August 2, 2015

Fifteen Vista Students Embark On New Journey After July 10 Graduation Ceremony

A time to celebrate -- Vista graduates (from left to right) Casey Cincotta, Max Gebert and Danielle Garley share a smile.

A time to celebrate — Vista graduates (from left to right) Casey Cincotta, Max Gebert and Danielle Garley are all smiles after the ceremony.

One door closed and another opened recently for the 15 graduates of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center, a nationally accredited non-profit education program for individuals with disabilities.

Bob Brown, Dana Butler, Kathleen Cassella, Casey Cincotta, Cody Clark, Alex Drago, Sarah Gabow, Danielle Garley, Max Gebert, Jason Jakubovic, Jackie McMahon, Kyle Palubicki, Lan Tagg, Matt Tarnell and Mickey Teubert graduated on July 10 in a ceremony held at Westbrook High School. Over 250 people attended the ceremony, including State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) and keynote speaker Lisa Mikis, former publisher of Shore Publishing in Madison.

Miksis, who came to know Vista and many of its students and members throughout her career with Shore Publishing, offered the graduates encouraging words of wisdom as they start the next chapters in their lives.

“You all worked hard to be sitting on this stage today. Be confident in what you have learned and achieved and in who you are,” said Miksis, now Vice President and Director of Marketing for Respond Systems. “As you step out into the world of tomorrow, know that all of your friends and family at Vista, and so many of us you meet out on the street in the community, are here to help you succeed.”

The Class of 2015: front row, (seated) from left to right are Alex Drago, Kyle Palubicki, Max Gebert, Jason Jakubovic, Bob Brown, Sarah Gabow and Lan Tagg. Back row (standing) from left to right are Mickey Teubert, Cody Clark, Kathleen Cassella, Danielle Garley, Matt Tarnell, Casey Cincotta, Jackie McMahon and Dana Butler.

The Class of 2015. Front row (seated) from left to right are Alex Drago, Kyle Palubicki, Max Gebert, Jason Jakubovic, Bob Brown, Sarah Gabow and Lan Tagg. Back row (standing) from left to right are Mickey Teubert, Cody Clark, Kathleen Cassella, Danielle Garley, Matt Tarnell, Casey Cincotta, Jackie McMahon and Dana Butler.

Graduation is a monumental occasion that acknowledges the achievements of Vista students who have reached a level of independence and, as a result, graduate from Vista’s Entrance Program— a residential post-secondary program.

Through the Entrance Program, students receive hands-on life skills instruction, vocational training, support and guidance, helping them develop the skills and behaviors needed for adulthood. The next step in their journeys involves living in their own homes or apartments within local communities in Vista’s service area as members of Vista’s Outreach Program.

“We’re so proud on the shoreline of these graduates,” said Kokoruda, whose district covers Madison and Durham. “Whenever I come to the Vista graduations, I know what real perseverance is with the families, with the friends, with the staff— but most importantly, with the graduates.”

In addition to a Vista Diploma, each graduate received a commendation certificate signed by Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2).

The graduation festivities ended with a reception at Chamard Vineyards in Clinton. There, each graduate received gift baskets complete with a cookbook and various housewarming items for their new homes or apartments.

Based in Madison and Westbrook, CT, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success.

For more information about Vista, visit www.vistavocational.org

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“Celebrate Center!” Historians Visit Old Lyme Historical Society Exhibit

The entire committee in front of a Celebrate Center display that showcased original signage and furniture: kneeling (left to right): Anne Colangelo, Lizzy Duddy, and Lauren Presti. Standing, left to right:  Emily Nickerson,  John Coffey,  Gabe Katwaru,  Zoe Jensen, and Elise DeBernardo.

The entire committee in front of a Celebrate Center display that showcased original signage and furniture: kneeling (left to right): Anne Colangelo, Lizzy Duddy, and Lauren Presti. Standing, left to right: Emily Nickerson, John Coffey, Gabe Katwaru, Zoe Jensen, and Elise DeBernardo.

On Thursday, June 4, seven of the eight students who were the driving force behind the May 1 “Celebrate Center!”  ceremony and display visited their new neighbor, the Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS), to take in their current exhibit, “A Glimpse of Early Schools in Lyme, Connecticut, 1650-1868.”  The invitation was extended by Kevin Cole, a member of the OLHS Board of Trustees, Region 18 Liaison; Center School alumnus; and a fifth-grade teacher there, recently retired.

Alison C. Mitchell and Kevin Cole address the Celebrate Center committee when they visited the Old Lyme Historical Society.

Alison C. Mitchell and Kevin Cole address the Celebrate Center committee when they visited the Old Lyme Historical Society.

Although these students did not have ‘Mr. Cole’ as a classroom teacher, he was a familiar, popular presence at the school. Exhibit Chair Alison C. Mitchell, along with Cole, greeted the children and, after time for refreshments provided by the Historical Society, guided them through the various displays.

The 'Celebrate Center' Committee stands in front of the school (left to right): Lauren Presti, Elise DeBernardo,  Lizzy Duddy, Emily Nickerson, Zoe Jensen, Gabe Katwaru, and John Coffey. Missing from photo: Anne Colangelo.

The ‘Celebrate Center’ Committee stands in front of the school (left to right): Lauren Presti, Elise DeBernardo, Lizzy Duddy, Emily Nickerson, Zoe Jensen, Gabe Katwaru, and John Coffey. Missing from photo: Anne Colangelo.

The students learned that during this historical period, local school districts certified their teachers to teach; a certificate is on display. Along with numerous photos, there are such artifacts as a schoolmaster’s watch; schoolbooks of the day, including a hornbook—students were surprised at the small size of some of these books; a slate pencil; toys; and a flag with 13 stars.

Fifth-grader Lizzy Duddy was intrigued by the books. “They were very interesting because of all the different spellings. I liked all the cool pictures and artifacts.” Staff Advisor Helen Traver Scott felt this was “a wonderful opportunity for the students to see what it was like before Center School was built. The students were interested and polite and asked intelligent questions.”

Back at the school following the tour, the students were met with a surprise …

A T-shirt presented to the students showing the mural inside the front lobby of Center School.

A T-shirt presented to the students showing the mural inside the front lobby of Center School.

Scott, an Old Lyme native herself and Center School alumna who spearheaded ‘Celebrate Center’ and coordinated the students’ efforts, presented each student with a small photo album containing pictures of the display boards the students made for Celebrate Center, a copy of the speech he or she made during the May 1 program, and a T-shirt printed with an image of the mural in the front lobby of Center School.

Student committee n front of display board, with Center School mural in background (left to right): John Coffey, Lizzy Duddy, Emily Nickerson, Anne Colangelo, Zoe Jensen, Elise DeBernardo, and Lauren Presti. (Missing from photo: Gabe Katwaru.)

Student committee members stand proudly in front of an event display board with the Center School mural in background. From left to right, John Coffey, Lizzy Duddy, Emily Nickerson, Anne Colangelo, Zoe Jensen, Elise DeBernardo, and Lauren Presti. (Missing from photo: Gabe Katwaru.)

This mural depicts local scenery, both current and historic, and was created by all the students several years ago immediately following the renovation in the pointillism style, with each student adding dots of color.

The student committee at the Old Lyme Historical Society (left to right, kneeling): Lizzy Duddy, Elise DeBernardo, and Lauren Presti. Standing, left to right: John Coffey, Zoe Jensen, Gabe Katwaru, and Emily Nickerson. Missing from photo: Anne Colangelo.

The student committee at the Old Lyme Historical Society (left to right, kneeling): Lizzy Duddy, Elise DeBernardo, and Lauren Presti. Standing, left to right: John Coffey, Zoe Jensen, Gabe Katwaru, and Emily Nickerson. Missing from photo: Anne Colangelo.

There were eight students who made all the displays for Celebrate Center. Anne Colangelo, unfortunately, was not able to tour the Historical Society. Those attending were John Coffey, Elise DeBernardo, Lizzy Duddy, Zoe Jensen, Gabe Katwaru, Emily Nickerson, and Lauren Presti.

Two of these students are “descendants” of other Center School alumni: Lizzy Duddy’s sister, Lexi Duddy; father, John Duddy; grandmother Patricia Bugbee; great uncle Don Bugbee; and great-grandfather Donald Bugbee as well as various aunts, uncles, and cousins all attended Center School.

Emily Nickerson’s grandmother Beverly Mathiason and several uncles attended the school.

Friday these fifth grade students will make history as the very last class to graduate from Center School. A clearly pleased Scott points out, “They will take all the friends they made and the history they learned with them when they move on to middle school.”

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Presidential Scholar Pan Goes to the Capitol

Eric Pan, left, reacts to the applause from politicians in the State Capitol.

Eric Pan, left, savors the applause from politicians in the State Capitol.

On May 30, Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Eric Pan was introduced on the House Floor of the State Capitol by Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd). Pan was recognized for being named a 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholar, a highly prestigious honor given to only to a maximum of 141 students nationally.

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.

Pan plans to attend the University of Connecticut in the fall, where he will study biomedicine and medicine.

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Mile Creek School Holds Memorial Day Program, Teacher of the Year Mary Bradford Also Honored

Mile Creek students sing during the Memorial Day program.

Mile Creek students sing during the Memorial Day program.

The traditional Mile Creek School Memorial Day program was held last Friday. During the program, Roger Haynes, who taught history at Lyme-Old Lyme High School for more than 35 years, spoke to the second and third graders.

He walked the children through the Pledge of Allegiance, clarifying the meaning of the language used so long ago.

Taking flowers to the veteran's graves.

Taking flowers to the veteran’s graves.

The second graders recited Flanders Field, before proceeding to the adjacent cemetery to decorate the graves of local veterans dating back as far as the Revolutionary War.

Roger Haynes presents Mary Bradford with a VFW award for Teacher of the Year.

Roger Haynes presents Mary Bradford with a VFW award for Teacher of the Year.

The members of the Old Lyme Veterans of Foreign Wars presented second grade teacher Mary Bradford with an award for Teacher of the Year.

VFW&Mary_B

Teacher of the Year Mary Bradford (center) stands with the VFW members who came to honor her.

VFW members present at the ceremony were former Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold, Roger Haynes, Bob Whitcomb and Commander William Appleby. Mile Creek Principal Patricia Downes is also in the photo at right.

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Region 18 Budget Vote Passes Easily

Superintendent Ian Neviaser answers post-result questions from 'The Day' reporter Kimberly Drelich.

Superintendent Ian Neviaser answers post-result questions from ‘The Day’ reporter Kimberly Drelich.

Voters in Lyme and Old Lyme overwhelmingly approved the Regional District 18 Board of Education’s budget proposal of $32,547,409 budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

A total of 418 Yes votes and 106 No votes were cast in the district: in Old Lyme, 296 residents voted Yes while 87 No votes were recorded and in Lyme, there were 122 Yes votes and 19 voted against the budget.

The total number of registered voters in Old Lyme is 5,103 and so the voter turnout today represented a mere 7.5 percent of the total.

After the Moderator Larry Peterson had announced the Old Lyme results in the Cross Lane Firehouse, a delighted Region 18 Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “I think again we brought forward a responsible budget, which continued to support our programs.  The continued support of our voters shows how important education is to our communities.”

He also added, “Over the last three years the budget increases have averaged around 1.5 percent,” which he described as, “Highly unusual.”  Asked to explain why it has been possible to maintain such low increases, he cited the twin reasons of, “Declining enrollment coupled with strong fiscal management.”

The 2015-16 budget represents a 1.83 percent increase over the current 2014-15 budget.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

maypole
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.

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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.

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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 lived in Old Lyme and members of three of those attended Center School and even now, in its swansong era, his granddaughter Lauren Belville is there.

Michele&Lauren_Dickey_301KB

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.

memorabilia_from_school
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.

OL_Schools_Pre-1933

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Old Lyme’s Tributary Mill Allows Interns to Experience Environmental Preservation Efforts First-hand 

Gathered for a photo are, from left to right, Tyler Clinton, Ashley Bright, Gray Tripp, Morey Tripp, and Jim Tripp.

Gathered for a photo are, from left to right, Tyler Clinton, Ashley Bright, Gray Tripp, Morey Tripp, and Jim Tripp.

The Tributary Mill has stood strong in the heart of Old Lyme since 1672. Originally used to grind grains such as corn and wheat, the mill often became referred to as Rooks Mill in honor of Edward Rooks, an American impressionist who was enthralled with the mill’s beauty, which has since been the subject of many paintings.

The Tributary Mill in Old Lyme.

The Tributary Mill in Old Lyme.

Purchased by Fran Tripp in 1981, her son Jim and his wife Sandra created the Tributary Mill Conservancy (TMC) that exists today from the original foundation. A nonprofit organization that strives to merge science and art through the conservation of the unique tributary ecosystem, the TMC has serviced its surrounding community in innumerable ways.

The waterfall at the mill.

The waterfall at the mill.

Operated by Jim, a carpenter, and Sandra, a high school chemistry teacher, as well as a variety of additional volunteers of all ages, the TMC works closely with a variety of environmentally oriented organizations such as the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Mystic Aquarium, and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation.

Smile for the camera! Ashley Bright holds a turtle.

Smile for the camera! Ashley Bright holds a turtle.

During the summer and fall seasons, the TMC focuses its energies on trapping and collecting data from snapping turtles by conducting blood tests,  fecal tests, and collecting the leeches found on the turtles for further testing.

In addition, National Geographic recently donated a large number of cameras to put on the backs of the snapping turtles to further track them.

Ashley and Tyler work on transferring the baby salmon.

Ashley and Tyler work on transferring the baby salmon.

In the winter, the TMC turns its attention to hatching Atlantic salmon eggs given to them and regulated by the DEEP. An endangered species, the Atlantic salmon thrive in the unique ecosystem found at the TMC.

The highly efficient filtration system used by the TMC to hatch the eggs, which was engineered by Jim Tripp himself, has resulted in an 18 percent death rate for the eggs, significantly lower than the average 20 percent death rate. The eggs, once hatched, are then released into the surrounding Connecticut River tributaries.

In the spring, the TMC collects data on glass eels. Estimating the number of eels migrating up the Mill Brook as well as weighing trapped eels gives them valuable data, which they then send to the DEEP.

Eels galore!

Eels galore!

The Conservancy also focuses on educating and involving the community in their work. Along with offering tours for school groups ranging from elementary to high schoolers, the Conservancy also provides hands on learning opportunities for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students.

Old Saybrook High School seniors Ashley Bright and Tyler Clinton have been deeply impacted by their time at the preserve, which has inspired both of them to pursue careers in environmental science and engineering.

Ashley, who has been interning at the TMC since September, said, “I never expected to get so much out of a high school internship. I feel like I’ve been part of their family. It’s amazing that I’ve been able to do what I’ve done here as a high school student, and I know this experience is something I’ll always remember.”

Tyler, who has been interning at the TMC for two years, echoed Ashley’s sentiment, saying, “I have a second family here,” before going on to praise the kindness of Jim and Sandra Tripp. “They do this out of the kindness of their hearts. They really care about conserving the ecosystem and helping it thrive.”

Jim Tripp notes, “Our original goal was to make a prototype of a mill that could be emulated throughout the area because our location here on the river is such a great place to do wildlife work.”

For more information about the Tributary Mill Conservancy, visit tributarymill.org or email  tributarymill@comcast.net.  Donations to the nonprofit can also be made through the TMC website.

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Celebrating 80+ Years of Center School’s History

Center_School

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.

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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!

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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 MyRecordJournal.com at this link.

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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 PSP@act.org.

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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.

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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 Toddy.com.  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!

 

 

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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 (www.madeinmadison.org), 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 beth.coyne@thecountryschool.org 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 www.thecountryschool.org.

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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 ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com.

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 cteenvoice.com, 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!

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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 (jgoss@region18.org).  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

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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: www.scisef.org

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

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!

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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 celebratecenter@region18.org or our Facebook page @ “Celebrate Center.”

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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.

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