March 28, 2015

Basketball Game Between Wildcat Teachers, Harlem Rockets Postponed

03/20 Update:  This event has been postponed due to the inclement weather anticipated.  A new date will be announced as soon as it is agreed.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class (LOLHS) of 2017 will be hosting some very special guests this Friday, March 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the LOLHS gymnasium.  The Harlem Rockets, a talented group of basketball entertainers, who combine showtime basketball skills and family-friendly comedy, will face the All-Star Wildcat Teachers in a game benefiting the Class of 2017,

Having played over 2,500 games in 16 years without a single defeat, the Harlem Rockets offer something for everyone to enjoy.  Sports enthusiasts will be intrigued by the pure athleticism and sheer size of the Rockets, while basketball aficionados will be …

  • Dazzled by the ball-handling wizardry of Kaseem “The Ankle Breaker” Williams — one of the world’s extraordinary street-ball dribblers, aka … Ankle Breaker.
  • Satiated by the game of Junie “King Of The Battleground Champion” Sanders
  • Awestruck by high-flying dunks of Anthony “Amazing” Gordon and Angelo “TNT” Gordon.

And since this is comedy basketball, the Harlem Rockets present to you the Zaniest Showman Of All Time … Tex Barnwell.  Dubbed “One Of Show Basketball’s All Time Greats,” he is also nicknamed, “The Crowned Prince Of Laughs.”

The Harlem Rockets incorporate the audience, especially children, into the show and are always available to meet the fans and give autographs at halftime and after the game.

In this special fundraising event for the LOLHS Class of 2017, the high school teachers have graciously agreed to face the Harlem Rockets and are expected to give the pro’s a real run for their money!

Tickets for what promises to be a fun-filled evening for the community are available at the door the night of the event or through the website at this link. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $8 for children/students prior to the event, and $12 and $10 respectively at the door.  All ages are welcome at this family-friendly event.

If you have any questions, contact Brett Eckhart at 860-434-1651 ext 1202 or


How to Raise a Drug-Free Child: Country School Holds Parenting Event, April 9

MADISON - The Country School presents How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: THE STRAIGHT DOPE FOR PARENTS, an evening of conversation with Dr. Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Yale University psychiatry experts.

On April 9 at 6 p.m. in The Country School’s DeFrancis Gymnasium, join Dr. Califano, former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, founder of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), and author of the new completely revised and updated edition of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents, as he provides insights on how to help get children through the dangerous decade from 10 to 21, those formative pre-teen, teen, and college years.

Topics covered will include: legalized and synthetic marijuana, social media, the prescription drug epidemic and abuse of ADHD medications, rampant drinking and drug use on college campuses, and the latest findings on the critical connection between teen brain development and substance use.

Dr. Califano’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A session with Yale psychiatry experts, including his daughter, Claudia Califano, MD, Adolescent and Child Psychiatrist, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, and a Country School parent; Joseph L. Woolston, MD, Albert J. Solnit Professor of Pediatrics and Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center; and Greer Richardson, MD Psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University.

The panel will be moderated by Samuel A. Ball, PhD, President and CEO of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) and Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.

This event, part of The Country School’s Teacher Institute-Partnering With Parents Initiative, is supported by M.A.D.E. in Madison (, a coalition of community members striving to promote positive youth development. The evening is free and open to the public, but all attendees are asked to RSVP ahead of time.

Email by April 2, 2015, with your name and the number of guests joining you (limit four people per RSVP). All attendees will receive a copy of Dr. Califano’s book. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The Country School thanks Dr. Califano, the panelists and moderator, and M.A.D.E. in Madison for partnering with the school in the search to improve lives through education. Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus. The Country School is located at 341 Opening Hill Road in Madison. Learn more at


Class of 2015 Plans Paper Shredding Fundraiser, April 25

On Saturday, April 25, the Senior Class of 2015 will shred documents for businesses and individuals. Anyone can bring their papers to the Lyme-OId Lyme High School from 9 a.m. to 12 noon to shred for $10 a bag.

Many people have unwanted papers sitting in boxes or on desks around their house.  The papers could be old tax returns, bank statements, bills, credit card statements, newspapers or school ditto sheets. This fundraiser provides the community an opportunity to securely discard unwanted papers from houses or businesses.

The Class is excited to hold this Shred-it Fundraiser because the demand for secure document shredding services is growing. This fundraiser provides a low cost way to accomplish this community service.

The Class of 2015 has conducted this fundraiser for the last three years.  It has collected over 120 bags of unwanted papers and generated over $1,200 each year.

The Class used the funds for its activities. Class activities included three dances and many community service projects throughout town. This year the Class will use the funds to give a Class gift to the school and pay for end of the year activities such as the senior banquet.


Welcome to Our New Intern, Adina Ripkin

Adina Ripkin

Adina Ripkin

We are delighted to welcome Adina Ripkin to the staff of Shoreline Web News (SWN) LLC through the internship program at Old Saybrook Hgh School (OSHS). Adina will be working for us through June of this year writing for both and

Adina is a junior at OSHS and already much involved in the world of journalism. She has been writing for the school newspaper, “The Rambler,” for two years and serving as an editor for one. She comments, “I love participating in The Rambler … it’s a lot of fun,” adding, “I also write and edit for, which tries to bring together schools from across the region.” Not surprisingly for someone who is both a talented and an aspiring writer, one of Adina’s favorite subjects at school is English, but she also likes the sciences.

Adina is involved in the upcoming school production of the musical, “West Side Story,” for which she is assistant in creating the costumes. She also is a member of the group known as “Goodwin Buddies,” which she explains is, “A program where high school students help elementary schoolers with their homework.”

Outside school, Adina is an avid reader and enjoys walking her dog.

Last semester Adina was an intern at the Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook where, in her words, she, “learned what it was like to be in a professional medical environment.” She notes, “It was great — I was mainly in the lab, which I loved because everyone there was so nice and interesting. It helped me to get a much more concrete idea of what to expect after college.”

Adina will be covering a range of stories for SWN ranging from town events and municipal news to theater reviews and school happenings … and more. She told us, “I am lucky to be interning with ValleyNewsNow and LymeLine to experience what it’s like to work for a newspaper. I’m excited to get started.”

Well, we’re certainly excited to have you on board, Adina, and hope you not only thoroughly enjoy but also learn from the experience. Welcome!


Lyme-Old Lyme’s ‘Techno Ticks’ Score High in Recycle Rush® to Win FIRST at Waterbury

Drive Team Captain Jared Di Carlo makes some final adjustments to the robot during the contest with team members Hayden Hendrix and Nate Bersing.  All photos by Sarah Crisp.

Drive Team Captain Jared Di Carlo makes some final adjustments to the robot during the contest with team members Hayden Hendrix and Nate Bersing. All photos by Sarah Crisp.

The Techno Ticks, Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s FIRST Robotics Team, brought home the winner’s trophy in a hard-fought weekend of competition over Feb. 28-March 1.

Team 236 competed against 34 teams from across Connecticut and as far away as New Jersey, in a two-day competition at Wilby High School in Waterbury, Conn.  This was the first competition of the season and the Tick’s unrivalled “autonomous” play and “Big 6” ability saw them rack up the highest points of any game to leave them as clear leaders after the first day’s 62 qualifying rounds.

Team 236 members Aiden, Norm and Ethan celebrate as the Techno Ticks win their final game to take home the Waterbury District Championship

Team 236 members Aiden, Norm and Ethan celebrate as the Techno Ticks win their final game to take home the Waterbury District Championship

With the storm closing in, organizers ran the first day late so there were just six qualifying matches on Sunday and the Ticks held on to their substantial lead, going into the quarter-finals as Alliance Leaders.  They chose two teams to play with in their “Red Alliance”; Team 230 the Gaelhawks from Shelton, CT and Team 3464 Sim-City from Simsbury, CT.

An ever-present Bill Derry - Tech Ed teacher, long term mentor and co-founder of the Techno Ticks - watches as the team produce another “big six” stack.

An ever-present Bill Derry – Tech Ed teacher, long term mentor and co-founder of the Techno Ticks – watches as the team produce another “big six” stack.

After exciting quarter and semi-finals, the Tick’s Red Alliance was pitted against Team 237, Black Magic, Team 558 Robo Squad and Team 4557 – the FullMetal Falcons from Middletown, Conn.  The Red Alliance came home champions in a hard-fought best-of-three match, which was a close call to the last second.

Senior Jared Di Carlo who has been a four year starter on the Techno Ticks as well as a three year starter on FIRST Lego League Middle School Team the Luna Ticks, with Mom and team Mentor Ellen, an electrical engineer at Electric Boat.

Senior Jared Di Carlo who has been a four year starter on the Techno Ticks as well as a three year starter on FIRST Lego League Middle School Team the Luna Ticks, with Mom and team Mentor Ellen, an electrical engineer at Electric Boat.

As well as taking home the winner’s trophy, the team was also honored to be awarded the Motorola Quality Award.  The Techno Ticks have won this award for two years running for the robustness of their design and the quality of their engineering.

Drive Team member Nate Bersing and Scouting Captain Tom Crisp collect the Motorola Quality Award on behalf of the team.

Drive Team member Nate Bersing and Scouting Captain Tom Crisp collect the Motorola Quality Award on behalf of the team.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international program; For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology.  It brings together high school students from across the world with mentors who have wide experience in all forms of engineering, manufacturing, business and education.

Each January, FIRST launches a new game, giving teams just six weeks to decide on a game-play strategy and then design, build and test a life-size robot to compete against other teams at District, Regional and International levels.  It is known across the world as “The Sport of the Mind”.

Members of the Drive Team collect their well earned awards: Sam Winter, Hayden Hendrix, Nate Bersing and Jared Di Carlo.

Members of the Drive Team collect their well earned awards: Sam Winter, Hayden Hendrix, Nate Bersing and Jared Di Carlo.

This year’s game is called Recycle Rush® and demands precision engineering as robots collect and stack totes and recycling cans as well as “litter” from the field (in the form of green pool noodles).  Each game lasts two minutes and 30 seconds and the first 15 seconds are played in “autonomous” mode where the robots are pre-programmed to carry out a series of moves to score points.  In the following two minutes and 15 seconds, the drive team use a computer to control the robot to score the maximum number of points they can for their alliance.  If you want to see the Techno Ticks robot in action, click here.

Any individuals or organizations interested in helping Team 236 should contact Jon Goss (  Support comes in many forms; sponsorship, mentoring, organizing and coming to games to support the team.

The Techno Ticks are grateful for their main sponsors Dominion Millstone Power Station as well as support they have received from the Administration and staff at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, the Region 18 Board of Education, Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation, Brooks Engineering and Aerocision Engineering


Old Saybrook Student Takes First Place in Southern CT Science & Engineering Fair

Andrew Pan (right) stands on the podium with the other winners at the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair.  Photo credit:

Andrew Pan (right) stands on the podium with the other winners at the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair. Photo credit:

In a remarkable achievement, Old Saybrook High School senior Andrew Pan won first place in the Health and Medicine category at the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 7 for his research project entitled, “Elevated Levels of Interleukin-8 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers induce Cell Survival During Chemotherapy.”

Pan’s first research experience was the summer before his junior year when he went to intern with the drug development company his father works for in Shanghai called Astrazeneca. “It was my first exposure to research,” said Pan. “It was a lot of fun and it really intrigued me.”

After his summer with Astrazeneca, he knew he wanted to continue on with his scientific research the summer before his senior year. “One of my friends who is a year above me had done research at Yale over the summer the year before and recommended it, so I contacted Professor Rong Fan because his work looked really interesting to me.” Professor Fan’s work, which has been garnering a lot of attention, involves helping to detect variations between various cells to help aid the diagnosis of diseases like cancer. Pan added, “Cancer is really fascinating scientifically because it’s a very complex, intricate micro environment working together against yourself – I’m curious about these types of things.”

“Researching under Professor Fan’s direction was great – he’s a very relaxed and quiet person. I worked with Jonathan Chen, a grad student who was studying non small cell lung cancer for his thesis project and under his direction, I was investigating a variant of lung cancer which affects smokers and nonsmokers equally,” said Pan. Specifically, he focused on a type of protein called interleukin-8 which affects how cancer cells move and grow.

Pan continued, “At first I was assigned a small sub project. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to study, but while Jon was gone for a couple weeks working with a lab from another school, I started to focus on a sub-population of cells emitting comparatively higher rates of interleukin-8 by comparing 2,300 individual cell samples – it was really tedious, but fun.”

Andrew Pan (left) stands with his mentor on his winning project, Yale graduate student, Jonathan Chen.

Andrew Pan (left) stands with his mentor on his winning project, Yale graduate student, Jonathan Chen.

He continued, “What I found was that the high producers of interleukin-8 were potentially serving as tumor drivers, something several other studies have confirmed experimentally.” He went on to explain that blocking interleukin-8 in particular cells had the potential to help prevent cancer and improve upon the current delivery method so that treatments would work faster. “I’m hoping my research will help to identify targets for treatment,” said Andrew.

It was this research that he presented to the judges of the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair. “I had a poster, and I talked for 15-30 minutes about my research and answered some of the questions the judges had,” said Pan. “The whole process was a lot of fun, but I never thought I’d win. There were so many great projects, and it was so interesting seeing the research other students were doing.”

As for winning, he said, “It was really fun to present to the judges; my favorite part of the whole process was presenting my research and being able to share and learn – and it was nice to get recognition not just for myself, but for Old Saybrook High School as well.”

“On its own, my research is one small factor and won’t revolutionize anything, but hopefully building on it will help cancer research progress in the future,” said Pan, adding, “I’m really thankful to my friend for mentioning his research and encouraging me to try it, to the Professor for allocating time and resources for me, to my teachers for letting me leave school early so I could get to the lab on time, and especially to Jon for letting me tag along on his project – he used a lot of time to train me.”

As for what he’ll do next, Pan noted, “I’m going to present my research again at UConn, as well as Quinnipiac University for the next portion of the competition called the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair that’s statewide, and I’m planning on either writing a research paper or co-authoring one with Jonathan.”

He is also starting a Research Initiative Program to encourage rising juniors and seniors in Old Saybrook High School who are interested in experiencing hands-on experience scientific research. “Everyone else at the competition came from schools with established research teams, so I’d love to be able to set something up like that for Saybrook so more people can have the experience I had,” said Pan.

Pan’s longer term plans involve him continuing to research a wide variety of things. “I’m really interested in engineering – specifically, nanotech applied to medical technology, as well as designing devices for microfluidic platforms for the detection and diagnosis of cancer. I’m also interested in drug development, and potentially tissue engineering or ophthalmology, but the main diseases I’d like to focus on are cancer, HIV, and neurodegenerative diseases because my family has been personally impacted by them. I’d also love to work with Jon again and investigate some questions previous research brought up.”

Laughing, he added, “It’s really hard to condense everything I’m interested in into a short list.” One is left with the clear impression that this extraordinary young man will have a long ‘To Do’ list for quite a while!


Seeking Center School Alumni to Enable Production of a ‘Memory Lane’ Commemorating School’s History

Center_SchoolFor 80 years, Center School has been a seemingly constant reminder of dedication to education here in Old Lyme.  Built in the depths of the depression, the Old Lyme School became a beacon of hope in a dark time, drawing together the young people from scattered neighborhood school houses and bringing high school to Old Lyme.

Starting out as a grade 1 through 9 school, grades 10, 11 and 12 were added by 1940 and kindergarten was added in the late 1950s.  Center School has been a safe place of calm learning for children in the midst of constant change for decades.

The older children moved onto the “new” high school (now Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School) in 1957.  For several years, 4th and 5th graders attended classes in the Lyme Street firehouse.  The number of grades housed in the single understated Center School has dwindled in recent years as the town grew.

This year, a vibrant 5th grade and a happy group of preschool students and teachers fill the halls.  Next year the Central Offices will be located there, along with the preschool.  While this may seem like a huge change, it is simply that, another in a series of many, many changes over the last 80 years.

Region 18 is actively seeking all Center School alumni.  If you, your parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, attended Center School anytime between 1935 and the present, Region 18 would like to borrow any photos or memorabilia that you would be willing to share.

The Region will also be collecting “One Sentence Memories” for a (hopefully) ever expanding “Memory Lane” to be displayed throughout the school’s halls.  This long-term project will culminate in a celebration to be held sometime in May.

Contact Region 18 through their email address at or our Facebook page @ “Celebrate Center.”


District 18 to Host Public Forum Tonight on 2015-16 Budget

The Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools Board of Education will host a Public Forum on the 2015-16 budget on Wednesday evening, Feb. 11, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Media Center.  The location for this meeting has been changed due a band concert being held in the LOLHS auditorium.

All are welcome to attend this meeting, which will include a presentation on the budget proposal to spend a total of just over $32.5 million ($32,547,409) in the next finical year, which represents a 1.83 percent increase over the 2014-15 budget.

The date currently anticipated for a referendum to be held in both Lyme and Old Lyme on the budget is Tuesday, May 5.

Click to read a more detailed report on the budget proposals by Kimberly Drelich and published in The Day, Feb. 7.


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Kindergarten Registration Today


Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools for the fall of 2015 is being held today, Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lyme Consolidated School and Mile Creek School

Children who will be 5 years old on or before Jan. 1, 2016 are eligible to register for Kindergarten for September 2015.

While you may complete the registration process at either school, your child’s school placement will depend on District attendance zones.

Please bring to registration your child’s

  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization/Health Records
  • Three forms of proof of residency

If you cannot register on these days, call the school at these numbers to place your child’s name on the Kindergarten list:

Lyme Consolidated: 860-434-1233

Mile Creek: 860-434-2209



Mile Creek Teachers Crowned ‘Queen Bees” at Trivia Night Challenge

The winning "A Mile Up the Creek Without a Paddle" team from Mile Creek School

The winning “A Mile Up the Creek Without a Paddle” team from Mile Creek School

Four teachers from Mile Creek School strutted their stuff last night in the 3rd Annual Trivia Bee Challenge to beat the other 22 teams competing in the contest and be crowned champions. In a battle to the finish, the teachers of Mile Creek ended up pitted against a team made up current and former teachers of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in the championship round.

One of the three 'Swarms' that entered the 2014 Triva Challenge work on their answers to questions posed by Master of Ceremonies and New Channel 3 News Bureau Director Kevin Hogan.

One of the three ‘Swarms’ that entered the 2014 Trivia Bee work on their answers to questions posed by Master of Ceremonies and New Channel 3 News Bureau Director Kevin Hogan.


Kevin Hogan

In one question after another, both teams consistently gave the correct answer until finally ‘Bee Keeper’ Mike Kane declared it was time for a tie-breaker and Master of Ceremonies Kevin Hogan posed the final question.

The Mile Creek teachers came through in the clutch moment and were declared the victors.

All District 18 parents can now sleep easy in their beds knowing that their children’s teachers are the brightest folk in Lyme and Old Lyme!


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Announces State Scholastic Art Award Recipients

Artwork by Sofia Restrepo

Sofia Restrepo’s painting, which was recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association as “Best in Show” in the Painting category.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Visual Arts Department has announced that seven of their art students have distinguished themselves at the annual Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards.

Portrait by Adi Dahlke

Portrait by Adi Dahlke

Jordan Bourne, Adi Dahlke, Rande Gearing and Sofia Restrepo were awarded Gold Keys in the competitive Senior Portfolio category. Their portfolios, each consisting of eight individual works of drawing, painting, ceramics and/or sculpture, will go on with other Gold Key works to jurying for possible inclusion in the National Scholastic Art Awards.

Their portfolios also earned Adi, Jordan and Sofia scholarship offers from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, a University of Hartford Scholarship offer for Jordan, and a Connecticut Women Artists Scholarship prize for Sofia.

Honorable Mentions for individual pieces went to Adi Dahlke (Painting), Rande Gearing (Ceramics & Glass), sophomore Rachel Hayward (Digital Art) and freshman Claudia Mergy (Painting); Silver  Keys to seniors Rande Gearing and Alix Turner (Ceramics & Glass); and Gold Keys to Jordan Bourne (Drawing) and Sofia Restrepo (Painting).

Sofia’s individual entry was also recognized by the Connecticut Art Education Association as “Best in Show” in the Painting category.

Artwork by Jordan Bourne

Artwork by Jordan Bourne

The accepted works are all on display at the University of Hartford Art School’s Silpe Gallery through Friday, Feb. 6 (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Artwork by Rande Gearing.

Artwork by Rande Gearing.

Congratulations to all these talented artists!


Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation Announces New Round of Grants

The Lyme Old Lyme Education Foundation (LOLEF) has announced three Fall 2014 grant awards.

The Education Foundation is awarding $5,800 to Michelle DeSarbo, Children’s Librarian at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, and Karen Pasiuk, K-5 Math Specialist in the Region 18 Schools to fund a three-year pilot project: a math learning center, or “Number Nook”, within the children’s section of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. The math learning center will serve to support both the summer and year-round math programming for  Lyme/Old Lyme students in K to 5th grade.

The foundation also gave $3,390 to Thelma Halloran, art teacher at the Lyme Old Lyme Middle School, for “Spring Into Arts”, a school-wide event held every three years at the middle school. On Friday, April 10, 2015, each student in grades 6 through 8 will be able to choose from over 20 workshops presented by professional and amateur artists from around the state. The students will be actively engaged in creating, viewing, and talking about art. The program’s goal is to inspire a lifelong interest in and appreciation for all kind of art.

Finally, Patty Cournoyer, Olivia Hersant, and Wendy Wilke, will receive $3,695 to pilot a program to reinforce the academic benefits of movement. These funds will allow them to purchase five different alternate-movement-based classroom furniture prototypes for two classrooms (one health classroom and one academic classroom). Compelling research suggests that this type of seating will increase the students’ capacity to focus and learn in a fairly sedentary environment.

The LOLEF is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization established in 2006 to support and enhance public education in our community. The Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by an advisory group of members of the community. The Foundation seeks to raise and distribute


The Country School Announces $10,000 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship

Original_LOGOIn celebration of The Country School’s 60th Anniversary, the school’s Board of Trustees is providing a $10,000 merit scholarship to a student applying for admission to Grades 4-8 for the fall of 2015. Additional scholarships will be offered to students entering those grades based on applicants’ qualifications and/or need. Founded in 1955, The Country School will celebrate its 60th anniversary during the 2015-2016 school year.

Head of School John Fixx will share information about the 60th Anniversary Scholarship program on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 12:30 p.m. in conjunction with the school’s Winter Open House (taking place from 1-3:30 p.m.). At that time, parents will have the opportunity to tour campus and speak directly with faculty members, current parents, and administrators. Students are invited to sit for our Merit Scholarship test. To learn more and/or to register, go to

The recipient of the $10,000 Merit Scholarship will be selected on the basis of academic merit and personal promise as demonstrated by this testing, school records, and an interview with the Head of School.  Finalists will be asked to write an essay describing how a TCS education might benefit them and will be invited to spend a day at The Country School visiting classes. The scholarship recipient will be notified by the first week of March.

On Jan. 25, parents will learn about the academic program and the wide artistic, athletic, and leadership opportunities on campus. They will also learn about The Country School’s decades-long history of preparing graduates for the strongest independent secondary schools and high school honors programs in the area and throughout New England. Families will receive the impressive list of where Country School graduates attend college and hear how the Secondary School Placement Office assists families in attracting similar scholarship support for secondary school.

Students will sit for the Merit Scholarship test and experience hands-on learning and design challenges similar to those our current students experience on a regular basis. They will also explore campus and meet teachers and students.

The 60th Anniversary Scholarship is for a new student and is renewed each year that the student is enrolled at The Country School, provided the recipient stays in strong academic standing and consistently demonstrates good citizenship. It is The Country School’s expectation that merit scholarship recipients will contribute significantly to the life of the School, creating a stronger overall experience for all students.

The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving 200 students in PreSchool through Grade 8, ages 3-14, on its 23-acre campus in the Madison countryside. For more information, contact Pam Glasser, Director of Admission and Curriculum, at 203-421-3113, extension 122, or You may also learn more at


Free Holiday Concert at Lyme-Old Lyme High School Tonight


The 102nd Army Band

Not in the holiday spirit yet?  You soon will be if you attend this Saturday night’s free concert at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS)!

The 50-member Lyme-Old Lyme High School Wind Ensemble welcomes the 102nd Army Band for a joint performance of holiday favorites, along with a few patriotic selections.  Among the pieces the bands will perform: “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and highlights from the Disney film Frozen, as well as the “Armed Forces Salute” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The 102nd Army Band is an outfit of the Connecticut National Guard in Rockville, Conn. As goodwill ambassadors for Connecticut and the nation, they perform at concerts, ceremonies, and parades all over the U.S. and around the world.

The concert, taking place in the LOLHS auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., also welcomes back LOLHS alumnus Russell Faircloth, Class of 2014, who plays trumpet with the 102nd Army Band.  Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School librarian Bob Hibson is also a member of the 102nd Army Band.

All are welcome.  The auditorium is handicapped-accessible and there is plenty of parking at the school.


See Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Fall Play, Nazi Labor Camp Survivors to Speak After Performance

Director and history teacher Brett Eckhart gives instruction to cast members during a recent rehearsal for "Letters to Sala."

Lyme-Old Lyme High School fall play director and history teacher Brett Eckhart gives instruction to cast members during a recent rehearsal for “Letters to Sala.”

This year the Lyme-Old Lyme High School fall play will be “Letters to Sala.”  The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14 and 15, with an admission price of $7, or $5 with a canned good. has received an exciting update to the performance details as follows:

Henny Rosenbaum Simon, an 89-year-old survivor of three camps and Ben Cooper, a liberator of Dachau, will be attending the Saturday performance.

Following the show, they will share some of their stories, and Cooper is going to bring some of the artifacts he has collected over the years.  He is a wonderfully engaging speaker and the items he has to share (e.g., his army jacket to match the one in a photo of himself at age 19, or the 20 foot Nazi flag taken from a building), are both chilling and fascinating.

“Letters to Sala” is a true story about a woman “sharing her past with her family” through letters that she wrote while in a labor camp during World War II, according to Brett Eckhart, the director of the play, who also teaches in the history department at the high school.  Eckhart says he “came across [the play] by accident” while “sifting through some [play options] online.” He chose the play because students had asked for a more dramatic piece, rather than his usual comedic selections.  Being a history teacher, Eckhart says he just, “fell in love with the story,” which is based on real life.

The play details the “trials and tribulations of a young lady in the Holocaust,” comments Eckhart.  Sala is an old woman by the time she divulges the letters to her daughter, Ann, and her two granddaughters, Caroline and Elizabeth, so the play takes place in both the modern day and the 1940s during World War II.  Eckhart wants “Letters to Sala” to “shed light on labor camps,” which were not like the well-known concentration camps.

“Not many know about the labor camps, which were instituted during the war,” says Eckhart. Operation Schmelt, which began at the start of World War II, involved the creation of 177 different labor camps around Nazi Germany and its allies so that those countries were supplied with people to sew uniforms and complete other menial tasks for the soldiers.  In the labor camp, Sala, along with the other workers, was allowed to send and receive mail until 1943.

Cast members rehearse a scene from "Sala's Gift."

Cast members rehearse a scene from “Letters from Sala.”

Eckhart wants the performance to be “educational as well as entertaining” and has reached out to local survivors of the war and also children of survivors to attend the performances and speak to the cast, so that they might gain insight in to what life was like at that time.  At the end of each performance, a screen will come down in front of the stage, and Eckhart will show pictures of the real Sala and her family, as well as other labor camp workers whom Sala knew.

“Letters to Sala” is based on a book titled, “Sala’s Gift,” written by Ann Kirschner, Sala’s daughter, as well as the true accounts that Sala gave her daughter and grandchildren when she showed them the letters.  Anne donated the letters to the New York Public Library, which currently has the letters on show in an exhibition in their building. The Library also has a permanent online exhibition on their website, so that people can view the historical documents from any online location worldwide.

Eckhart concludes, “If the play is done right, the audience will be emotionally drained — in a good way.”


Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools Offer Assistance with Pre-School Development Concerns

If you have a child between the ages of three and five and have concerns about his or her development in areas such as language, motor skills, cognition, social/emotional, or self-help skills, the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools Preschool Team can be contacted for information, consultation, screening or evaluation.

Questions and concerns should be directed to Myra Gipstein at 860-434-7838.


Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts Becomes Sixth College of University of New Haven

The Chandler Academic Center at Lyme Academy College.

The Chandler Academic Center at Lyme Academy College.

The University of New Haven announced today that it has finalized its affiliation with Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, making the fine arts school in Old Lyme the university’s sixth college.

“This a historic event, and we look forward to providing outstanding educational opportunities to generations of aspiring artists,” said University of New Haven President Steven H. Kaplan. “The affiliation of our two institutions will raise the stature of fine arts education in the Northeast while providing expanded benefits, services and opportunities to students, faculty and alumni at both the University of New Haven and Lyme Academy College. We also intend to expand the outreach efforts at Lyme Academy College to benefit local residents and, in fact, all Connecticut residents.”

The Board of Governors of the University of New Haven and the Board of Trustees at Lyme Academy College approved the affiliation in early April. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges also approved the affiliation. Since that time, both institutions have worked to merge their student services, faculty units and other support and operating systems. Those integrations will continue through the upcoming academic year.

Todd Jokl, associate professor and past chair of the UNH Department of Art and Design, will serve as the campus dean at Lyme Academy College. Jokl will be based at the College in Old Lyme. Jokl received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut.

“I envision great things happening in the months and years ahead,” Kaplan said. “We will work closely with Lyme Academy College to create a top-tier fine arts education program.”

The affiliation presents many advantages to both institutions. Lyme Academy College will benefit from the operational breadth and depth of the University of New Haven, gaining access to an expanded range of liberal arts courses and complementary UNH art programs, such as design and digital media. The University of New Haven also offers study-abroad opportunities at its campus in Tuscany, Italy, where Lyme Academy College students can attend classes. Lyme Academy College students also will gain access to the university’s broad liberal arts program and new learning opportunities.

Administrators have said that little will change regarding the student experience at Lyme Academy College. The small classes will be retained, and students will continue to be provided the hands-on experiences and the opportunity to become immersed in figurative and representational art. But through the affiliation, students will be provided access to more courses, technologies and academic initiatives that will strengthen their educational experience.

The University of New Haven will add Lyme Academy College’s high-quality Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) program to its curriculum, making it possible for UNH students to study painting, sculpture, drawing and illustration. The university does not currently offer a B.F.A.

“Our university is known for the unique experiential programs it offers to students,” Kaplan said. “The program at Lyme Academy College fits in well with our rapidly expanding offerings at our main campus in West Haven, our new campus in Orange, and our international program in Italy.

“We are determined to protect and preserve the mission of Lyme Academy College, retaining the unique qualities that appeal to students seeking an arts degree in an idyllic, rural setting that nurtures creativity,” he added.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. The university has 80 degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Founded in 1920, the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is nationally known for its academic tradition of figurative and representational fine art that prepares students for a lifetime of contemporary creative practice. The college offers bachelor of fine arts degrees in drawing, illustration, painting, and sculpture (full- and part-time study); certificates in painting and sculpture, a post-baccalaureate program; continuing education for adults; and a pre-college program for students aged 15-18.


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Fields, Fences, Nets Damaged by Car

Tire tracks indicate the car's route.

Tire tracks indicate the car’s route.

An Old Lyme man stands accused of driving a car over Lyme-Old Lyme High School playing fields early Monday morning.  Connor Robbins, 23, is also believed to have driven through a wooden fence and guard-rail, bringing down safety nets in the process.

The tracks head towards a wooden fence.

The tracks head towards a wooden fence.

As shown in the photo below, the car was abandoned on the running track.


Photo by Michael Mann.

Robbins has been charged with first-degree criminal mischief.

Fence and field damage.

Fence and field damage.

Read the full story in this article by David Moran published July 21 on the [Hartford]


MacCurdy Salisbury Awards Educational Grants for Coming School Year

Recipients of MacCurdy Salisbury awards gather for a photo at the Lyme Art Association.

Recipients of MacCurdy Salisbury awards gather for a photo at the Lyme Art Association.

MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation held its Annual Reception for this year’s High School Seniors receiving Foundation awards on Thursday afternoon, June 12, 2014 at the Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

At the event the Foundation distributed $90,000 in grants to 30 graduating seniors from Lyme and Old Lyme. Foundation awards are based on the degree of financial assistance a student requires to meet their college expenses. If a student keeps a satisfactory grade point level they will continue to receive the same award for another three years of their undergraduate studies.

For the upcoming 2014 – 2015 school year the Foundation will give out a total of $259,000 to 86 students from Lyme and Old Lyme who are attending colleges throughout the United States.

From left to right, Foundation Treasurer Edward "Ned" Perkins, Salutatorian Robert Melchreit, Valedictorian  Isabelle Foster and Foundation President Rowland Ballek stand together after presentation of the awards.

From left to right, Foundation Treasurer Edward “Ned” Perkins, Salutatorian Robert Melchreit, Valedictorian Isabelle Foster and Foundation President Rowland Ballek stand together after presentation of the awards.

The Foundation also presented two $500 awards at the reception; the W.E.S. Griswold Valedictorian Award to Isabelle Foster of Old Lyme who will attend Stanford and the Willis Umberger Salutatorian Award to Robert Melchreit of  Lyme who will attend  Wesleyan. Bill Griswold was President of the foundation from 1965 to 1992 and Willis Umberger was Secretary/Treasurer of the Foundation from 1966 to 1986.

At the reception Foundation President Rowland Ballek thanked the many supporters in the audience and the community whose contributions and bequests help grow the Foundation’s fund. He said, “We want to keep growing our endowment fund so our grants can keep up with the ever increasing cost of tuitions.”  In the past seven years the Foundation has given out $1,581,850 to students from Lyme and Old Lyme.

The MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation has a long standing tradition of providing financial support to local students going on to further their education at colleges and universities after their high school years. Founded in 1893, the Foundation originally helped support educational activities in Old Lyme.  It began giving direct grants to students to continue their education beyond High School in 1918, a practice that continues today.  In 1973 Berenice Brevillier started the Lyme portion of the fund so students from both towns, the majority of which attend the Regional District 18 system, could participate.


Failure Teaches Success Says Lyme-Old Lyme High School Honor Essayist at Commencement

All photos by Ellie Krasney. The ceremonial hat toss took place against a beautiful blue sky backdrop.

All photos by Ellie Krasney.
The ceremonial hat toss took place against a beautiful blue sky backdrop.

One hundred and thirteen young men and women took their place in the annals of Lyme-Old Lyme High School history on Friday evening. Despite torrential rain on Thursday, the sun shone brightly on Friday and by 6 p.m. when the Commencement Ceremony began on the field between the middle and high schools, the air was still warm and the sky clear.

After the traditional procession to the music of Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’, the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem, Class President David Peck (above) welcomed the large crowd to the ceremony.


Honor Essayist Iasabel Ritrovato, above, spoke of the importance of failure to her classmates reminding them that failure is a great teacher.


Although his hat gave him a little trouble, Salutatorian Robert Melchreit, above right, had no trouble with his speech saying that the ability of his class to change people’s mind would give it special strength as each member traveled life’s journey.


Finally Valedictorian Isabelle Foster, above, used the sharpening of a pencil to muse upon the as yet unwritten story of the Class of 2014’s future and its potential place in the history books.

Diplomas were presented, a farewell was said and the Alma Mater was sung … and the Class of 2014 processed out of the ceremony to celebrate … and start their new lives.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2014

Benjamin Evan Abraham, Megan Elizabeth Astley, Fiona Maire Barrett, Maria Nicole Basileo, Samantha Ellison Beers, Eric Martel Behringer, Hannah Katherine Behringer, Mikayla Ann Bellaria, Madelin Kelly Berry, Marley Joann Bocian, Taylor McKernan Bourne, Meredith Linda Britton, Phoebe Louise Brown, Allison Leigh Buckley, Tucker Douglas Burr, William Joseph Buscetto Jr.,

Kristina Yang Cain, Shawn Francis Caramante, Jack Robert Castonguay, Daniel Lawrence Chapman, Charles Taylor Clark, Philip Michael Cohen, Ryan Patrick Comerford, Aidan James Cotter-Garfield, Mercedes Rose Crespo, Emily Ann Czarnecki, Jeffrey Allen Davis, Cameron Amado De Los Santos, Dillon Michael Dean-Frazier, Hanna Michelle DeBruyn, Jennifer Casey Dill, Michael Sergi Dolishny, Jackson Michael Driscoll, Jenna Catherine Duxbury, Chelsea Ann Evankow.

Russell Tyler Faircloth, John Thomas Fairfield-Sonn, Paige Nicole Flagge, William Clyde Fogle, Isabelle Sophie Foster, Siera Ashley Frascarelli, John Cotter Freer, Trent William Garbati, Madalyn Helen Gibson-Williams, Sarah Jane Golden, Corina Maria Goodson, Madelyne Rose Grabowski, Abigail Mary Guitar,

Olivia Adriana Hack, Philip Edward Peter Hallwood, Olivia Ann Henderson, Collyn Tyler Herel, Alexander Tappan Hine, Peter Trumbull Hine, Samuel Holcombe, Joab Napoleon Hunt, Cooper Joseph Kendall, Kaetlin Alexandria Kolar, Sarah Konishesky, Emily Morgan Kramm, Joshua Levi Krasney, Erin Jane Kroes, Hannah Lee Lacey, Brianna Fantasia Landry, Jessica Ann Lee, Jacob Carlson Martin, Kelly Gabrielle Mastrianna, Gavin Patrick McCarthy.

Nicholas Ryan McKnight, Robert Charles Melchreit, Morgan Elizabeth Merrick, Nicholas Max Milazzo, David Richard Muckle, Kyle Patrick O’Neil, Jeffrey Thomas Paine, Dimitri Thomas Papasian, David Larson Peck, Ella Ruth Pilgrim, Amy Yuxuan Qian, Kaleigh Laura Reynolds, Graham Wheeler Richartz, Kaylin Nicole Riggs, Isabel Trew Ritrovato, Sean Michael Robertson, Seth Taylor Rohrberg, Lauren Anna Romeo, Stuart Caldwell Ross, Michael Patrick Rouillard,

Erick Martinez Saenz, Spencer Stansfield Saunders, Machlan James MacDonald Sawden, Alison Ann Scott, Elizabeth Ann Scott, William Jamieson Scott, William Everett Sherer, Alexis Heap Sibley, Chase Dalton Sielbeck, Emma Winifred Stanton, Keriann Claire Sullivan, Sierra Madison Sunshine, Joseph Dean Sweeney,

Tatianna Nicole Thompson, David Harrison Tiffany, Meghan Elizabeth Trausch, Cole David Turner, Christian John Valli, Jacob Pierson Watts-St.Germain, Lisa Ann Weigle, Kaylyn Mara Wiese, Stephen Joseph Williams Jr., Brian Alexander Wolfe, Shennandoah Marie Wordell, Laura Munling Yee.