December 6, 2021

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Hosts Graduation Ceremony This Evening; All Welcome … But Masks Mandatory

Lyme-Old Lyme High School graduates celebrate their success. File photo by Kim Tyler.

OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme High School will hold its Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2021 Friday evening on the field between the middle and high schools starting at 6 p.m.

Entry to the field is open and the public is welcome to attend the event provided they are wearing masks.  The mask requirement is mandatory regardless of vaccination status.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Powers Runs ‘The Perfect Race’ (Daquila), is CIAC Class S 400m State Champion, Sets New Lyme-Old Lyme HS Record

Aidan Powers is the 2021 Class S 400 meter State Champion and also the new Lyme-Old Lyme High School 400 meter record holder.

LYME-OLD LYME — Senior Aidan Powers set a new Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) record in the 400 meters today with a blistering time of 51.3 seconds at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Class S championship, which was held at Willow Brook Park in New Britain, Conn.

Additionally, Powers is the Class S state champion in the 400 meters after finishing in first place in Class S.

Asked how he felt about this remarkable result, LOLHS Track Coach Aron Daquila responded exclusively to LymeLine, “Aidan is such a smart runner and has so much grit. He ran the perfect race yesterday.  The 400 is a long sprint and requires strategy.  He started strong, but in control, and when he hit the back stretch, he really exploded off the turn. He’s been training all season for that race and all that hard work really paid off.”

Daquila added, “But Aidan doesn’t quit. He turned around after that individual performance to run the anchor leg of the 4×400, where he gave his all, again, and helped his team earn a spot at the state open next week. It truly was a team effort, Aidan, [fellow senior] Gabe Lavioe, [junior] Nevin Joshy and [sophomore] Dylan Sheehan each ran great legs.”

As a result of these placements, both Powers and the relay team will now advance to compete in the 400 m and 4 x 400 m races at the CIAC State Open next Wednesday.

Powers plans to attend Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in the fall.

Huge congratulations to Aidan and the relay team, and good luck on Wednesday!

Lyme-Old Lyme Girl’s Tennis are Class S State Champions for First Time in School History!

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Girl’s Tennis team poses with the Class S state championship trophy yesterday after defeating Litchfield 5-2.

LYME/OLD LYME — The top-seeded Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) girl’s tennis team became the CIAC Class S state champions yesterday for the first time in school history when they stormed to  a 5-2 victory over #2 seeds Litchfield yesterday.  The tournament final was played indoors at the Magic Lincer Tennis Club in Manchester.

The Old Lyme girls finished the season undefeated at 20-0 and also won the Shoreline Conference title along the way.

Asked how she felt about this extraordinarily successful season, team coach Lauren Rahr, who is also a math teacher at LOLHS, responded, “It has been such an amazing season with a wonderful group of girls. When I woke up this morning I still couldn’t believe that we actually won a state tournament!”

The LOLHS Girl’s Tennis Team first-year coach Lauren Rahr accepts the Class S state championship trophy after her team’s win Thursday.

She continued, “This year was my first year coaching tennis. Previously, I had played tennis for Waterford High School and Endicott College. It was always my dream to teach math at a high school and coach their girls tennis team. Being hired at Old Lyme provided me with the opportunity to pursue these goals.”

Rahr added, “Going into this season, I didn’t want to let the girls down, and I hoped that they would all get along and win some matches. But what actually happened this season was more special than I ever imagined. The minute I saw them play and really compete on the court I knew we had something special.”

Describing the team overall, Rahr said, “Out of my 10 starting varsity players, one had competed in a varsity high school match before this season. There was a lot of nerves and inexperience when it came to match play, but each practice we ran mental toughness drills or talked tennis strategies to help bring the girls to the level they competed at all season long.”

Noting, “Tennis is such a wonderful sport because anyone can step on the court and swing a racket, Rahr pointed out, “But what makes a tennis player special is when they can analyze their short and their opponent’s shots. I like to call this “smart tennis” and by the end of the season all of my girls had accomplished this. Our change over conversations went from me doing most of the talking to them giving me detailed recollections of things they noticed and strategies they were using.”

In terms of statistics, Rahr recalled that, “During the regular season, the team competed at a high level winning 11 of their 16 matches 7-0. Three of my players went on to win the Shoreline conference individual tournament: Lauren Wallace and Alexis Fenton won the doubles draw and Samantha Tan won the ¾ singles draw.” She highlighted, “These three players were able to remain undefeated in post-season play as well as regular season. Livie Bass (four singles) was undefeated in team matches and clinched us both our semi-final win and our finals win.”

The LOLHS Girl’s Tennis team members deservedly celebrate being #1 in Class S statewide!

Talking specifically about the championship final, Rahr said, “Yesterday, every single girl went out on the court fighting not just for themselves, but for the team. This group of girls has passion, drive, and huge hearts. I feel so lucky and honored to have been able to coach them this year.”

She explained further, “During yesterday’s match, we knew winning doubles would put us in a good spot. My number one doubles pair of Lauren Wallace and Alexis Fenton won their match in record time, executing flawless doubles strategies, placement, and communication. Their win drove the momentum in our direction for the remainder of the match.”

She summed up Wallace and Fenton’s performance in the words, “Their leadership throughout the season has been a big part of our success.”

Rahr concluded, “This is one of those once in a lifetime moments that I will never forget, and I hope the girls will always remember too. No matter what else comes my way with coaching, I don’t know if anything can top this moment with this special group of girls.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Techno-Ticks Complete Successful ‘Lymelyte’ Cube Satellite Test Launch

The weather balloon is carefully filled with helium.

OLD LYME — On Saturday, May 15, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 236-TechnoTicks  gathered at the practice field behind high school for a second test launch of their “Lymelyte” Cube Satellite (CubeSat) prototype.

The weather conditions were perfect, with minimal wind.

The balloon reached the team’s target test height of 500 ft.

The CubeSat and harness were attached to a carefully-inflated weather balloon and launched via tether (much like a kite).

TechnoTicks team members were able to monitor the data transmitted from the CubeSat.

The balloon quickly rose to the target altitude of 500 ft., sending data back to a laptop on the ground via the attached CubeSat.

The TechnoTicks were able to monitor temperature, air quality, air pressure and other data.

The balloon and CubeSat prototype were reeled in and safely landed./or

The CubeSat will ultimately work in tandem with the team’s “Trailyte” app to provide information about conditions at various hiking trails in the Lymes.

Editor’s Note: FIRST Robotics Team 236-Techno Ticks offers students from Lyme-Old Lyme High School and East Lyme High School a creative way to learn about robotics, design and computer programming. Visit the TechnoTicks  website and/or follow the team on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all the team’s latest news.

Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center Seeks Applicants for Variety of Positions

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) in Old Lyme has openings for the following positions, all starting Aug. 2021:

-Director
-Head Teacher (Infant and Toddlers)
-Teacher’s Assistants (all programs)
-Before and After Care Coordinator
-Before and After Care staff
The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center believes in children. Children need the time and opportunity to grow,  explore, and discover. The OLCLC programs promote the development of children as creative individuals and as members  of small groups, and staff who believe in these same philosophies are sought.
Staff who  will help us to make the Center a secure, safe and happy environment that fosters the natural development of the whole child, which includes socio-emotional, cognitive, language and small and large motor skills are required.
More information on each position follows:

Director: Seeking a strong leader with a vast knowledge of Early Childhood Education and practice. Director’s Certificate preferred but can be completed within first year of position. Must have strong organizational skills and managerial experience. Strong communication skills a MUST and looking for someone passionate about the field and making our Center the best place it can be for our staff and students.

Head Teachers: (Infants and Toddlers) Early Childhood degree with 2 yrs. Exp. in field. Knowledge of contemporary early childhood education appreciated and strong management, communication skills and leadership a must.

Teacher’s Assistants (all programs): Seeking full and part time teacher’s assistants. Experience working with children preferred.

Before and After Care Coordinator: Flexible hours a must– morning and afternoon hours available. Must be able to work a 7am-8:45am shift in the mornings and a 2:30pm-5:30pm shift in the afternoons.

Before and After Care staff: Looking for high school/college age students available either shift. Ideal after school job for high school student or for someone with another part time job in the program off hours.

If interested, send a letter of interest, a resume and two letters of recommendation to: Kristen St.  Germain at office.olclc@gmail.com

Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Middle School Announce Q3 Honor Rolls

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
Q3 Honor Roll    2020-21

HIGH HONORS
Grade 12:
Kaylee Armenia, Olivia Bartlett, Maxwell Bauchmann, Ava Berry, Emma Boardman, Kyuss Buono, Keenan Burr, Kate Cheney, Hunter Collins, Emerson Colwell, Megan Cravinho, Patrick Dagher, George Danes, Bianca Dasilva, Emily DeRoehn, Corah Engdall, Isabella Flagge, Sadie Frankel, Fiona Frederiks, Samuel Koenigs, Paige Kolesnik, Avery Lacourciere, Grace Lathrop, Mackenzie Machnik, Madelyn Maskell, Elle McAraw, Brendan McTigue, Marina Melluzzo, Riley Nelson, Sophia Ortoleva, Connie Pan, Olivia Papanier, Anwyn Paynter, Jenny Pelaez Cajamarca, Gavin Porter, Aidan Powers, Ezra Pyle, Julie Rudd, Hayden Saunders, Tait Sawden, Jesper Silberberg, Tessa St.Germain, Lian Thompson, McKenzey Thompson, Kelly Walsh, Alison Ward, Ellery Zrenda.

Grade 11:
Nicholas Adeletti, Nihad Bicic, Hannah Britt, Mackenzie Bussolotti, James Creagan, Lauren Creagan, Henry Cutler-Stamm, Eleanor Dushin, Lauren Enright, Victoria Gage, Nicolette Hallahan, Austin Halsey, Andrew Hedberg, Fiona Hufford, Julia Johnston, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Robyn King, Michael Klier, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Stephanie Mauro, Elle Myers, Bella Orlando, Jacob Ritchie, Margaret Rommel, Alexander Roth, Frank Sablone, Calvin Scheiber, Abigail Sicuranza, Abby Speckhals, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Maverick Swaney, Madison Thompson, Alexandra Tinniswood, Evan Visgilio, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Paige Winchell, Jenna Woods.

Grade 10:
Olivia Alpha, William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Jillian Beebe, Jordan Beebe, Cooper Bowman, Gillian Bradley, Jamie Bucior, Gretchen Burgess, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Grace Colwell, William Danes, Anna Davis, Jacob Derynioski, John Eichholz, Alexis Fenton, Ethan Hale, Willa Hoerauf, Arber Hoxha, Jonah Lathrop, Ford Macadam, Amy Magalhaes, Marielle Mather, Kennedy McCormick, Madalyn McCulloch, Madeleine Morgado, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Kelsey Pryor, Izzadora Reynolds, Santiago Rodriguez, Benjamin Roth, Eli Ryan, Alyssa Spooner, Samantha Tan, Tova Toriello, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten.

Grade 9:
Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Alis Bicic, Natalie Buckley, Jackson Bullock, Sarah Colangelo, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Eric Dagher, Eva D’Onofrio, Mulanga Drysile, Amelia Gage, Marcia Geronimo, Calla Gilson, Sydney Goulding, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Douglas Griswold, Abby Hale, Ella Halsey, Sedona Holland, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Emmerson Kaye, Grady Lacourciere, Griffin McGlinchey, Elaina Morosky, Delaney Nelson, Isabelle O’Connor, Ronald Olin, Jack Porter, Luisa Raby, Sydney Siefken, Hannah Thomas, Louisa Warlitz, Mason Wells, Tyler Wells, Duohui Yan.

HONORS
Grade 12:
Paige Alpha, Colbe Andrews, Juliette Atkinson, Sonia Bair, Rachel Barretta, Sadie Bowman, Jackson Cowell, John Cox, Francette Donato, Samantha Gray, Schuyler Greenho, Emma Griffith, Aryn Jones, Regan Kaye, Gabriel Lavoie, Owen Macadam, Emma McCulloch, Emma Meekhoff, Michael Milazzo, Lauren Pitt, Jacob Quaratella, Kassidy Standish, Jake Stewart, Katelyn Zbierski.

Grade 11:
John Almy, Evan Clark, Ryan Clark, John Conley, Grace Coverdale, Caroline Crolius, Elise DeBernardo, Elizabeth Duddy, Samantha Geshel, Aiden Goiangos, Shawn Grenier, Liam Grethel, Jackson Harris, Zoe Jensen, Cora Kern, Evan Morgan, Samuel Mullaney, Emily Nickerson, Brendan O’Brien, Michael O’Donnell, Lauren Presti, Adeline Riccio, Aidan Russell, McLean Signora, Daniel Stack, Victoria Stout, Olivia Turtoro, Aden Wilson, Ryan Zbierski.

Grade 10:
Sophia Adkins, Whitney Barbour, Ava Brinkerhoff, Sarah Burnham, Jennifer Cajamarca, Luke Celic, Nicholas Cox, Matthew Grammatico, Aidan Kerrigan, Theodore Lampos, Karleigh Landers, Monique Lavoie, Jacob Lopez-Bravo, Calvin Monte, Jaden Reyes, Rhyleigh Russell, Jenna Schauder, Anders Silberberg, Ned Smith, Malcolm Speirs.

Grade 9:
Jedidiah Arico, Elliot Bjornberg, Ava Cummins, Macklin Cushman, Lucas DaSilva, Alexis Frascarelli, Nyla Goulis, Katherine Gryk, Leland Hine, Jair Lata Yanza, Luke Legein, Matthew Mazzalupo, Katherine Mullaney, Dylan Paynter, Grace Phaneuf, Ava Roth, Cailin Ruhling, Kylie-Jean Sevigny, Haley Shaw, Madeleine Soriano, Gabriel Tooker, Kalea VanPelt, Keara Ward, Summer Wollack.

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
Quarter 3 Honor Roll   2020-21

HIGH HONORS
Grade 8:
Christopher Anderson, Emma Arelt, Quinn Arico, Natalie Barndt, Micah Bass, Molly Boardman, Justin Bonatti, Mark Burnham, Nathan Burres, Chase Calderon, Andrew Clougherty, Tabitha Colwell, Chloe Datum, Andrea DeBernardo, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Ella Evans, Grace Ferman, Benedict Frazier, Hoshena Gemme, Ava Gilbert, Abigail Griffith, Henry Griswold, Jonathan Harms, Nicolas Hatch, Kaela Hoss, Rowan Hovey, Shyla Jones, Simon Karpinski, Olivia Kelly, Ella Kiem, Mia Klewin, Peter Kuhn, Ada LaConti, James Lahot Straub, Elise Leonardo, Evan LeQuire, Andrew Liu, Abigail O’Brien, Kanon Oharu, Mutia Quarshie, Drea Simler, Audrey Spiegel, Kathleen Walsh.

Grade 7:
Charlotte Antonino, Zoe Brunza, Alec Butzer, Trevor Buydos, Makayla Calderon, Tyler Cann, Colman Curtiss-Reardon, Christopher Dagher, James Dahlke, Sophia D’Angelo, Rose Dimmock, William Donnelly, Jonathan Farrell, Gabrielle Field, Chase Gilbert, Alexander Glaras, Scarlette Graybill, Christopher Kachur, Thomas Kelly, Katherine King, Jade Lawton, Maya LeQuire, Jayden Livesey, Emily Looney, Elise Marchant, Samuel Masanz, Bridget McAdams, Carter McGlinchey, Ryan Miller, Nina Nichols, Ryan Olsen, Ryan Ortoleva, Louis Patana, Isabella Presti, 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, Connor Vautrain, Elisabeth Viera, Warren Volles, Edith Williams, Oliver Wyman, Stella Young, Carl Zapatka, Katherine Zhang.

Grade 6:
Collin Anderson, Lucia Arico, Addison Arndt, Zak Avelange, Phineas Barrett, Zachary Belval, Mia Bonatti, Ceciley Buckley, Morgan Buerger, Marla Bulas, Brooke Burgess, William Burgess, Ryan Burres, Anna Bussmann, Brennan Butzer, Lillian Calabrese, Aidan Carpentino, Chase Catalano, Isaac Chartier, Amirah D’Lizarraga, Elliot Dunn-Sims, Samson Edmed, Edward Fiske, Lauren Fulara, Kaedin Gerster, Harrison Goulis, Charles Halsey, Owen Holth, Carolyn Hu, Kalonji Joyce, Elsa Jungkeit, Josephine Kiem, Allisondra Krol, Callahan Lacourciere, Alexa Legein, Olivia Lovendale, John Morosky, Emelia Munster, Grace Osborne, Mia Palmer, Ainsley Rinoski, Cameron Russell, Kevork Shegirian, Nicholas Sokolowski, Carli Teixeira, Magdalena Tooker, Ethan Trepanier, Bowen Turick, Kaylyn Vernon, Ivy Wilson, Charles Zelek.

HONORS

Grade 8:
Oliver Avelange, Shane Eastman-Grossel, Samantha Fiske, Bronwyn Kyle, Brenden Landry, Colette Marchant, Andrew Sicuranza, Madeline Supersano.

Grade 7:
Julia Clark, Anne-Marie Hinckley, Harrison Kleefeld, William Landon, Sebastian Lopez-Bravo, Ian Maeby, Daniela Marin Yanza, Quenten Patz, Tanner Snurkowski, Charlotte Spiegel, John Turick.

Grade 6:
Johanna Coker, Taiyo Gemme, Samuel Gilbert, Gavin Goulis, Skylar Graybill, Logan Landry, Matilda Miller, Eva Oulahan-Smith, Arthur Riccio, Collin Swaney, Brody Ziolkovski.

In It Together: Understanding Critical Connections Between Drug Use/Abuse and Mental Illness


LYME/OLD LYME —
As we recognize both National Prevention Week this week (May 9-15) and National Mental Health Awareness Month during the whole month of May, the Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition is actively working to educate the community about substance abuse, our youth, and the role of prevention. 

Understanding how substance use and abuse before the age of 25 has a profound impact on our youth is a critical step in preventing adolescent alcohol and drug use.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug addiction is classified as a mental illness because addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires, and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using drugs. The resulting compulsive behaviors that override the ability to control impulses, despite the consequences, are similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses.

In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the definitive resource of diagnostic criteria for all mental disorders, includes criteria for drug use disorders, distinguishing between two types: drug abuse and drug dependence.

Drug dependence is synonymous with addiction.

By comparison, the criteria for drug abuse hinge on the harmful consequences of repeated use, but do not include  compulsive use, tolerance (i.e., needing higher doses to achieve the same effect), or withdrawal (i.e., symptoms that occur when use is stopped), which can be signs of addiction.

Many people, who regularly abuse drugs, are also diagnosed with mental disorders and vice versa. The high prevalence of this comorbidity has been documented in multiple, national population surveys since the 1980s. Data shows that persons diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders are about twice as likely to suffer also from a substance use disorder (abuse or dependence) compared with respondents in general.

The same is true for those diagnosed with an antisocial syndrome, such as antisocial personality or conduct disorder. Similarly, persons diagnosed with substance use disorders are roughly twice as likely to suffer also from mood and anxiety disorders.

Adolescence – A Vulnerable Time

Although substance abuse and addiction can happen at any time during a person’s life, drug use typically starts in adolescence. Photo by Gras Grun on Unsplash.

Although substance abuse and addiction can happen at any time during a person’s life, drug use typically starts in adolescence, a period when the first signs of mental illness commonly appear. It is therefore not surprising that comorbid disorders can already be seen among youth.

Significant changes in the brain occur during adolescence, which may enhance vulnerability to drug use and the development of addiction and other mental disorders. Drugs of abuse affect brain circuits involved in learning and memory, reward-comprehension, decision-making, and behavioral control, all of which are still maturing into early adulthood. 

One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that enables us to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep our emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of an adolescent’s brain is still a work-in-progress puts them at increased risk for poor decision-making (such as trying drugs or continuing abuse.)

Thus, introducing drugs while the brain is still developing may have profound and long-lasting consequences. This is especially true as we see a rise in marijuana use and the extremely high amounts of THC found in today’s cannabis market.  

The more we learn, the better we understand the abilities and vulnerabilities of teens, and the significance of this stage for life-long mental health. The fact that so much change is taking place beneath the surface may be something for parents, family members, and others to keep in mind during the ups and downs of adolescence. 

Research has shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective in reducing drug abuse.

For more information about the work of the Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition, visit www.lysb.org.   

The Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition also hosts a Community Podcast:  L-OL:In it Together where you can find episodes related to prevention. Find links to the show at www.lysb.org/podcast.             

(Source: NIDA)

Alli Behnke

About the Author: Alli Behnke, MSW, MA is the Prevention Coordinator at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau. She has been a Social Worker for 20 years working in the fields of prevention, therapy, youth leadership, and health coaching. Alli believes strongly in providing accurate information, education, and tools for success when empowering the Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition and REACH Youth Coalition to work together on strengths-based campaigns. The Coalitions address substance abuse and other risky behaviors challenging our youth and families. Contact her at abehnke@lysb.org or visit  www.lysb.org to become involved in this important community work.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Proposed Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns

LYME/OLD LYME — UPDATED 5/7: The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools proposed $34.87 million budget for 2021-22 was approved by a wide margin of 273 votes Tuesday, with a combined total of 328 Lyme and Old Lyme residents voting for the budgets and only a total of 55 across both towns voting against it.

The percentage of total voters supporting the budget was 85.6 and the number rejecting it was 14.4 percent.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented to LymeLine in an electronic message after the result had been announced, “Thank you to the Lyme and Old Lyme communities for their ongoing support of our schools. We could not achieve the level of success that we have without the support of our communities.”

He added, “Support for this budget will allow us to continue providing a top-notch education to the students of Lyme and Old Lyme.”

The results by town were as follows:
Old Lyme
For: 249
Against: 50

Lyme
For: 79
Against: 5

The town numbers above reflect voter turnout in Old Lyme at 4.99 percent based on a total number of 5,992 registered voters, while in Lyme the equivalent percentage was 4.24 based on 1,979 voters.

Registration Open at Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center for Variety of Summer, Fall Programs

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) at 57 Lyme St. is opening enrollment for the following programs:

Preschool/Kindergarten Summer Experiences: (June 28 -Aug. 6)

A six-week summer program open to children ages 3-6. Families can sign up for any amount of weeks, but programs are limited to 16 per week.  

Each week has a different theme, and events and activities will revolve around that theme.  Themes include: gardening, camping, construction, water fun, zoo and the Olympics. Reading and mathematics are built into all themes, and younger students will be provided with a rest time each day. 

There is also an option of before and/or after care for families who work. 

Programs are filling up quickly, so send your registration paperwork in ASAP. The cost per week is $300.00 for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. care.  

FALL, WINTER & SPRING PROGRAMS

Registration is now being accepted for enrollment into the following programs:

Infant Program:  Six (6) weeks to twelve (12) months

Transition program:  Twelve (12) months to two (2) years

Toddlers:  Two (2) years to four (4) years

For more specifics and to receive OLCLC registration forms, email: office.olclc@gmail.com

Op-Ed: Faculty, Staff at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Deserve Cash Bonuses

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted by William Fitzgerald of Old Lyme. 

In Old Lyme, we claim to value education. Now is the time for us to step up and show we mean it. The Board of Education recently put out a request to crowdsource gifts for teachers. While this gesture is well-intentioned, it’s not enough. Our school staff – every adult who worked in the building, from the custodial crew to maintenance to the kitchen staff to guidance counselors to admin assistants to tech staff to teachers and admins – stepped up under the most challenging conditions this country has seen in a generation. Their effort and care deserves cash bonuses.

Currently, the district site lists 306 people. Let’s assume, for the sake of overestimating, that the full number of people supporting our kids in the district is 350. Estimating high, paying each staff member a bonus of $1,000 would cost $350,000. A bonus of $2,000 per person is $700,000; and a bonus of $3,000 per person is just over a million dollars.

We have the money to do this. The current budget contains a little over 1.7 million dollars in unspent funds “returned” to Lyme and Old Lyme. Returning “unspent” money is an annual ritual; between 2017 and the current budget the district has refunded amounts ranging between $647,000 and $1.7 million (see footnote, below). This money is cash that has already been taxed from the townspeople, and allocated via budgets. The towns or the district could pay every staff member a $3,000 bonus and still leave $700,000 of that 1.7 million untouched.

If the school board wants to solicit matching donations from community members, the contributions could potentially be routed through the Lyme Old Lyme Education Foundation, where these community contributions could be a tax writeoff. This assumes that the LOLEF would be willing to serve in this role, but it seems a natural extension of their past work and aligned with their general mission.

Given what things have been like since March 2020, I can’t imagine that our school board and superintendent would want to do anything except show our school staff that they are appreciated via this one time cash bonus. Frequent objections to doing something different include that it’s too hard, or that there isn’t enough time, or that the politics of the budget process are too complicated.

However, our teachers, our admin staff, our custodians, our kitchen staff, our tech staff did not have the luxury of these excuses. Their work was unreasonably hard, and they did it. They did not have adequate time to plan for the continual shifts and disruptions caused by Covid – and they showed up and excelled. Our staff had to navigate the impacts of the political quagmire that marked our national response to Covid – and they showed up and made it happen, under circumstances that were and continue to be unreasonably difficult and complex. 

The commitment, professionalism, and follow through of our staff should be matched by this board, and the town selectmen.

In January, in the middle of the current pandemic, this school board committed nearly 2.5 million dollars for an artificial turf field. If we can afford millions for fake grass, we should be able to afford thousands for actual people.

Pay school staff a one time bonus for their work during the pandemic. We have the money, and they earned it.

Author’s footnotes:

School budgets listed on the Region 18 district website go back to the 2019-2020 budget, which allows us to see “returned” funds starting on 6/30/2017.

The budget overview pages are here:

Carry over funds from 2017 and 2018:

  • 6/30/2017 – $1,101,399
  • 06/30/2018 – $804,212

Carry over funds from 2019:

  • 06/30/2019  – $647,155

Carry over funds from 2020:

  • 06/30/20 – $1,725,886

The district has not yet released a projection of unspent funds for the current fiscal year ending 6/30/2021, but if past patterns hold there is potentially an additional $650,000 to $1.1 million dollars in play.

 

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Ranked 11th ‘Best High School’ in CT, 564th in US, by ‘U.S. News & World Report’  

Lyme-Old Lyme High School has received high placements in US News & World Report’s 2021 ‘Best High Schools in America’ rankings.

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) has again been recognized as a top-performing high school both statewide and nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report ‘Best High Schools in America’ rankings.

More than 17,800 public high schools (traditional, charter, and magnet) were evaluated in the 2021 report and LOLHS came in at 11th place in the state of Connecticut and also gained 564th place in the country. Moreover, if solely traditional schools are considered, LOLHS takes ninth place in Connecticut, while notably, the majority of the ‘Top 10’ schools in the state are located in Fairfield County.

“This ranking is a reflection of our teachers, staff, and community and their commitment to developing and becoming skilled problem-solvers, effective communicators and contributing citizens,” said Lyme-Old Lyme Schools  Superintendent Ian Neviaser.

He added, “I commend all of our staff PK-12 for the leadership and dedication shown each and every day. Their work is reflected in this great honor.”

To determine the rankings, US News & World Report evaluates schools on six criteria: college readiness, reading and math proficiency, reading and math performance, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rates. College readiness specifically measures participation and performance on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School serves 450 students in grades 9 through 12 and is located in the historic district of Old Lyme, CT.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release issued by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Hold Budget Referendum Today, Polls Open12-8pm; Griswold Urged BOE to ‘Skip Referendum’

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Board of Education (BOE) are holding a referendum today, Tuesday, May 4, on their proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. Voting will take place from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents.

Information on absentee ballot and voter information is available at the following links:

Members of the BOE voted at the Budget Meeting held Monday evening to move the public vote to approve the budget to an in-person referendum scheduled for the following day.

The proposed budget totals $34,874, 548 representing a 0.47 percent increase over the current year’s budget. When this total is combined with last year’s decrease of 1.06 percent, the total change over two years is -0.6 percent or $210,210.

This is the first time in many years that the polls will not open until 12 noon — traditionally voting in both towns begins at 6 a.m.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold (File photo)

Responding to a question from LymeLine questioning how this time change came about, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold said by email, “I urged the School Board to vote the budget and skip the referendum because the budget is uncontroversial and actually has a slight decrease.”

He noted, however, “The School Board believes that it is more transparent to have an in person vote.”

Griswold went on to explain his viewpoint further, saying, “Old Lyme has about 400 voters (out of about 6,000) [who vote in the referendum, on average.] Usually, voting occurs during the hours of 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM or 14 hours. That translates to about 29 voters per hour in Old Lyme.”

He noted, “We need about 12 staff to run the polls so the Town would likely need about double that to run two shifts of about seven hours each.”

Adding, “Then, we need to have absentee ballots which means less in person voters.”

Griswold said, “In the end, we discovered this type of vote must be from noon to 8:00 PM or eight hours. Now we are up to about 50 voters per hour.”

“While the cost of running the voting in two towns is a School District expense,” Griswold pointed out, “the Towns fund the District so Old Lyme pays over 80% of the bill.”

In conclusion, he stated, “If the school budget were controversial, in person voting would make sense but this budget is not controversial. We shall see the how many people turn out.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School will not be closed during voting hours — students will be following a regular school day.

Asked how voters would be kept separate from students and faculty during the period when polling station opening times overlap with school being in session, LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained to LymeLine by email, “Voters will enter through the two exterior doors in the north corner of the gymnasium near the multi-purpose room.  They will use those same two doors to exit.  Their access will be limited to the gymnasium only.”

Neviaser said this new timing was initiated because, “the [Lyme-Old Lyme] Board [of Education] adjusted the time at the request of the Town of Old Lyme due to concerns regarding COVID.”

He continued, “Depending on how it goes this year we may consider this new time period for future referendums.  Many other regional school districts use the 12-8 [p.m.] time period.”

Neviaser concluded, “When using the school for voting, the change in time is beneficial in regard to visitor management.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Budget Meeting Tonight, Referendum Tomorrow with New Voting Hours, 12 to 8 p.m.

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

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Board of Education (BOE) will hold their District Budget Meeting Monday evening, May 3, in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School starting at 6:30 p.m.

The proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year totals $34,874, 548 representing a 0.47 percent increase over the current year’s budget. When this total is combined with last year’s decrease of 1.06 percent, the total change over two years is -0.6 percent or $210,210.

Region 18 Board of Education Chairman Diane Linderman

In the Letter of Transmittal accompanying the printed budget, LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and Region 18 Board of Education Chairman Diane Linderman say, “We have developed a budget that continues to support all of our award-winning academic and curricular offerings, which are commensurate with, and often superior to, both public and private schools throughout Connecticut.”

Members of the BOE are expected to vote at the meeting to move the public vote to approve the budget to an in-person referendum the following day, Tuesday, May 4.

Voting will take place from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents.

Information on absentee ballot and voter information is available at the following links:

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School will not be closed during voting hours — students will be following a regular school day.

Asked how voters would be kept separate from students and faculty, Neviaser explained to LymeLine by email, ” Voters will enter through the two exterior doors in the north corner of the gymnasium near the multi-purpose room.  They will use those same two doors to exit.  Their access will be limited to the gymnasium only.”

This is the first time the polls will not open until 12 noon — traditionally voting begins at 6 a.m. Neviaser explained that this new timing was initiated because, “the [Lyme-Old Lyme] Board [of Education] adjusted the time at the request of the Town of Old Lyme due to concerns regarding COVID.”

He continued, “Depending on how it goes this year we may consider this new time period for future referendums.  Many other regional school districts use the 12-8 [p.m.] time period.”

Neviaser concluded, “When using the school for voting, the change in time is beneficial in regard to visitor management.”

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold (File photo)

Regarding the time change, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold commented to LymeLine by email, “I urged the School Board to vote the budget and skip the referendum because the budget is uncontroversial and actually has a slight decrease.”

He noted, however, “The School Board believes that it is more transparent to have an in person vote.”

Griswold went on to clarify his thinking on the matter saying, “Old Lyme has about 400 voters (out of about 6,000) [who vote in the referendum, on average.] Usually, voting occurs during the hours of 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM or 14 hours. That translates to about 29 voters per hour in Old Lyme.”

He noted, “We need about 12 staff to run the polls so the Town would likely need about double that to run two shifts of about seven hours each.”

Adding, “Then, we need to have absentee ballots which means less in person voters.”

Griswold said, “In the end, we discovered this type of vote must be from noon to 8:00 PM or eight hours. Now we are up to about 50 voters per hour.”

Concluding, “While the cost of running the voting in two towns is a School District expense,” Griswold pointed out, “the Towns fund the District so Old Lyme pays over 80% of the bill.”

In his final comment, he stated, “If the school budget were controversial, in person voting would make sense but this budget is not controversial. We shall see the how many people turn out.”

Editor’s Notes: The Budget Meeting will also be live-streamed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF2_W7yYtFwx067Ici9776Q/videos?view=57

Public comment can be made in person or virtually via this Zoom link:  https://region18.zoom.us/j/83527766795  and using Meeting ID: 835 2776 6795.

Those choosing the virtual option to make public comment will be required to follow the same expectations as those commenting in person, i.e., after being recognized by the chairperson, participants must state their name and place of residence before making their comments to the board.

Letter to the Editor: Region#18 BOE Seeks Community’s Help in Finding Ways to Thank Lyme-Old Lyme Staff for Remarkable Efforts in Extraordinary Year

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to the Lyme-Old Lyme Community

The sights and sounds of springtime are in the air and with those come thoughts of the end of the school year and the beginning of summer. As we look toward the end of this historic year, the Region #18 Board of Education asks your assistance in thanking our school staff for everything they have done this school year.  

Lyme-Old Lyme is unique for having offered full in-person instruction for the entire school year. This is nothing short of amazing and deserves our recognition and thanks. Therefore, we plan to recognize our staff for their commitment to making this year so successful. In this effort, we would like the community’s assistance.  

We are asking for donations that we can provide to our staff to show appreciation. We are not looking for monetary donations but instead are looking for opportunities within our community that will help our staff relax and recharge for another successful school year. These donations will be given to the staff at our annual end of the year banquet, which will be held outdoors this year in a COVID-safe environment.

If you own a business, or work in a business that may be willing to help, or just want to show your appreciation, please consider some of the following donation ideas.

  • Gift cards/certificates to restaurants, gyms, spas, recreational activities, hair salons, barbers, nail salons, etc.
  • Tickets to special events
  • Exercise or sporting equipment
  • Car services
  • Home services
  • Babysitting services

Donations can be sent to or dropped off at the Board of Education, ℅ Michelle Dean, Center School, 49 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.  

All donations are welcomed, no matter the size. Of most importance is the community’s thanks and appreciation for our staff who have provided our children with a sense of normalcy in what was a year like no other.

Sincerely,

The Region #18 Board of Education
Diane Linderman, Chair, Old Lyme
Rick Goulding, Old Lyme
Stacey Leonardo, Lyme
Jennifer Miller, Old Lyme
Mary Powell St. Louis, Lyme
Martha Shoemaker, Old Lyme
Suzanne Thompson, Old Lyme
Jean Wilczynski, Old Lyme
Steven Wilson, Old Lyme

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ District Budget Hearing to be Held This Evening

LYME/OLD LYME —  UPDATED APRIL 5 — see text in red: Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools will hold their District Budget Hearing Monday evening, April 5, in the board of education conference room at Center School starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will also be live-streamed at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF2_W7yYtFwx067Ici9776Q/videos?view=57

Public comment can be made in person or virtually via this Zoom link: https://region18.zoom.us/j/83527766795 and using Meeting ID: 835 2776 6795.
Those choosing this option will be required to follow the same expectations as those making public comment in person, i.e., after being recognized by the chairperson, participants must state their name and place of residence before making their comments to the board.

Region 18 Board of Education Chairman Diane Linderman. File photo

The Spring 2021 edition of Focus on Education includes a letter from Superintendent Ian Neviaser and Region 18 Board of Education Chairman Diane Linderman, which states, “On March 3, the Region #18 Board of Education approved a budget of $34,966,548 for the 2021-2022 school year.”

That number has now been revised down to $34,874, 548. Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained to LymeLine in an email this morning, “We were able to reduce the budget by $92,000 using ESSER [Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief ] funds,”  adding, “The lower number represents a 0.47 percent increase.” 

The letter continues, “The Board of Education has strived to preserve and build upon the high standards of education in Lyme–Old Lyme while remaining fiscally responsible to our communities.”

The letter notes that two facilities projects are included in the budget, namely, replacement of the tennis courts at Lyme School and a study for the upcoming refurbishment of the elementary schools and the middle school.

Neviaser and Linderman explain in their letter that the proposed budget includes, “Additional technology support, as the role of technology grows in education, monies for our curriculum renewal cycle for grades 3–8, as well as replacement of the high school sound field systems and network switches.”

They also note that, “As a result of community input and interest, we will also be adding wrestling as a new sport.”

Regarding enrollment, the letter concludes, “For the last several years we have seen our enrollment numbers exceed our projections. We anticipate continued enrollment growth at the elementary level and therefore have added additional staff to address this.”

Lyme-Old Lyme High, Middle Schools Announce Q2 Honor Rolls

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
2020-21 Quarter 2 Honor Roll

HIGH HONORS
Grade 12:
Kaylee Armenia, Sonia Bair, Maxwell Bauchmann, Jason Beebe, Emma Boardman, Kyuss Buono, Keenan Burr, Kate Cheney, Hunter Collins, Emerson Colwell, Megan Cravinho, Patrick Dagher, George Danes, Emily DeRoehn, Francette Donato, Isabella Flagge, Sadie Frankel, Fiona Frederiks, Schuyler Greenho, Regan Kaye, Avery Lacourciere, Grace Lathrop, Mackenzie Machnik, Elle McAraw, Emma McCulloch, Brendan McTigue, Riley Nelson, Connie Pan, Olivia Papanier, Lauren Pitt, Aidan Powers, Ezra Pyle, Julie Rudd, Hayden Saunders, Tessa St. Germain, Lian Thompson, McKenzey Thompson, Lauren Wallace, Kelly Walsh, Alison Ward, Lucas Wood-Muller

Grade 11:
John Almy, Nihad Bicic, Hannah Britt, Mackenzie Bussolotti, Evan Clark, Ryan Clark, Lauren Creagan, Elise DeBernardo, Elias D’Onofrio, Eleanor Dushin, Lauren Enright, Victoria Gage, Samantha Geshel, Shawn Grenier, Austin Halsey, Jackson Harris, Andrew Hedberg, Zoe Jensen, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Robyn King, Michael Klier, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Abigail Manthous, Stephanie Mauro, Emily Mesham, Evan Morgan, Samuel Mullaney, Elle Myers, Emily Nickerson, Bella Orlando, Lauren Presti, Adeline Riccio, Margaret Rommel, Alexander Roth, Frank Sablone, Calvin Scheiber, Abigail Sicuranza, Abby Speckhals, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Maverick Swaney, Madison Thompson, Evan Visgilio, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Ryan Zbierski

Grade 10:
Whitney Barbour, William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Jillian Beebe, Cooper Bowman, Ava Brinkerhoff, Jamie Bucior, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Grace Colwell, Nicholas Cox, William Danes, Anna Davis, John Eichholz, Zachary Eichholz, Makenna Harms, Willa Hoerauf, Arber Hoxha, Aidan Kerrigan, Theodore Lampos, Jonah Lathrop, Jacob Lopez-Bravo, Marielle Mather, Kennedy McCormick, Madalyn McCulloch, Caden Monte, Calvin Monte, Madeleine Morgado, Cooper Munson, Alexander Olsen, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Jaden Reyes, Izzadora Reynolds, Santiago Rodriguez, Rhyleigh Russell, Eli Ryan, Alden Sarnoski, Anders Silberberg, Alyssa Spooner, Samantha Tan, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten, George Williams

Grade 9:
Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Alis Bicic, Elliot Bjornberg, Drew Brackley, Natalie Buckley, Jackson Bullock, Sarah Colangelo, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Eric Dagher, Eva D’Onofrio, Marcia Geronimo, Ryder Goss, Sydney Goulding, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Douglas Griswold, Katherine Gryk, Abby Hale, Ella Halsey, Parker Holland, Sedona Holland, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Emmerson Kaye, Grady Lacourciere, Griffin McGlinchey, Delaney Nelson, Isabelle O’Connor, Ronald Olin, Dylan Paynter, Jack Porter, Luisa Raby, Cailin Ruhling, Louisa Warlitz, Mason Wells, Tyler Wells, Summer Wollack

HONORS
Grade 12:
Paige Alpha, Colbe Andrews, Ava Berry, Sadie Bowman, John Cox, Axel Cruz, Bianca Dasilva, Corah Engdall, Jackson Goulding, Isabella Hine, Samuel Koenigs, Paige Kolesnik, Destiny Kus, Owen Macadam, Brianna Melillo, Sophia Ortoleva, Nicholas Parrillo, Anwyn Paynter, Gavin Porter, Tait Sawden, Jesper Silberberg, Kassidy Standish, Jake Stewart, Avery Welch, Katelyn Zbierski

Grade 11:
Grace Arnold, Dylan Avelange, Anne Colangelo, John Conley, Grace Coverdale, James Creagan, Caroline Crolius, Elizabeth Duddy, Iona Fitzgerald, Aiden Goiangos, Nicolette Hallahan, Fiona Hufford, Julia Johnston, Cora Kern, Jacob Meyers, Brendan O’Brien, Michael O’Donnell, Jacob Ritchie, Aidan Russell, McLean Signora, Victoria Stout, Olivia Turtoro, Mary Wholean, Aden Wilson, Paige Winchell, Jenna Woods, Jerry Zhang

Grade 10:
Sophia Adkins, Olivia Alpha, Gillian Bradley, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Jennifer Cajamarca, Jacob Derynioski, Kylie Dishaw, Alexis Fenton, Matthew Grammatico, Ethan Hale, Clarence Hinckley, Karissa Huang, Madison Krol, Phoebe Lampos, Monique Lavoie, Ford Macadam, Amy Magalhaes, Grace McAdams, Olivia Powers, Kelsey Pryor, Benjamin Roth, Dylan Sheehan, Ned Smith, Tova Toriello

Grade 9:
Jedidiah Arico, Ava Cummins, Macklin Cushman, Lucas DaSilva, Mulanga Drysile, Alexis Frascarelli, Kenneth Gray, Leland Hine, John Holzworth, Yanza Lata, Luke Legein, Matthew Mazzalupo, Matthew Miller, Elaina Morosky, Katherine Mullaney, Grace Phaneuf, Ava Roth, Elias Sahadi, Kylie-Jean Sevigny, Haley Shaw, Owen Snurkowski, Madeleine Soriano, Hannah Thomas, Gabriel Tooker, Kalea VanPelt, Jacob Volkerts, Keara Ward, Duohui Yan

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
2020-21 Quarter 2 Honor Roll   

HIGH HONORS
Grade 8:
Christopher Anderson, Emma Arelt, Quinn Arico, Oliver Avelange, Natalie Barndt, Molly Boardman, Nathaniel Bradley, Mark Burnham, Nathan Burres, Chase Calderon, Andrew Clougherty, Tabitha Colwell, Gloria Conley, Chloe Datum, Andrea DeBernardo, Shane Eastman-Grossel, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Ella Evans, Grace Ferman, Benedict Frazier, Hoshena Gemme, Ava Gilbert, Henry Griswold, Jonathan Harms, Kaela Hoss, Rowan Hovey, Simon Karpinski, Olivia Kelly, Ella Kiem, Peter Kuhn, Bronwyn Kyle, Ada LaConti, Straub Lahot, Elise Leonardo, Evan LeQuire, Andrew Liu, Colette Marchant, Abigail O’Brien, Kanon Oharu, Filip Pecher-Kohout, Mutia Quarshie, Ysabel Rodriguez, Andrew Sicuranza, Drea Simler, Nola Slubowski, Audrey Spiegel, Kathleen Walsh, Ava Wood-Muller

Grade 7:
Charlotte Antonino, Zoe Brunza, Trevor Buydos, Tyler Cann, Julia Clark, Jack Conroy, Colman Curtiss-Reardon, Christopher Dagher, James Dahlke, Sophia D’Angelo, Rose Dimmock, Jonathan Farrell, Chase Gilbert, Alexander Glaras, Benjamin Goulding, Scarlette Graybill, Anne-Marie Hinckley, Christopher Kachur, Thomas Kelly, Katherine King, Harrison Kleefeld, William Landon, Jade Lawton, Maya LeQuire, Emily Looney, Sebastian Lopez-Bravo, Elise Marchant, Yanza Marin, Samuel Masanz, Carter McGlinchey, Sybil Neary, Nina Nichols, Ryan Olsen, Ryan Ortoleva, Louis Patana, Quenten Patz, Isabella Presti, Jacob Prokopets, Taylor Quintin, Jenna Salpietro, Sophia Shaposhnikova, Luca Signora, Emma Singleton, Tanner Snurkowski, 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, Edith Williams, Oliver Wyman, Stella Young, Carl Zapatka, Katherine Zhang

Grade 6:
Lucia Arico, Addison Arndt, Zak Avelange, Phineas Barrett, Zachary Belval, Ceciley Buckley, Morgan Buerger, Marla Bulas, Brooke Burgess, William Burgess, Brennan Butzer, Lillian Calabrese, Chase Catalano, Isaac Chartier, Johanna Coker, Elliot Dunn-Sims, Samson Edmed, Edward Fiske, Lauren Fulara, Kaedin Gerster, Samuel Gilbert, Gavin Goulis, Harrison Goulis, Skylar Graybill, Charles Halsey, Owen Holth, Carolyn Hu, Elsa Jungkeit, Josephine Kiem, Allisondra Krol, Paul Kuhn, Alexa Legein, Olivia Lovendale, John Morosky, Emelia Munster, Grace Osborne, Mia Palmer, Kaitlyn Pannier, Ainsley Rinoski, Cameron Russell, Kevork Shegirian, Nicholas Sokolowski, Milo Stiles, Magdalena Tooker, Bowen Turick, Kaylyn Vernon, Ivy Wilson

HONORS
Grade 8:
Micah Bass, Jared DeMarco, Davis Fallon, Samantha Fiske, Marcella Gencarella, Abigail Griffith, Kyle Ingersoll-Bonsack, Charlotte Tinniswood

Grade 7:
Alec Butzer, Braden Dawson, Michael DeFiore, William Donnelly, Gabrielle Field, Bodie Holland, Ian Maeby, Bridget McAdams, Michael Nickerson, Daniel Shaposhnikov, Gabriel Waldo

Grade 6:
Mia Bonatti, Aidan Carpentino, Zachariah Guidi, Ashley Hendrick-Keel, Dina Hightower, Marley Iaia, Callahan Lacourciere, Eva Oulahan-Smith, Arthur Riccio, Hunter Supersano, Carli Teixeira

Lyme-Old Lyme HS Students Win Major Awards in 2021 CT Scholastic Art Contest

‘Paige’ by Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Connie Pan received a prestigious Gold Key in the 2021 Scholastic Art Awards. Pan also won the ‘Best in Portfolio’ award.

LYME/OLD LYME — Four Lyme-Old Lyme High School students (LOLHS) will be recognized this evening at the 2021 Connecticut Scholastic Art contest’s virtual awards celebration, which celebrates the work of talented young artists in the state in grades 7 through 12.

Senior Connie Pan was awarded the Best in Portfolio award as well as Gold Keys in both the Drawing and Portfolio categories. She also earned one of two cash scholarships from Connecticut Woman Artists, as well as a scholarship offer from the University of Hartford Art School.

‘Rosenberg #2’ by LOLHS senior Olivia Bartlett was awarded a Gold Key in Mixed Media for the piece above. She also received a Gold Key in the Portfolio category and a Silver Key in Mixed Media.

Senior Olivia Bartlett earned Gold Keys in both the Portfolio and Mixed Media categories, and a Silver Key in the Mixed Media category along with a University of Hartford scholarship offer.

‘Mr. Cheney’ by Aidan Powers received a Gold Key in the Digital category.

Senior Aidan Powers earned both a Gold Key and an Honorable Mention in the Digital Media category, and senior Marina Melluzzo earned a Silver Key in the Ceramics and Glass category.

‘Invasion’ by Marina Melluzzo won a Silver Key in the Ceramics category.

Asked his reaction to the remarkable number of top awards earned by his students, LOLHS Art Department Chair William Allik told LymeLine exclusively, “We are very proud of both the winning students and several others whose portfolios were not included in this year’s show.”

He continued, “The jurying is inherently subjective, but this was a great year for Olivia Bartlett and Connie Pan — portfolio students whose work couldn’t be more different, yet who both show the development of traditional skills that we value here at LOLHS.”

Allik added, “Connie Pan is one of our top students academically, and this Best Portfolio award is a great validation of her choice to consider studying art in college. Our students don’t always get up [to Hartford] to see the competition, but the virtual exhibition is allowing all to see this year’s show.”

‘Catfishing’ by Connie Pan was included in her award-winning portfolio.

In light of the vastly increased accessibility the online nature of this year’s show has offered, Allik noted, “I hope they consider maintaining an online exhibit alongside future physical shows.”

‘Clown to Clown Conversation’ by Olivia Bartlett was included in her portfolio.

The Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards Program is sponsored by the Connecticut Art Education Association and is an affiliate of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Student artwork is juried by professional artists and university art faculty and selected on merit for inclusion in a statewide art exhibition usually held ‘in person’ at the Hartford Art School, but this year the event has been hosted exclusively online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Beyond the honor of being chosen for this highly selective exhibit, students are eligible for Gold or Silver Keys and Honorable Mention awards in each of 17 media categories.

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. In a reflection of the extremely high standards adhered to by the jurors, only eight portfolios in the Connecticut contest were awarded Gold Keys this year.

This year’s show can be viewed online at www.ctartawardsexhibit.net

Editor’s Notes: i) Here at LymeLine, we send hearty congratulations to all the exceptional artists, who were either award-winners or participated in the contest.

ii) This article is based on a press release issued by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

Lyme Academy Enters New Era, Names Mora Rowe as Executive Director to Launch Programs, Re-engage With Community

Mora Rowe is the new Executive Director of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

OLD LYME — Lyme Academy of Fine Arts (LAFA) in Old Lyme is on the brink of an exciting new era — and yet, at the same time, it is, in essence, a renaissance of the principles on which the Academy was founded.

After 18 months of strategic planning and a recent change in leadership on the board of trustees, the LAFA Board of  Trustees has structured a new plan reflective of the Academy’s original mission and hired both an Executive Director and an Artistic Director in anticipation of reopening with new programming in September 2021.

On Feb. 8, 2021, Mora Rowe joined Lyme Academy as Executive Director for the school. Most recently, she served as the director of economic development for the City of Auburn, Calif., and was previously the executive director and chief executive officer of Placer County Visitors Bureau in Auburn, Calif. She relocated to Essex in December 2019. 

Rowe spoke with LymeLine yesterday saying, “It’s been a wonderful, though somewhat exhausting, week. The staff has done a fantastic job [during the period since the University of New Haven withdrew from its relationship with LAFA], but now we will be working rapidly to reengage with our stakeholders and the community. We are fortunate to  have an active, passionate board that is ready to go.”

Asked how she felt about her appointment, Rowe responded, “I am honored and excited for the role,” adding that she was eagerly looking forward to, “Implementing the Board’s plan for LAFA and supporting the artistic vision of our new Artistic Director, Jordan Sokol.” 

She added, “I have many ideas for community engagement and look forward to working with the other established organizations in the region.” 

In terms of her management style, Rowe explained, “I’ve always looked at management and leadership as a servant role,” noting, “Instead of people working to serve a leader, the leader works to serve the organization.”

The Board has developed a 10-point manifesto for, “The revival of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts as it plans for its 50th anniversary in 2026,” said Michael Duffy, who was elected board chair in December. 

The plan includes adhering to the mission of founder Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, an acclaimed sculptor, who founded the school in 1976 based on her philosophy that artists needed to be educated in the fundamentals of representational and figurative art forms, a curriculum she believed was in danger of disappearing in contemporary art education.

“There is a need for Lyme Academy’s mission today, as an academy, not a college,” said Duffy.  These are the first two points of the manifesto and reflect the board’s desire to reestablish the academy model at LAFA rather than an accredited College.

A delighted Duffy, who lives in Old Lyme, commented on Rowe’s appointment, saying exclusively by email to LymeLine, “[She] is exactly the right person to lead the Lyme Academy: she is hard-working, brimming with ideas and passionate about the Academy’s mission.”

He expanded on that mission, saying, “Our vision is that by Lyme Academy’s 50th anniversary in 2026, it will be known nationally and internationally for the excellence of its teaching and that it will once again become a beloved and vibrant hub of the Old Lyme community.”

Duffy concluded, “Working with our Artistic Director, Jordan Sokol, Mora’s leadership will help to bring that vision to life.”

Laura Lee Miller of Lyme, LAFA Board of Trustees Vice Chair, continued Duffy’s positive theme in an email saying enthusiastically, “With energetic new leadership and a fully engaged Board of Trustees, Lyme Academy of Arts is prepared to relaunch with robust art programming in fall 2021 and with a renewed commitment to the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme and our cultural partners in the community.”

She added, “We want to re-activate our campus as a center of fine arts education and a community hub and we welcome ideas from our neighbors in Lyme and Old Lyme.”

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is entering an exciting new era with the appointment of Executive Director Mora Rowe and Artistic Director Jordan Sokol. File photo.

The new LAFA program will look to enroll full-time students each year in what is expected to be a two-year core program. As the exact programming evolves, the tuition will be determined.  

Other goals in the manifesto include “serving the needs of many kinds of students,” which will include young artists programs and classes open to the public, reconnecting with the Academy alumni and investing in career development for graduates of the Academy. 

Rowe added, “We are interested in ideas and activities that could transform the LAFA campus into a vibrant community hub. This might include a seasonal Farmer’s Market, concerts on the green, or an invitation to read a book while sitting in one of our colorful Adirondack chairs on campus. There are so many possibilities for our campus in town.”

Standing together in the Sculpture Studio at Lyme Academy are noted painter Jordan Sokol (right) and his wife, Amaya Gurpide, an acclaimed artist. Sokol is the new Artistic Director and Deane Keller Chair at the Academy and Gurpide will serve as the Academy’s Director of Drawing. Photo by Rick Lacey III.

Jordan Sokol, a painter, is the newly appointed Artistic Director for the school, and his wife, artist Amaya Gurpide, will serve as the director of drawing at the school. The couple have a four-year-old son and have relocated to Old Lyme from Jersey City where Sokol served as academic director of The Florence Academy of Art and also an adjunct professor at the New York Academy of Art.

Sokol said that when he was a student, the model of an academy — as opposed to a college — fulfilled the type of education for which he was looking. Having  studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, and taught there after he graduated. he noted, “I find that a lot of my students are not interested in the degree, they’re interested in learning how to paint so that they can pursue their dream and so [a degree] is not as important as the skills they acquire.”

Rowe added that the academy model reflected trends in the marketplace. “So many industries are going back to the crafts and trades, learning a set of skills,” she said. “This is foundational, and I don’t think that goes out of style. It is becoming more popular and it is more affordable.”

She concluded emphatically, “The fact that you are working with exceptional artists in their own right — I don’t think that’s a hard sell.”

About the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts: Founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located in historic Old Lyme, CT, which has been a vibrant center for the arts and artists in Southeastern Connecticut for more than 100 years. Lyme Academy upholds the standard of a Classic Fine Arts education offering a variety of programs under the guidance of master artists, who share a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching. The Academy has been providing students with the necessary foundation and skills to develop their own unique visual expression for nearly 50 years. 

Lyme Academy of Fine Art is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut.

For more information about Lyme Academy’s past, present and future, visit lymeacademy.edu or call 860.434.5232.

Editor’s Note: This article is based in part on a press release issued by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Lyme-Old Lyme Preschool Program Schedules March 12 Visits for Potential Peers in 2021-22 Program

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 2021-2022 school year, visits are being scheduled for March 12.

Children, who are three-years-old by Sept. 1, 2021, are welcome to participate in a spring peer visit.  All mitigating measures for COVID-19 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.

For more information, contact Jennifer Frazier or Tracy Pompano at 860-434-0487.

Kindergarten Registration Now Open at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools for the fall of 2021 is now open at Lyme Consolidated School and Mile Creek School.

Children who will be five-years-old on or before Jan. 1, 2022 are eligible to register for the 2021 Kindergarten class.

Registration packets may be picked up at either school.

When the registration forms are fully completed, call the school to make an appointment to register your child. In view of the COVID-19 situation, it is preferred that only one family  member come to the registration appointment.

The following are also required at your registration appointment:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization/Health Records
  • Three forms of proof of residency

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.