May 27, 2015

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Eric Pan Named Presidential Scholar

US Presidential Scholar Eric Pan

2015 US Presidential Scholar Eric Pan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 51st class of U.S. Presidential Scholars yesterday in a news release, recognizing 141 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics or the arts.

Eric Pan, a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, was announced as one of the two – one young man and one young woman – Presidential Scholars for Connecticut. Pan, in turn, named his high school physics teacher Glenn Elliott as his most influential teacher.  Pan is the son of Gonghua Pan and Wen He.

The other 2015 Presidential Scholar from Connecticut is Evaline  Xie of Wilton High School.

“Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards, and commit themselves to excellence,” Duncan said.

He continued, “These scholars are poised to make their mark on our nation in every field imaginable: the arts and humanities, science and technology, law and medicine, business and finance, education and government—to name a few. Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities, and the challenges of today’s job market.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 4,300 candidates qualified for the 2015 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwideYoungArts™ competition.

The 2015 Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 7,000 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.

The 2015 ceremony will be held June 21, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.


Center School Celebrates “80 Years of Change”

view_of_school_with empty_maypole_compressed

school_date_plaque_368x333Center School hosted a program last Friday to celebrate “80 Years of Change.”  The school opened in 1934 as a 1st through 12th grade school but has had many grade iterations since, including its most recent one as a 3rd through 5th grade school, which goes back some 30 years.

The final three grades have been phased out of Center School in the past three years during which time no new grades have entered the school.  The Kindergarten through 5th grade population has thus now been divided between Mile Creek and Lyme Consolidated Schools.

Next year Center School will take on a whole new persona as it becomes both the administrative offices for the District housing the superintendent and his support staff and the home of the District’s Pre-School program.

Friday’s celebrations included a rendering of “Happy Birthday” by the Pre-K students, a speech by former student and teacher Kevin Cole and a maypole demonstration by students from the final four classes at the school.

Alumni of the school were honored with boutonnieres and, along with students, parents and members of the public, they listened to the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School band play under the direction Ms. Carrie Wind and Mrs. Herel’s class sing the Center School song.

One alumnus, Jim Fafalla (pictured above), who attended the school from 1948 to 1956, told LymeLine he has fond memories of his days at Center School.  When he attended the school it housed  1st through 12th grades and he recalled the best thing about the school being that, “Everyone looked out for each other.”  He also explained that, at that time, the younger grades were on the right hand (south) wing of the building as you walked into the school and the older grades were on the left (north) side.

Fafalla mentioned that six generations of his family have attended Center School and even now, in its swansong era, his granddaughter Lauren Belville is there.


Center School alumni, mother and daughter, Lauren (left) and Michele Dickey. Michele, who graduated from Center in 1963, recalls fondly that she was in the same class as Kevin Cole!

The school’s gymnasium had effectively been converted into a museum by the Celebrate Center Committee with a wonderful display titled, “Through the Decades.”  Display boards filled with photos and information of each decade that the school had operated were on display along with memorabilia and artwork associated with the school.

View_of CS_gym_as_museum_compressed
The boards and museum exhibits were lovingly planned, designed and built by a dedicated group of eight Center School students who worked weekly, sometimes daily, for months to put together the exhibit.  The members of this club also each spoke at the celebration as did various other teachers, alumni and the school principal, Lori Susi.

Also on view were the 2015 time capsule that has been created, a memory wall, a timeline and a video including memories shared by alumni and former staff members.



Celebrating 80+ Years of Center School’s History


There will be a celebration of the over 80-year history of Old Lyme’s Center School on Friday, May 1, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The event will include a Maypole dance, reminiscent of the school’s former Mayday event; speeches; and informative displays of photos and artifacts from each decade of the school’s history.

Starting next year, the school will house the district’s central offices and preschoolers only. Other elementary grades will be located at Mile Creek and Lyme Schools until population trends require further changes.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Team Wins Middlesex Math League for Second Consecutive Year

Eric Pan receives his scholarship from the Tresurer of the Math League, Bill Varas of Portland High School.

Eric Pan receives his scholarship from the Tresurer of the Math League, Bill Varas of Portland High School.

In an extraordinary victory, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team recently won the overall title of the Middlesex County Math League.  Comprised of Middlesex County high schools along with Regional Hebron Andover Marlborough (RHAM) High School and Lyme-Old Lyme High School, this League has 11 members and is divided into a large and a small conference.  Lyme-Old Lyme is a member of the latter, making this overall championship win for the second consecutive year even more exceptional.

The leaders of the team are seniors Eric Pan and newcomer Jared DiCarlo.  Pan has played for four years and recruited teammate DiCarlo last year.  Pan was recognized as the highest scorer as a freshman, sophomore, junior and again this year.  As a senior, this accomplishment was recognized with a scholarship.  DiCarlo also scored very well and similarly earned a scholarship for his second highest score of all seniors.

LOLHS Varsity Math Team League Champions 2015

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team are the Middlesex League Champions 2015!

The team consists of five official scoring members of which only two can be seniors and at least one must be a freshman or sophomore.  These junior members also contributed to the success, especially junior Ryan Harty who scored the most of any junior in the League.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team proudly display their trophies

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Varsity Math Team proudly display their trophies

Other contributors to the team include senior Thomas Roth, juniors Austin Pilgrim, Evan Deng and Jason Feng, sophomores Jeff Zhang, Natalie Rugg, Laura Lee Wayland and Cole Dushin and freshmen Reed Spitzer and Gabriel Zumbaum-Stephens.

Congratulations to the team and their coach Glenn Elliott on this amazing result!


Former Lyme-Old Lyme HS Assistant Principal Angeli Appointed Superintendent of Lebanon Schools

Associate School Superintendent Robert J. Angeli will leave the Meriden School District at the end of the school year to take a position as Superintendent of the Lebanon Public Schools starting July 1.  Angeli was assistant principal at Lyme-Old Lyme High School from 2001-05 and still resides in Old Lyme.

“I think it’s a natural progression for me in my career in superintendency,” Angeli said Friday.

Read the full story written by Molly Callahan and published April 10 in at this link.


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Announces Two Students as 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Candidates

Eric Pan and Kristiana Olson, graduating seniors at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, have been named two of more than 3,900 candidates in the 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S high schools in the year 2015.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 51st year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Over 3,900 candidates were selected for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT Assessment. In addition, each Chief State School Officer (CSSO) was invited to nominate five male and five female candidates, based on their outstanding scholarship, residing in the CSSO’s jurisdiction. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. A distinguished panel of educators will review these submissions and select 560 semi-finalists in early April.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will make final selection of the Scholars. They will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at-large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

Eric is the son of Gonghua Pan and Wen He and Kristiana is the daughter of Matt and Cynthia Olson.

For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, parents and students can call the U.S. Presidential Scholars Office at (319) 688-4345 or send an email to


D18 Board of Ed. Hosts Public Hearing Monday on Proposed 2015-16 Budget

The Regional District 18 Board of Education will hold a public hearing on its budget request for the fiscal year July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Auditorium, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 6.

In February, the school board voted to present a $32,547,409 budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which represents a 1.83 percent increase over the current 2014-15 budget.

All interested parties are invited to attend and present their comments or questions.


Published in the Deep South, Carter’s Article About Old Lyme Hits the Big Time

Old Lyme resident Margaretta Carter is a junior at Ole Miss, where she is an Integrated Marketing Communications major with a minor in Business. Her parents are Cathy and Chris Carter.

Margaretta is currently interning for Hotty  She recently wrote an article for Hotty Toddy about Old Lyme for the online newspaper’s “Hometown’ section.  The article was written several weeks ago after the South encountered snow, ice and crippling weather.

Carter’s mom told LymeLine, “I thought [Margaretta’s] article might be of some interest to LymeLine. [It] received recognition from Ed Meek (the benefactor for the Ole Miss, Meek School of Journalism) and was viewed by over 9,000 subscribers.”

We appreciate Kathy sharing the article with us and are confident our readers will enjoy it too!




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


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.