When Jo-Ann Peters-Edmonson arrived in the district in mid-1998, Hawley Elementary School was still a kindergarten through fifth grade institution. Different areas of the building were used for classrooms at the time, like the multipurpose room and the lower level of the building’s 1921 section. The latest addition to the building had just been built and finished in 1997. A retirement party was held for her at Roberto’s Restaurant in Monroe on April 10. Her family, friends, family members, and Hawley community members attended. Members of the Hawley PTA were there along with former superintendents of schools John Reed and Evan Pitkoff, and Board of Education member John Vouros.
The Scholarship Committee of Newtown Visiting Nurse Association recently presented three scholarship checks to students who have met requirements for their respective honors. On June 5, members of the committee presented the final $4,000 Anna E. Clow Scholarship check to Abigail Blakeman. On June 10 Newtown VNA presented two more scholarship checks to students it had promised awards. Erin Begg received a $4,000 VNA Scholarship check, and Meredith Bridges received a $2,500 Janice Van Syckle Scholarship award.
It was Spirit Day at Head O’ Meadow School, Friday, June 6, and school pride was evident, from hair dyed to match class T-shirts, to painted faces and colorful wigs, and a hillside painted to read “There’s No Place Like HOM!”As grades kindergarten through four thronged the playing field behind the school, ready to take part in the ten fun events set up by dozens of parent volunteers, Coach Steve Dreger took a moment to explain the significance of the day.
During its final meeting of the school year, on Monday, June 9, members of the Hawley Kids Care Club had a surprise for retiring Principal Jo-Ann Peters-Edmondson.
The Kids Care Club meets once a month before school, and it has spent the school year doing helpful activities for the community. According to co-advisor and Hawley parent Lisa Burbank and a number of the club’s students, projects this school year have included gathering donations for the town Social Services food bank, hosting a toy drive for daycare centers in need in Bridgeport, creating Hearts of Hope, and crafting butterflies as gifts for school teachers.
In two sessions, students at Sandy Hook Elementary School took part in their school’s Field Day, held on Thursday, June 12. By the time the third and fourth grade students had made their way out to the back field at Monroe’s Chalk Hill Middle School, mud was forming. The younger grades participated in their Field Day later in the day. Sandy Hook School physical education teacher Jaclyn Lloyd said ten stations were set up for the event, and students made their way through the stations with their classes. The classes spent less than a quarter of an hour at each station.
Newtown High School World Language Department Chair Paula Greenfield has announced that host families are being sought for NHS Chinese guest teacher Amanda Zhang, who is set to arrive on August 1. Ms Zhang is 34 years old and has a master’s in education and a certificate in English proficiency, according to Ms Greenfield. Host families received a stipend of $150 a month to supplement spending on food. Host families are expected to provide room and board for a year or for part of a year.
Newtown Continuing Education has created a new science camp this summer called “Design It, Build It, Launch It! Engineering Your Own Machines, ” where students will be able to design, build, test, and modify their own machine projects. The camp is a hands-on science program developed for upper elementary and middle school students who enjoy both engineering and physics. Students will get to explore machines like catapults and trebuchets by building and testing them. Students will also explore modern inventions such as rockets and hovercraft and “egg drop” devices, according to Newtown Continuing Education. Rick Lowry, who currently teaches fifth grade in Fairfield, is the camp’s creator.
As students arrived at Middle Gate Elementary School on Wednesday, June 18, for the final day of the 2013-14 school year, music teacher Tina Jones stood waiting to greet students who were dropped off by parents.With her arms wide open, as if ready to hug each of the students, Ms Jones sang, “Happy last day of school.”For some students she had a cheer at the ready.“Give me an ‘L,’” she said, before asking for an “A,” “S,” and “T.” Other students bounced off their buses and entered the school.
Before the Newtown Middle School Moving-Up Ceremony began Monday evening, a crowd of soon-to-be alumni gathered behind a black screen at Western Connecticut State University’s O’Neill Center. Students gathered in groups, talking among friends, and marking when their teachers arrived for the event. By the time students entered to “Pomp & Circumstance” on June 16, parents, friends and family members had cameras in hand to record the event from the stands and seats. Some attendees yelled out names, while others simply waved or smiled at their graduates.