Weston students raise $43,000 for childhood cancer research

Weston resident Roneil Icatar, with his son Nathaniel, left, got shaved at Weston’s St. Baldrick’s event. Roneil is holding a picture of his daughter, Isabella, who lost her fight with cancer. — Janet Maya Photography photo

Weston kicked off its first annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event and fund-raiser on March 24, raising more than $43,000 for childhood cancer research grants. Team Weston, 48 community members and students shed their locks at St. Francis of Assisi to stand in solidarity with children battling cancer. Weston High School’s assistant athletic director, Dan Frank, led the charge to “brave the shave,” and attendees were treated to a meet-and-greet by former NFL great Chris Canty, live music by Residual Groove, and face-painting. Team Weston was created by a handful of ninth grade students who shaved their heads last year … Read more

School buses for Redding and Easton to remain in Bethel lot

It appears that Easton and Redding school buses will continue to be parked in the school bus parking facility in Bethel. The landowner of the facility had told officials that the property was on the market and the lease couldn’t be extended, and the news prompted a search for several locations in Easton. Officials had pretty much settled on land behind Staples Elementary School, but those plans had reached an impasse this past fall. There were differences of opinion about whether decisions about the proposed site should be made by school boards or by the towns. School Superintendent Dr. Thomas … Read more

Easton school board targets $100,000 in budget cuts

BOE Chairman Melinda Irwin shares information about the new school year

On April 17, the Easton Board of Education unanimously accepted Superintendent of Schools Thomas McMorran’s recommendations for reducing the proposed 2018-19 school budget by $100,000. The Easton Board of Finance directed the school board to reduce its proposed $16.5-million budget in late March, following a budget public hearing. The revised $16.4-million budget would represent a 3.81% increase over the current budget. “Some of this hurts,” McMorran said, before he presented the cuts needed to achieve the reduction. Changes at Samuel Staples School that would save just over $42,000 include filling the position of the principal’s retiring secretary with a current … Read more

Joel Barlow hosts poetry festival

Poet Diana Goetsch was the guest speaker at Joel Barlow High School’s Poetry Festival. — Sandra Diamond Fox photo

Poet Diana Goetsch, who traveled to Joel Barlow High School from her home in Manhattan, was the guest speaker at the school’s Poetry Festival. Goetsch is an American poet who wrote eight collections, including In America, Nameless Boy and The Job of Being Everybody, which won the 2004 Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Competition. At the festival, Goetsch read a political poem called The Proposal, which poked fun at President Donald Trump’s hair. In the poem, Goetsch referred to Trump’s hair as “the exploded rooster comb.” “The president’s hair threatens the very foundation of cooperative society,” she said, to … Read more

Redding artist dedicates Mark Twain portrait to Joel Barlow High School

From left, Redding artist Susan Durkee and Joel Barlow High School assistant principal Julie McTague. Durkee has donated a portrait of Mark Twain to Barlow. — Sandra Diamond Fox photo

Whenever Joel Barlow students visit their school library, they’ll forever be reminded of the strong connection Mark Twain had to Redding. Susan Durkee, a Redding painter, has donated her 16-foot by 20-foot portrait of the author, which she painted about four years ago, to Barlow. The portrait of Twain was dedicated to the school on Thursday, April 19, during the school’s Poetry Festival, which more than 400 students attended over the course of the day. About a dozen students — as well as Mark Twain Library Director Beth Dominianni — gathered around Durkee, as she spoke about her strong connection … Read more

Redding-Easton student walkout was a ‘call for change’

Although he’s young, Redding resident Buster Whaley, — a sophomore at Joel Barlow High School — already has strong views on school safety and gun control. On Friday, April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine School shooting, Buster was one of about a dozen students from Barlow and John Read Middle School to walk out of school. These students — six from John Read and eight from Joel Barlow — walked out without the permission of the school, according to School Superintendent Tom McMorran. They were outside for about 15 minutes. In an email after the walkout took place, … Read more

Redding and Easton students walk out of school Friday morning

Joel Barlow High School

About a dozen students who walked out of Joel Barlow High School and John Read Middle School Friday, without permission, will face punishment. Six students walked out of John Read and eight students walked out of Joel Barlow for about 15 minutes, according to School Superintendent Tom McMorran and John Read Principal Diane Martin. “This was without the permission of the school, without coordination by the school, and without being condoned by the school,” McMorran said. “I communicated with the families and parents on Monday and indicated that students who infracted our rules would face reasonable consequences and that’s what … Read more

Joel Barlow High School presents spring musical: Working

Students at Joel Barlow High School in Redding are presenting the musical Working on Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 28 at both 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Working is based on a book by Studs Terkel which was later adapted into a musical by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso. It examines the hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American. According to its licensing agency MTI International, “it will surprise and inspire anyone who has ever punched a time clock.” Working has upbeat rhythms, songs, and choreography and … Read more

Weston, Redding students earn state debate honors

At the Connecticut Debate Association State Finals held at Joel Barlow High School on March 24, the St. Luke’s team of Marco Volpitta of Bedford, N.Y., and Amelie Warneryd of Weston, took first place team in the Varsity Division, narrowly edging out the Immaculate/Hive team of Haven Hunt of Redding and Owen Tanzer of Weston. In addition to winning second place team, Haven Hunt took the first place speaker prize and Owen Tanzer took fourth place speaker.

Weston schools plan major increase in policing

Weston School Superintendent Dr. William McKersie issued a memorandum to parents on Tuesday, April 17, saying he is requesting a “major increase in policing” on the school campus starting in fall 2018. His plan includes the addition of a second school resource officer, and full-time police coverage of the school campus, known as “The Mile of Safety.” McKersie said the Board of Education will review the plan at its meeting on April 23. If the school board and Police Commission approve the proposal, McKersie said, they will work with the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance on funding. The … Read more

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