledgeable others, and adjust readily to an ever-changing playing field.  Over the years my critical thinking skills and self-reflection have improved my teaching and ability to create student success.  I am confident that these attributes will assist me in making informed and thoughtful decisions on the BOE.  My wife, also an educator, and my two children, who attend school in Region 18, appreciate the quality of life we have in Old Lyme. It seems only right to contribute to the town and institutions from which we benefit.

I hope that when you step into the voting booth this November 2nd you will cast a vote for me and the other well-qualified Democratic candidates.  We will bring 90 years of collective educational service to the students and families of Old Lyme. 

Sincerely,

Alexander Lowry,
Old Lyme. 

Editor’s Note: The author is a candidate in the upcoming election for the Region 18 Board of Education.