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Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue announced the celebration of seven students at the November 7 Board of Education meeting, citing the students’ dedication and leadership in Newtown High School’s Unified Sports programs.
Students Kai-Li Davey, Silas Decker, Garrett Fitzpatrick, Robert Morrill, Johnny Nowacki, Sophia Spraggins, and Yanni Kousidis were introduced to the school board by NHS physical education and health teacher and Unified Sports Coach Kathleen Davey. Other Unified Sports coaches were also in attendance at the event.
“These are definitely some of the best and brightest at Newtown High School,” said Ms Davey, adding that she was honored to be speaking about the students.
According to Ms Davey, each of the students understand that Unified Sports is a way of transforming a system to make it a better place for everyone.
Kai-Li, Silas, Garrett, and Sophia serve on the Youth Activation Council, which is part of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) for Unified Sports, she shared.
“They attend meetings and conferences and they bring their ideas back to the high school, and we are able to incorporate them,” said Ms Davey.
This year, and for the past two years, Ms Davey said NHS students have made presentations at the state’s Unified Sports Leadership Summit to school representatives from around the state. This year Kai-li, Silas, Sophia, and Yanni will present as representatives from Newtown.
Ms Davey also shared that Kai-li and Robbie participated in the Special Olympics Hometown Foundation’s inaugural Unified Swimming event in August, which was a statewide event that drew thousands from the state and country.
“At the high school… Kai-li, Silas, Garrett, Robbie, Johnny, Sophia, and Yanni serve on the leadership team that meets regularly to not only discuss the sports at hand, but they plan the events at the high school that create an inclusive community for all,” said Ms Davey, adding that activities include the Spread the Word to End the Word program at NHS and Newtown Middle School, outings to Ferris Acres Creamery, and participation in the Special Olympics Torch Run.
“All of these students work to create a better Newtown High School community, so I thank them from the bottom of my heart for everything they have done for Newtown High School,” Ms Davey said.
Members in the audience and school board members applauded the students before Board of Education Chair Keith Alexander handed certificates to each student to mark the accomplishment.