The Board of Education unanimously accepted new educational specifications for the proposed design of Sandy Hook Elementary School as presented by Jay Brotman and Julia McFadden of Svigals + Partners during a meeting on Monday, December 23. “The design team came back in and met with [Kathy Gombos, principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School]… and also went down and met with the staff in what I recall as small meetings to review the [education specifications],” explained Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed, who also said he met with the design team on a few occasions...
Preserved as open space, the High Meadow in Fairfield Hills will also be protected by a management plan, which the Conservation Commission members are finalizing, according to commission Chairman Mary Gaudet-Wilson. “Meadows habitat is what we have the least of in Connecticut and it’s valuable for certain species and biodiversity,” she said. The plan being drafted, which must then be approved by other town officials, will be based on a habitat management plan already written for both the High and West Meadows at Fairfield Hills.
The Board of Education accepted the resignation of Hawley Principal Jo-Ann Peters-Edmondson during its meeting on Monday, December 23. Ms Peters-Edmondson also sent a letter home to Hawley families the previous week to announce her decision. “She really began the discussion last year,” Interim Superintendent of Schools John Reed told the school board. “She met with you, I think, in executive session. She met with [then Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson], and rather than leave us trying to be looking for a new principal at this time of year, which is not good … she has built into her plans that she will stay on as acting principal for the remainder of the school year.” Formally, Dr Reed said Ms Peters-Edmondson will be retired as of the end of December, but she will still be in place until the end of the school year. Accepting Ms Peters-Edmondson’s retirement passed the school board unanimously, and multiple members thanked her for staying for the remaining...
Following 12/14, when people worldwide offered solace to the community in the forms of stuffed animals, comfort pillows, and quilts, Newtown was left with a surplus of lovingly donated items. In March 2013, America Responds With Love, Inc, a national nonprofit organization, offered its assistance to help the Town of Newtown. In particular, America Responds With Love offered to help find homes for products donated, but that were not needed within Newtown or neighboring communities. Richard McDonough, president and CEO of the organization, recently provided The Newtown Bee with an update, summarizing how the thousands of items have been distributed to date.
It is our tradition for our Christmas week edition to publish a seasonal illustration on our cover.
This year’s illustration is once again by local artist Kim Proctor. It depicts an old lamplighter plying his trade in the new streetscape of Sandy Hook Center, which in this rendering includes the new village Christmas tree at the corner of Washington Avenue and Riverside Road.
Ms Proctor explained that this year’s illustration is “dedicated with great admiration to Pat Llodra for her compassionate leadership.”
With winter weather settling in, State Sen John McKinney (R-28), State Representatives Mitch Bolinsky (R-106), DebraLee Hovey (R-112), and Dan Carter (R-2), along with Newtown’s Social Services Department, are holding a food drive in the month of January to benefit Newtown families in need. Boxes for food donations will be set up at Newtown Municipal Center, Edmond Town Hall, C.H. Booth Library. Financial donations may also be made, and should be done directly at the Newtown Social Services office, at 3 Main Street.
The faculty and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School have come together to write a thank you letter to express their gratitude to those from around the world who took the time during the past 12 months to reach out to the school. "The outpouring of love, kindness, and support shown to us over the past 12 months has been extraordinary and we would like the opportunity to say thank you,” an email said in part when the letter was submitted to The Bee. The letter has been signed on behalf of the entire staff.
Danbury Superior Court Judge Robin Pavia last week sentenced John Heath, 70, of Bridgewater to serve a 50-year prison sentence for murdering his wife, Elizabeth, 32, in April 1984, at their Poverty Hollow Road home in Newtown. Following the murder, Mr Heath concealed his wife’s body in a dry well located beneath the floor of a barn at the 89 Poverty Hollow Road property. It was not until April 2010, when the current owners of the property were renovating the barn, that Ms Heath’s skeletal remains were discovered wrapped in bedding inside the dry well. A 12-member jury of eight men and four woman convicted Mr Heath on October 16, following a three-week trial at which the prosecution presented more than 30 witnesses.
State officials announced new school construction protocols Friday in response to the Newtown tragedy, including exterior surveillance, blast-resistant entryways and classroom door locks -- all features that might have stopped or slowed Adam Lanza's assault on Sandy Hook Elementary a year ago according to a December 20 report at CTMirror.org. The new standards must be met to qualify for the $600 million spent annually by the state to build and renovate schools, a local responsibility that is subsidized by the state based on local wealth, with an upscale suburb like Avon qualifying for 20 percent and a city like New Britain getting 80 percent. The standards will apply to all new school construction approved for funding by the legislature after June 2014.
Members of Governor Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission said on December 20 they need more detailed information about the killer’s mental state. Members also want to know his access to treatment before they can make any substantial recommendations concerning mental health policy. Dr Harold Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, said he was distressed by the amount of information on 20-year-old Adam Lanza’s mental health issues that was not included in the investigative report into the massacre, released last month by Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III. The commission is hoping to gain access to additional documents, and would also like to meet with the killer's father.