The back doors to Head O’ Meadow Elementary School opened Friday morning, May 29, and a rainbow of teams poured out onto the field, where the fun of Spirit Day awaited Yellow, Green, Red, and Blue Teams from grades kindergarten through four. After gathering for brief remarks by the “Spirit of Spirit Day” (parent volunteer Doug Ballard), Coach Steve Dreger gave the signal and teams spread out to pit their skills against each other in activities from a soccer dribble to a sack race to a water balloon toss and more. The challenge that teams accepted from Coach Dreger, as they put forth their best efforts, was one in keeping with the theme of the day.
With their final presentations due either during the evening of June 1 or June 2, students in this semester’s Newtown High School Junior/Senior Project course practiced on Tuesday, May 26.
The Junior/Senior Project program at NHS is designed to enable students to build on existing strengths and to provide an opportunity for further study not available in the traditional classroom. The program provides motivated and responsible high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore a subject/career that they are passionate about and develop a career-oriented relationship with a community professional as a mentor in the student’s area of chosen interest.
In flowing skirts and sequins, young women were beautifully dressed for the Newtown High School Best Buddies prom on Saturday, June 6. Young men, many in suits and dress shirts, also spent the evening under flashing lights and moved to a DJ’s music. In keeping with the night’s Mardi Gras theme, many tables were covered with masks and beads. The group was also celebrating the Newtown High School Best Buddy chapter, which recently won the Most Outstanding Chapter in the state for a second school year in a row.
Newtown High School’s musical production of "City of Angels," which ran March 19-22, received three awards at the Annual Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards, which was held at the Palace Theater in Waterbury on June 1. The award winners were announced during the gala, and the NHS production had been nominated for 14 awards. “It was a wonderful night filled with amazing performances,” said Jane Matson, the production’s director and the high school’s choral director.
A special celebration was held in the Guidance Department at Newtown High School on Wednesday, May 27, marking the Award of Outstanding Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Program from the Connecticut School Counselor Association (CSCA). Before the celebration, at the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, May 19, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, offered his congratulations to NHS Principal Lorrie Rodrigue and NHS Guidance Director Cathy Ostar. “Through the Connecticut School Counselors Association, Newtown High School Guidance Department [was] recognized as an outstanding department of 2015,” the superintendent said.
A school effort that began with a book has built a school in Liberia.
Reed teachers Valerie Pagano-Hepburn, Lil Martenson, Patrice DiVanno, and Karen King visited Newtown Middle School on Friday, June 5, to share the news with former Reed students, who gathered into the NMS’s auditorium during two assemblies.
“It’s so exciting. You’re going to be blown away,” said Ms Pagano-Hepburn to her former students before Ms King shared the story of how the school came to be built.
Author and illustrator Lita Judge visited three of Newtown’s elementary schools between Monday, May 11, and Thursday, May 14, sharing stories about her life, her pets, and from her books.
Her first visit was to Middle Gate Elementary School on Monday, May 11.
Middle Gate students had read Ms Judge’s book Pennies for Elephants as the school’s One School One Read book. Between April 6 and April 10, all students, staff, and school community members were encouraged to read the book, and different activities were held throughout the week to celebrate the reading effort.
Middle Gate Elementary School held its annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Night event for third and fourth graders on Thursday, May 21.
The event, organized by math/science specialist Jill Bracksieck and the school’s math intervention teacher Kristen Delgado, boasted many activities that allowed the students to learn about and explore science and math.
Some of the activities were put together by representatives from the EverWonder Children’s Museum, while others were set up by Ms Bracksieck and Ms Delgado.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, noted at the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, June 2, that the educators who will be retiring at the end of this school year have spent a total of 354 years working in the district.
Recognizing and celebrating the “careers of master teachers,” Dr Erardi said, is one of his favorite things to do as a superintendent.
“And this evening… I think we will all be in agreement that 354 years of service that will be standing in front of you at some point, is simply amazing,” said Dr Erardi.