Lebanon Public Schools

Superintendent Gonzalez's March 2023 Update

Live Boldy. Persevere with Patience. Never Settle.

Angela Mader

Pursuit of Excellence

The Alternative to Perfectionism

Don't worry—you don't have to give up your high standards.

Annie Murphy Paul

As creators, we hear a lot of admonitions to avoid perfectionism: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” and so on. I suspect that a lot of us respond to this advice as I do: I take it in, nod my head sagely—and go back to trying to make my work perfect. I mean, be honest: We do want our creations to be perfect, right? And so what would the alternative to perfectionism be?

Perhaps we could hope for an adaptive form of perfectionism, but research suggests that “healthy perfectionism” is an oxymoron. Perfectionism of any stripe is associated with negative mental health outcomes like anxiety, depression, and burnout. And, perversely—since perfectionism is all about producing the best possible results—a perfectionist orientation is also associated with decrements in performance. Even worse, perfectionism is especially harmful for creativity.

In other words: perfectionism’s pursuit of high standards comes at a cost. Is it possible to reach for those high standards without the cost?

It turns out that there is an actual, viable alternative to perfectionism, called excellencism. The researcher who devised this concept, University of Ottawa psychology professor Patrick Gaudreau, distinguishes the two in the following way:

  • Perfectionism is the relentless pursuit of extremely high and strict standards of perfection, along with a tendency to evaluate oneself according to those extremely high standards of perfection.

  • Excellencism is a tendency to aim and strive toward high, yet attainable standards, in an effortful and flexible manner. People who pursue excellence are satisfied once they reach it, and do not see the value of exceeding it.

It’s important to note that excellencism is not a watered-down version of perfectionism. It’s a qualitatively different mindset, and it produces qualitatively different results.

A recent study by Gaudreau and two colleagues found that participants who rated high on excellencism and low on perfectionism achieved much higher scores on a test of creative potential than those who rated high on perfectionism. The excellencists generated a greater number of responses to the creativity prompt than the perfectionists, and their responses were judged as more original than those produced by people pursuing perfection.

A reading of the small but growing scientific literature on excellencism turns up five distinct reasons why excellencism is such a productive way to approach our endeavors—and our creative endeavors in particular:

Reason 1: Excellencism is rooted in an accurate sense of reality and a capacity for flexibility, both of which are essential to creativity. The rigid and unrealistic mindset characteristic of perfectionism is antithetical to the spirit of creation.

Reason 2: Excellencism appears to protect against anxiety, stress, and burnout. It allows us to keep striving to meet high standards, without getting tripped up by the dark side of perfectionism.

Reason 3: Excellencism puts a bigger, healthier space between our work and ourselves—between what we do and who we are. One problem with perfectionism is that achieving perfection becomes tightly bound up with people’s sense of self: If my work is bad, I’m bad. Excellencism avoids this trap.

Reason 4: Excellencism allows us to savor rewarding experiences at every stage of the process. A study by Gaudreau and two coauthors found that perfectionists were only able to savor positive experiences when they achieved at the highest level. Savoring the good feelings associated with creating gives us emotional fuel to keep going when the creative process gets difficult.

Reason 5: Excellencism generates an upward spiral, with strength building upon strength. By contrast, Gaudreau has found that perfectionism often leads to a downward spiral, in which unrealistic standards for perfection collide with the imperfections of real life, leading to increased anxiety, leading to further impaired performance, and so on.

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Happy Board of Education Appreciation Month!

Thanks to our Board of Education members for their extraordinary volunteer efforts! We appreciate all you do to support our schools, staff and students.

The Lebanon Public Schools, in partnership with families and the community, will prepare students to be contributing members of a diverse global society. We will provide a safe, nurturing, rigorous, and student-centered learning environment.


Budget 23-24

At the special Board of Finance meeting on February 28th, I presented, alongside our Board Chairperson and Finance Subcommittee Chair, the 2023-2024 Lebanon Board of Education approved budget.

It was a productive meeting in which the Board of Finance asked great questions to learn more about our budget and the needs of our district. The meeting was well attended and I thank the community members for their support.

Our next opportunity to share the details of the budget will be at the Public Hearing on April 17th. Specific details on the time and place for this meeting will be shared with you in future communications.

Lebanon Public Schools Spotlight

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Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day- John Jarvis

March 6th was Maintenance Worker Appreciation Day. This spotlight segment is dedicated to John Jarvis to celebrate his ongoing efforts to take care of our buildings and grounds.

John, who is a former student and proud graduate of Lyman Memorial High School started as an employee in the Lebanon Public Schools in the fall of 2005. John began his tenure as a member of our custodial team working primarily at the high school. He transitioned into the role of District Maintainer in July of 2019.

His responsibilities and duties vary but you can see John taking care of our fields, doing general repairs across the district and always lending a helping hand to a staff member or student in need.

John is proud of many accomplishments and projects in which he contributed to but most recently he is happy with the completion of the installation of vanity countertops and plumbing in the locker rooms at LMHS as well as the installation of the new soccer goals on the varsity field.

John enjoys collaborating with the LPS team and takes great pride in supporting the schools in his community.

Ivy Coleman

Ivy joined the Lebanon Public Schools Team in a full time capacity in 2018. She has been a valued member of our custodial team ever since. In speaking with our Facilities Director and building Principals I get rave reviews of Ivy's performance and compliments on her pleasant personality. Here are some of the nice things her teammates had to say about her.

"Ivy goes above and beyond in her daily tasks at Lebanon Public Schools"

"She will cover any areas that I ask of her without hesitation. She is instrumental in training any new staff"

"She delights in cleaning"

"Her attitude of let's all get along and get the job done is refreshing"

"She is a pleasure to work with"

Many staff members have complimented her work ethic. She is diligent in her duties and takes great pride in her work. She does a bathroom refresh every day she is at the elementary school which the staff appreciate. She also wipes the handrails in the hallways.

Ivy you are appreciated!

Calendar Reminder

Staff and students will enjoy April break from the 7th through the 14th.

Please be on the lookout for communication regarding our new last day of school as well as graduation event dates for our schools.

District & Building Goals 2022-2023

Curriculum Corner

We are excited to announce that 8 students participated in our first year of eligibility for Connecticut’s Seal of Biliteracy. The following students participated in the Spanish assessment - Morgan Manning, Aidan Laws, Avery Brooks, Genevieve Gardella, Sophia Palombizio, Tyler Pannone, Ryan Spellman and Keegan Tardif participated in the French assessment. Students completed th assessment on March 8th and with a passing score on the exam, they will be given an award for demonstrated proficiency in two or more languages by the time they graduate high school. The Seal of Biliteracy will be placed on a student’s diploma and will be noted on their transcript, which will be sent to colleges and universities. The Seal of Biliteracy demonstrates a student’s dedication to building literacy skills in both English and another language and how that skill relates to post-secondary education and the workforce. The Seal of Biliteracy may also help to ensure proper course placement at the college/university level and provide evidence of skills attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. Students may receive college credit for work they completed in high school and are encouraged to check with their post-secondary institution regarding whether credit is granted for obtaining the Seal of Biliteracy. A big thank you to Sandra Rios, Lyman’s World Language department chair and teacher, who helped to administer and prepare these students for the exam.

Career Day at Lyman

Career Day at Lyman was a hit. We were fortunate to have presenters from a variety of professions speak to our learners.

Here is a list of careers that were represented; College Athletic Coach, Marine Scientist, Accountant, Photographer, Private Business Owner, Teacher, FBI Special Agent, Nurse, Engineer, Graphic Design Artist, Banker, Landscaper, Salesperson, State Environmental Conservation Police and Fire Chief.

Our students were respectful audience members and relayed to our staff that they appreciated the day and felt they learned a lot.

Money Madness

Money Madness 2023 at Connecticut College is a FREE event for teachers to attend with their students, sponsored by Chelsea Groton Bank.

This personal finance session for high school students focuses on real life financial situations the students will face as they move through life.

Students are cohorted by school, and attend sessions such as:

  • Identity Theft
  • Introduction to Investing
  • Budgeting
  • Credit

There is also be an exhibit hall where students can learn about other topics such as:

  • Buying their first car
  • Insurance
  • Renting their first apartment
  • Consumer scams

The day concludes with a lunch and a team (by school) trivia game about the days lessons where individuals and schools can win prizes (gift cards, etc.)

Our students have attended this event for the last five years or so with Mark Doyle, Business Teacher at Lyman Memorial High School.

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Highlights from Pupil Services

DESSA: The second rating window was February 6 - February 17. Building level meetings are occurring to analyze data and adjust interventions for students. Initial results from analyzation:

Positives results include: Growth in students exhibiting strength - 22% and Student movement from Need to Typical - 32%.

Parent Event: Transition Planning

On March 29, the Department of Pupil Services is excited to have Missy Wrigley, Consultant from the State Education Resource Center (SERC), presenting What Parents Need to Know about Secondary Transition Planning Services. While this is geared towards the parents of high school special education students, all are welcome. A recent flyer from SERC included the following:

“What is the student’s dream for life after high school?” Parents and other family members are vital to the transition planning process, especially because a student’s ethnicity and culture must be considered when developing a plan for secondary transition. To become informed participants in the transition process, family members must know about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) regulations specific to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition services at the secondary level, as well as about adult service agencies that can provide supports.


The McKinney - Vento Act supports children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The Connecticut State Department of Education has started a campaign to increase awareness of the McKinney-Vento Act and how this allows students experiencing homelessness/housing insecurity to remain in school. Lebanon Public Schools’ McKinney Vento Liaison is Dawn DeLia. If you have questions, please email dawn.delia@lebanonct.org or call 860-642-5734.

Follow this link for FAQs about Homelessness:


Paraprofessional Appreciation Day - April 3, 2023

Whether you call them Instructional Assistants, Paraprofessionals, or ParaEducators, these team members are a valued member of our schools. They support students and staff in too many ways to list. Join us in celebrating our outstanding paraprofessionals on April 3, 2023.

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Child Find

Lebanon Public Schools actively seeks to assist children and families by locating, identifying, and referring children from birth to age 21 who require special education and related services. If you are concerned about a child's development, you are encouraged to contact Lebanon Elementary School to receive information about Early Childhood Screenings.

If the child is younger than 3 years of age, you may choose instead to contact the Connecticut Birth to Three System at 1-800-505-7000.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact 860-642-5636.

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School Day Preschool Survey

Lebanon Public Schools seeks to identify if there is a need in our community to offer School Day Preschool.

A School Day Preschool class would follow the elementary school schedule starting at 8:35 and dismissing at 3:10 daily. There would be a tuition (on a sliding scale) for this program. This classroom would be filled with 4-year old learners from Lebanon.

*This survey does not indicate a plan to add this type of program

Please use the link below to complete the survey.

Preschool Survey

Don't Forget

Click "buttons" throughout update to view articles & important documents
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Lebanon Pride

Families, please feel free to send photos of our students in action so that I can celebrate them in the Superintendent Updates. Thanks for helping share our Lebanon Pride! andrew.gonzalez@lebanonct.org

An Evening with the Arts

Our 3 schools collaborated to put together An Evening with the Arts. The night was well attended and featured performances by our band and chorus students. Additionally student work from across the district was on display and there were various activities for families to engage in. Our Spring drama group provided visitors with a glimpse of the Mamma Mia show. Thanks to all the staff and students who made this such an outstanding event and thank you to all who attended.
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Mamma Mia!

The drama productions in our district always deliver in spectacular fashion...this year was no exception. Our students performed in front of standing room only crowds on March 10th-12th. Congratulations to all the staff and students who helped put together such a remarkable rendition of Mama Mia #EngagedCollaborators #EffectiveCommunicators #LebanonPride
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Boys Basketball Tournament Run

For the first time since 1967 our Boys Basketball team advanced to the CIAC state tournament semi-finals. The team lost to Shepaug in overtime by a score of 50-45. It was a historic run by the team and we are all proud of them #BleedBlue

Public Speaking Contest

Our chapter made us proud today at the district pubic speaking contest held at Ledyard High School. The results for the 3 contests are


3rd- Erin Grossman, Race to the Death (horse racing)

Participant- Sarah Cropley, Cashe Valley Disease in small ruminants


3rd- Jayson Collins, technology advancements in Agriculture and their benefits


2nd- Brianna Doyle

Below are team photos of before and after

Family Care Coordinator Corner

Sabena Escott, MSW sabena.escott@lebanonct.org

Lyman Memorial High School Social Worker and District Family Care Coordinator

With recent legislation over the summer, a family care coordinator has been added to the growing number of mental health staff that CT recognizes will further support our children and families in the school setting. The family care coordinator role already encompasses what our Lebanon school district mental health teams provide for students and families. Providing students with access to mental health resources within the community and bringing mental health services to students inside of the school has always been a priority in our district. Please reach out if there are any specific mental health topics, community programs, therapeutic referrals or town programs and resources that you would like to know more about. Below are a few programs and resources for students and families.

Lebanon Social Services

Lebanon Social Services Office offers a variety of services to Lebanon children, adults, and seniors. Social Services Administrator Shelly Ashcom works with federal, state, and local organizations to provide assistance to Lebanon residents in need. Town of Lebanon Social Services

*The use of the resources/programs in this section are not required by LPS to be used by parents/guardians. They are recommendations only.*


Regular attendance is vital for student success. When students attend regularly they the best chance to achieve academically and thrive. Every day a student is in school is an opportunity to learn, build relationships and access supports. We look forward to partnering with you to make sure our learners are present and prepared to grow each day. We understand that students are more likely to attend school when they feel safe, connected and supported. We will continue to work hard to motivate students to attend by fostering a belief among students that they can achieve at high levels .

Research shows that when students are chronically absent- missing more than 10% of the school year, or 18 days over an entire year- they are less likely to read proficiently by 3rd grade, achieve in middle school and graduate from high school.

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What Can I Do to Prevent My Child from Using E-cigarettes or to Help Them Stop? (CDC)

E-Cigarettes/Vapes Quick Facts


Call or text a trained crisis counselor to talk:

Inviting all K-12 students! Students with Solutions: Producing Short Videos Using Template Scripts

Inviting all K-12 students, with support from adults, to produce short (one to three minute) videos using template scripts for the opportunity to be featured on NBPC websites and viewed by classrooms around the country – plus, win some amazing prizes! “Students with Solutions” is a creative way for adults to engage youth in bullying prevention conversation while involving them in developing resources that can help educate their peers. Submit videos through April 30 Learn steps to participate

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious medical illnesses, and the way we talk about them matters. Eating disorders can affect a person’s physical and mental health. In some cases, they can be life-threatening. However, with treatment, people can start on the path towards recovery. Here are some facts and resources you can use to help shape the conversation around eating disorders.

Resource List on Eating Disorders Let's Talk about Eating Disorders

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH offers brochures and fact sheets on mental health disorders and related topics for children, adolescents and their families. Printed materials can be ordered free of charge. Brochures and fact sheets in English and Spanish.

Depression and Mood Disorders

Depression is a common mental health condition that causes someone to be in a sad or irritable mood for an unusually long period of time. It’s normal for children to feel down when bad things happen, but a child with depression doesn’t feel better if things change. There are different types of symptoms with depression and mood disorders. Understanding how depression is diagnosed and treated, the impact that social media has on depression and strategies parents can use to help their child, are critical to supporting children and teens. Click here for more information

Housing and Homeless Services Unit

Housing and Homeless Services can be accessed through Coordinated Access Networks (CAN). Persons are prioritized for housing services based on an assessment to be completed after calling 211.

Housing and Homeless Services

Behavioral Health Community Forum

March 29th: 4pm: Behavioral health experts from Lawrence + Memorial Hospital will discuss resources available at the hospital and in the community for providers, caregivers, families and those in crisis. The forum will raise awareness, decrease stigma, and educate our community on topics related to behavioral health Pre-registration is required

Stay Healthy

We are in the midst of what experts are calling the "Tripledemic". We have seen many cases of respiratory viruses and the flu in our schools. We have increased the frequency of touch surface cleaning and continue to encourage our learners to practice good hand hygiene to help prevent illness. Our nursing staff has been diligent in their attempts to spot signs of sickness and stop the spread in our classrooms. We ask for your continued cooperation in monitoring your students health and not sending them to school with signs of COVID-19 or a fever. Our district recently sent home self-test kits for families to help with earlier identification of COVID-19 and to set us up for a safe return to school after the holiday break.
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Lebanon Covid-19 Dashboard

Please remember you can see our COVID-19 data that is updated in real time at https://www.lebanonct.org/ There is a "button" on the main page that links directly to our dashboard.
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Mission Statement

The Lebanon Public Schools, in partnership with families and the community, will prepare students to be contributing members of a diverse global society. We will provide a safe, nurturing, rigorous, and student-centered learning environment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement of the Lebanon Public Schools:

The school community of Lebanon is committed to the mission of honoring and celebrating the diversity of our students, our community, and our nation. We strive to guide our students to conscious, deliberate, individual and collective actions that cultivate the respect of all races, religions, and social backgrounds. Our school community endeavors to produce graduates who are equipped with a greater understanding of the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Nondiscrimination Statement of the Lebanon Public Schools:

The Lebanon Board of Education, in compliance with federal and state law, affirms its policy of equal educational opportunity for all students and equal employment opportunity for all persons. It is the policy of the District to promote nondiscrimination and an environment free of harassment and the District does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, alienage, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status or any other category protected under state or federal law in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its program or activities. The District also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups and is specifically required by Title IX not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs and activities. The District shall make reasonable accommodations for individuals with identified physical and mental impairments that constitute disabilities, consistent with federal and state statutes and regulations.

The following person has been designated to handle inquires regarding Title IX sex discrimination policies: Dawn DeLia, Title IX Coordinator, 891 Exeter Road, Lebanon, CT; 860-642-5764

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding other non-discrimination policies: Dawn DeLia, 504/ADA Coordinator, 891 Exeter Road, Lebanon, CT; 860-642-5764