Region In Review

June 17, 2019 - End of Year Issue

Congratulations to the Graduates of Shepaug's Class of 2019!

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Photos courtesy of Michael Gorra

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Emily Rhew!

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It is with great pleasure that Regional School District 12 announces the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Emily Rhew, Special Education Teacher at Booth Free School. This recognition speaks to Dr. Rhew’s love and passion for her students, for teaching, and to the tremendous impact she has on her students’ lives every day. Her nomination was supported by the endorsement of her educational ability to improve students’ capabilities as well as her collaboration with staff. Dr. Rhew is a shining example of excellence in teaching. She believes in challenging her students and fostering responsibility and independence. She is a dedicated and selfless teacher; giving her time, energy, and effort to constantly make sure her students succeed.

Dr. Rhew’s strong leadership skills shine every day. Dr. Rhew is always ready to take the lead and do what is needed for all of her students. She is their greatest advocate; she is passionate and driven. A colleague said it best:

Emily has a perpetual optimistic outlook and is exceptional at lifting the spirits of students and staff, regardless of the situation. She remembers to point out the good while providing helpful, guiding constructive suggestions for improvement. Her gentle yet determined demeanor encourages her students and her colleagues to be the best versions of themselves.

Congratulations Dr. Rhew!

Beam Signing Ceremony

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On Friday, May 31, 2019, Superintendent Megan Bennett welcomed Region 12 Board members, First Selectman Curtis Read of Bridgewater, First Selectwoman Barbara Henry of Roxbury, First Selectman Mark Lyon of Washington, New Fairfield Superintendent Dr. Patricia Cosentino, Region 12 staff members, Shepaug senior class of 2019 and the first cohort of agriscience students to the signing of the beam that will hang over the Agriscience entrance at Shepaug Valley School.

The Region 12 team worked alongside O&G Construction to create the opportunity for the students, staff, and community to make their mark on a steel beam that will be part of the structure of the new addition to Shepaug. The noisy construction site provided the stage for Vice Chairwoman Michelle Gorra, Region 12 Board of Education, to share the story of an initial conversation on a soccer field to transform into the opening of the twentieth agricultural school in Connecticut at Shepaug Valley School. Superintendent Bennett spoke of the beam being a beacon, “calling new learners, innovators, leaders, and pioneers to agricultural education.”

Principal Gallo shared her appreciation for current and future students as well as the community members who showed support, patience and see the vision for Shepaug. Region 12 Building Committee Chairman Greg Cava stated, “When you are faced with adversity, you build.”

The Agriscience build and renovated science labs at Shepaug Valley School are currently on schedule and on budget. Shepaug Valley School will open its doors to agriscience students on August 29, 2019.

Senior Project Spotlight: "The Culture of Zumba" by Andres Felipe Rico

Our next installment in the Senior Project Spotlight video series highlights Andres Felipe Rico's senior project, "The Culture of Zumba". Andres conducted Zumba classes throughout the school year and shared the traditions of his Colombian culture with his fellow classmates and community members. He has become a certified instructor of Zumba and is spreading its positive message of fitness and dance all throughout Shepaug and beyond.

S.P.A.R.T.A.N. Program

The 5th grade classes of all three elementary schools went through an 8 week drug education class called S.P.A.R.T.A.N. (Safety, Positivity, and Reinforcing Thoughts Against Narcotics.) SPARTAN is our own program that replaced DARE. The children are wearing the T-shirts that we designed with the help of Shepaug Senior Zachary Tibbatts and the Prevention Council of Roxbury/Bridgewater/Washington donated the money to pay for all of the shirts.

Booth Free School Ben's Bells Project: Kindness Tree Mural

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Celebrating Kindness at WPS

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Recently, Washington Primary School students made stepping stones to celebrate all of the kindness in our school. On June 12th, the whole school gathered at the pavilion for a Kindness Walk around the River Walk to celebrate all our kindness this year. WPS students laid down stepping stones to remind not just the WPS school, but the whole Washington community to practice kindness. The stepping stones have messages such as be kind, smile, peace, and laugh often. The WPS students think that spreading kindness is a job for everyone!

Written by Student Principal, Jon Croft

Aloha Day

Enthusiastic fifth grade students celebrated their elementary years at the their Aloha Ceremonies. They enjoyed special time with family, teachers and friends. We wish our fifth graders much success in middle school!

Booth Free School

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Burnham School

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Washington Primary School

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Trout Release

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Third grade students at Washington Primary School released trout in the Shepaug River. Throughout the year, students learned about the life cycle of trout and their proper care. Over 100 trout were raised and released. The Trout in the Classroom program was sponsored by the Washington Garden Club.

Field Day

Washington Primary School

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School spirit filled the school community with Field day activities and a delicious picnic lunch. Lots of smiling students!

Booth Free & Burnham School

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We had laughs and smiles all around as students, staff, and parent volunteers from both Burnham and Booth Free Schools took part in our first combined field day. Combining our schools allowed for complete volunteer coverage of every game station. More importantly, we were able to provide a fun setting for students to make new friends and socialize with their future Shepaug classmates.

Relay races, water games, a terrific cookout, and special games for the 5th graders made for a wonderful day. We couldn’t have enjoyed all of this without the awesome support of our volunteers. Thank you for helping us.

Shepaug's Berkshire League All-Stars

Congratulations to Shepaug's Berkshire League All-Stars, who were honored at the Aqua-Turf Club at the Berkshire League All-Star Banquet on June 6th.

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Front: Abbey Harty (Basketball), Skylar Soletsky (Soccer), Lucy Puskas (Softball), Mahelet Steinmetz (Tennis), Julia Billings (Field Hockey), Sofia Mancione (Soccer), Emma Kassis (Tennis), Elisa Afiouni (Cross Country), Aileen Rosa (Cross Country), Eilish Foy (Cross Country), Joe Brunelli (Baseball), Coach Karen Puskas (Basketball)

Back: Coach Scott Werkhoven (Baseball), Erik Lindbom (Track), Jack Pesce (Swimming), Zachary Tibbatts (Swimming), Nathan Douskey (Track), Gavin Block (Track), Cameron Brown (Track), Chance Dutcher (Baseball), Dominic Perachi (Baseball), Rebecca Racz (Tennis), Abby Gorra (Tennis), Ethan Hibbard (Baseball), Coach John Spear (Cross Country), Owen Hibbard (Basketball).

Six Shepaug Students win Scholarships at the Fox 61 News Awards!

Congratulations to Tyler White, Patrick Moriarty, Sam Quigley, Erin Bailey, Mahelet Steinmetz, and Sydell Lecher for winning a combined $4,500 in scholarships at the Fox 61 Student News Awards! They were awarded their scholarship money by Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill and several Fox 61 News broadcasters and producers. There were 107 schools that participated in the program, and Shepaug won 2 of the 6 scholarship categories!

Big Y Locally Grown Award

Best in Student News: Feature

We also want to congratulate the following students for being nominated and showcased at the event:

Daran Racaj

Maya Missana

Ella Pena

Isabella Fazzone

Tiffany Horton

Harlequin Sullivan

Henry James

Congratulations to Cameron Brown!

Congratulations to Shepaug's Cameron Brown for his performance in the Boys 300 Meter Hurdles at the 74th New England Interscholastic Track & Field Championship Meet, held on Saturday, June 8th at Thornton Academy, in Saco, ME. Cam posted a time of 41.41, finishing 19th in the field of the 31 top hurdlers in New England.

Connecticut Association of Schools Scholar-Leader Awards

On June 3, 2019, 8th grade students Mary Katherine Eddy and Charlie VandenBosch were among an elite group of state-wide students honored by the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) as Scholar Leaders at a banquet at the Aqua Turf in Southington, CT. Their contributions to our Shepaug community, both academic and as peer role models, earned them recognition from their teachers and administration. We are very proud of them!

Shepaug Prom

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The Shepaug Valley School Junior Class held its prom at Fairview Farm Golf Course in Harwinton on May 25, 2019. The student chosen theme was The Enchanted Garden and with help from a group of dedicated parents the room was decorated beautifully. The students danced all night and enjoyed the photo booth where they created amazing memories. The students chose the royal court of King Owen Moore, Queen Anna Bialack, Prince Drew Doerwald and Princess Gwenevere Noto. It was an amazing night!

Grades 6 - 8 Yearbook News

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Grade 6-8 yearbooks will be slightly delayed and will be shipped directly to homes. Eighth grade students will receive an autograph insert at graduation with a sticky tab that they can insert into their yearbooks when they arrive. Grades six and seven students can pick up an autograph page in the main office that they can carry with them for signatures. Please accept our apologies for the delay. If you do not receive your ordered yearbook by June 24th, please contact Patricia Rivera at Lifetouch or Sheila Gambino at

If your child does not have a yearbook order, extra yearbooks will be available for sale at the start of the new school year on a first come, first serve basis.

Measles (Rubeola) Immunization (Risk Assessment for Adults)

Measles is a highly contagious disease which begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes. The symptoms are followed by tiny white spots inside the mouth and a red rash to the face, trunk and arms. This virus can also cause diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, and, in more severe cases, death.

Due to recent escalating outbreaks of measles in the U.S., the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the Department of Public Health recommend vaccination of all children to protect each family member and the communities that they live in.

According to the CDC, the majority of people born before 1957 were considered to be protected due to exposure of this virus during childhood.

From 1967-1989, most people were vaccinated for measles with a single dose. In 1989, health officials made recommendations for two doses of the vaccine.

The CDC recommendation of two doses of the vaccine MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) will make the vaccine’s effectiveness about 97%.

Therefore, evidence of immunity is important. International travelers are at great risk for exposure and transmission of this virus. It is important that information is known regarding a person’s immunization status. CDC recommendations are:

Written documentation from a physician of 2 doses of the MMR vaccine


Laboratory evidence of immunity,or confirmation of disease (Measles)

We hope that all of our Region 12 families find this information helpful.

Edith M. Poidomani,RN

Shepaug School Nurse

Region 12 Calendar

June 17th - Last Day of School, Early Dismissal

June 17th - BOE Policies Committee Meeting, SVS Library, 6pm
June 17th - BOE Facilities Committee Meeting, SVS Library, 6pm

June 17th - BOE Education Committee Meeting, SVS Library, 6:30pm

June 17th - Board of Education Meeting, SVS Library, 7pm

June 24th - BOE Building Committee Meeting, 5pm

June 27th - BOE Finance Committee Meeting, Central Office, 9am

July - 8th - BOE Building Committee Meeting, 5pm

July 22nd - BOE Building Committee Meeting, 5pm

July 22nd - BOE Organizational Meeting, WPS, 7pm

July 29th - BOE Building Committee Meeting, 5pm

Aug 12th - BOE Building Committee Meeting, 5pm

Aug 19th - Board of Education Meeting, WPS, 7pm

Aug 26th - BOE Building Committee Meeting, 5pm

Fliers & Upcoming Events

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for updates and information!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

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