BOE Recognizes Top Students, Retiring Employees

The Board of Education recognized Newtown High School's high-achieving students, Newtown's Math Olympiad participants, and retiring district employees at its Thursday, June 6, meeting.

"Ladies and gentlemen," NHS Assistant Principal Jason Hiruo said, "may I present to you the top five percent of Newtown High School."

The students who achieved grade point averages that rank them in the top five percent of the 2013 NHS graduating class were greeted with applause before the school board and members of the public present for the meeting.

While not all in attendance for the meeting, the students who achieved the accomplishment are Kristen Campbell, Danielle Chaloux, Neil Davis, Jay DeStories, Christopher Erikson, Abigail Fagerholm, Lauren Frazetta, Caitlin Gibney, Joshua Goldman, Madelyn Good, Michelle Green, Evan Isaacs, Andrew Jensen, Corey Katz, Joseph (Yossi) Kohrman-Glaser, Pieter Martino, Adam Oelberg, Kelly O’Sullivan, Aidan Pelisson, Leah Pinckney, Alexander Strzelecki, Evan Swain, David Swigart, and Sean Watkins.  

"And while we have the students up here," Mr Hiruo said, "I'd like to announce the valedictorian and the salutatorian of Newtown High School for 2013. The salutatorian is Sean Watkins... and the valedictorian is Yossi Kohrman-Glaser."

Both Sean and Yossi stepped forward to applause as Mr Hiruo announced their achievement.

Acting Superintendent of Schools John Reed likened the achievements of all of the NHS students to patriotism, an intellectual form of the Olympics.

"In one sense your willingness to study, your willingness to be here tonight to accept this recognition, is indicative of the kinds of character, fortitude, strength, and conviction that I hope you take on to college in your pursuit of academic success," said Dr Reed, "because we all frankly need you to be quite successful in your endeavors. Congratulations."

Lauren Frazzetta and Steve Conway were also named as the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Student Leadership Award Winners during the meeting.

BOE Chair Debbie Leidlein said CABE identifies students in its districts who exhibit leadership qualities.

One male and one female student from each high school in a CABE member district are eligible to receive the CABE Student Leadership Award, according to CABE.

Newtown Middle School teacher Kathy Bremer announced during the meeting that the NMS and Reed Intermediate School students in this year's Math Olympiad group tied for first place in the Fairfield County Math League.

Newtown's Math Olympiads tied for first place with Middlesex School, Darien. Ms Bremer and Reed teacher John Scibaldi oversaw the Math Olympiad team this year.

Student members of the Math Olympiad team are Capri Agresta, Kevin Arther, Matthew Auerbach, Kate Dapra, Melissa Shohet, Jake Wilson, Ravi Ahuja, Michael Arther, James Barden, Dyllon Chowdhury, Aidan Ford, Josh Harper, Nick Harper,
Cathy Hyeon, Yanni Kousidis, Will Kraus, Andrew Lally, Topher Pirner, Kevin Reiss, Jermane Anyoha, Elise Johnson, Morgan Main, Michael Arena, Hailey Pankow, AJ Friesl, and John Auerbach. Each student was named and recognized during Thursday's meeting.

Retiring Employees

NMS Principal Diane Sherlock, Middle Gate math/science specialist Pam Fagan, Sandy Hook School reading/language arts consultant Becky Virgalla, and NMS computer integration teacher Christina Walsh were all recognized for their contributions to the school district. Each woman is set to retire at the end of this school year.

"Teachers are my heroes and heroines," said Dr Reed. "I sincerely mean that. I've felt that my whole life, as it really relates back to when I was in school, and the importance of a number of teachers that came into my life at an important time."

Dr Reed said he is always honored to be present when district employees receive a "tip of the hat."

Other teachers who are retiring this year, but who were not present at the meeting are NHS Fine and Applied Art Department Chair Jay Daly, Sandy Hook School teacher Sue Perry, preschool program teacher Janet Walker, and Head O' Meadow School reading recovery teacher Barbara Williams, as Dr Reed announced at the meeting.


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