Thursday, May 5, 2022

Five school nurses from throughout town are retiring at the end of the academic year, taking with them almost a century of collective experience. We have them in the spotlight this week as well as a look back at last Saturday's Rebuilding Together. Also, our newsletter has the most comprehensive calendar and collection of news and notes that you'll find anywhere. Plus the price (free!) can't be beat so if you want to subscribe just click here.

"THEY WILL EACH BE MISSED!" said Marney Reardon, the district's Coordinator of Health Services, of five nurses who are soon to retire. Leaving are:

Nancy Cagna -- Manchester High School

  • A school nurse for 21 years, all at MHS.
  • "Every day is an adventure."

Diane DeCarlo -- East Catholic

  • She’s been at East since 2005 after four years at Illing and four at MHS.

  • “The thing I like most about my job is teaching the students how to stay healthy and how the decisions they make now can affect their health for years to come.”

MaryRose Lombardi - Illing

  • The past 16 years at Illing after two years at Bennet.

  • “I carry with me the pleasure of having students return after MHS or college and share with me that I impacted them at a time when they needed a port in the storm. It makes all the hard work worth it.”

Diane Strano -- Illing

On the job for 20 years, all at IMS.

"There is no greater goal as a nurse than being able to care for and help people."

Janis Vignati -- St. James

  • At St. James for the past 16 years.
  • “I’ve enjoyed helping the students and working with great staff and administration.”

And So Many Stories!

Here's one from Nancy Cagna:

"A boy walked into our nurse's office and said, 'Miss, I have an eraser stuck in my ear!' I looked in his ear with an otoscope and said, 'I don't see an eraser.' He said, "No, it's in my ear lobe." He had used an eraser as an earring back and when he took his earring out the eraser got stuck inside his ear lobe. I was able to get it out and he went back to class."

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MHS Teacher Honored

Math teacher James Tierinni was recently selected as the CEA's John McCormack Award for Teaching Excellence award. As such, he automatically became the state of Connecticut's nominee for the national award. The award recognizes and promotes "excellence in teaching and service to the profession."

Classroom Snapshots

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At left, third graders in Mrs. Bushnell's class at Keeney School are revising stories they adapted from fairy tales, and at Waddell, Ms. Gardner's fourth graders are testing for erosion.
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Spring Concerts

The Bennet 5th Grade Concert is tonight with the Illing Band and Orchestra performing on Tuesday. School concerts start at 7 p.m., are all at Bailey Auditorium and are free and open to the public. To see the schedule click here.

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Other News and Notes

  • The TLC Foundation is looking for a live-in residential supervisor (a couple would be ideal but not required). To learn more please click here.
  • Applications are being accepted from families interested in enrolling children in the district Early Childhood Education Program for 3- and 4-year-olds. Click here for more information.

  • For information about summer STEAM programming click here.

MHS Fundraisers

  • A Cinco de Mayo taco-eating contest with proceeds going to Project Graduation will reveal who can eat the most tacos in 5 minutes and 5 seconds. It's tonight and all the details are here.
  • For a donation of $25, you can honor a soon-to-graduate MHS student by having vibrant pink flamingos displayed in the graduate’s yard for a few days. Click for details.
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May The Fourth Be With You

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Ajax, who holds a Blue Belt in the Jedi Ninja Warrior program at the Academy of Martial Arts on Tolland Turnpike, demonstrates some of the moves used in the Star Wars saga at the Lutz Children's Museum on Wednesday (May the 4th) afternoon. After the demonstration, Chuckles, the Lutz mascot, posed for pictures with families.
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Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout cookie booths will be open at various locations on Saturday and we have the schedule here (plus links to some online sales here).
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Swimming, Scholarships, Etc.

  • The town's Recreation Division has embarked on a campaign to engage the community in promoting the importance of learning to swim and you can read about it on the Better Manchester website.
  • The Manchester Community Services Council has announced its annual call for scholarship applications with a submission deadline of June 1 and early applications encouraged. For more info click here.

In Case You Missed It

  • The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is asking that parents of a child under 12 take this survey regarding childcare.

  • The Luminaries of Change is a living art exhibit that examines Manchester's trailblazers who have dedicated themselves to creating social change throughout the community. The gallery will soon be growing and you can click here to learn about the nomination process.

Deadline Extended

  • Manchester youth who are entering grades 9-12 in the fall of 2022 are encouraged to apply to serve on the Manchester Youth Commission. The deadline to apply has been extended to May 9 and all the info is here.

The Week Ahead

Thursday, May 5

9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. -- Red Cross Blood Drive at North United Methodist Church, 300 Parker St.

6 p.m. -- BOE budget workshop is cancelled.

6:30 p.m. -- Cinco de Mayo Taco Eating Contest to benefit MHS Project Graduation at the Elks Club, 30 Bissell St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

6:30 - 8 p.m. -- National Day of Prayer at Salvation Army, 66 Main St.

Friday, May 6

8 a.m. - 1 p.m. -- Red Cross Blood Drive at Great Path Academy
10 a.m. -- ‘Art of Pride’ exhibit opens at WORK_SPACE,903 Main St. Through June 24.
7 p.m. -- Eric Mintel Quartet at Cheney Hall.

Saturday, May 7

9 a.m. -- Chestnut tree planting party at 330 Bush Hill Rd.

9:30 a.m - 5 p.m. -- Memorial Disc Golf Tournament at Wickham Park.

Sunday, May 8
1 - 4 p.m. -- Open House at the Cheney Homestead, 106 Hartford Rd.

Monday, May 9

6 - 8 p.m. -- In-person Songwriters Group at 153 Spruce St.

7 p.m. -- BOE meeting at Lincoln Center.

Tuesday, May 10
3:15 P.M. -- Yoga class for teens at Mary Cheney Library

6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – The Power of YOU(TH) substance use prevention virtual event on zoom for youth. 7 p.m. -- BOD meeting at Lincoln Center.

Wednesday, May 11
3:30 - 4:45 p.m. -- R.E.A.D. to a Dog (pre-school - grade 4) at Mary Cheney Library.
6:30 p.m. -- Two-time transplant survivor and CT author John Hoffman at Whiton Library.

Thursday, May 12

2:30-3:45 p.m. – 2nd Annual Substance Use Prevention Walk, starts at MHS, ends at the Youth Service Bureau, 63 Linden Street, free food & giveaways for participants.

Also Of Note

  • ‘Together We Tee’ is a six-week golf program offered this summer at Manchester Country Club to local Black and Brown youth of all genders and their parents/guardians. Click here for more information.

  • What should Manchester look and feel like in 10-20 years? The Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development Update will help answer that question and from May 16-19 planning picks up steam. Click here for more.
  • The second annual Spring Butterfly Stroll returns to Downtown on Saturday, May 14. Click to read more.
  • The Sculpture Project is sponsoring a mini-golf tournament to help to raise money for a life-size bronze statue of Elisabeth M. Bennet that will be installed on the lawn of Bennet Academy next year. The event will be on Saturday, June 11 at 10 a.m. at Mar-Lea Miniature Golf in Bolton and all the details are here.

Also Down the Road:

  • The 2022 Memorial Day Parade will take place on Monday, May 30 starting at the Army & Navy Club at 9:30 a.m. Click here for more information.

  • Circle Aug. 27 on the calendar for this year's Silk City Fest at Purnell Place..

Other News

  • Manchester Matters: Manchester Next! Planapalooza will be May 16 -19; the next Household Hazardous Waste Collection is on May 14; there will be a community clean-up and shred event on May 21

  • Manchester Historical Society: Open houses at the Cheney Homestead this Sunday, May 8 (which, as a reminder, is Mother’s Day …) and Woodbridge Farmstead on May 15; “Spring in Concert” at Bicentennial Bandshell on May 19 and a blurb on Richard Martin (as in Martin School) in the Manchester Herald from 70 years ago

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Hartfield was inducted into the Manchester Sports Hall of Fame last Saturday night at Manchester Country Club along with Karl P. Then and Mike Lombardo. Art Pongratz, was selected into the Hall of Fame by the Legends committee, Fred Lennon, received the Founders Award and four-time Manchester Road Race winner John Gregorek received the Joe McCluskey Award. Click here for background on the honorees.
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The winds finally subsided this week and the MHS golf teams were enjoying the relative tranquility at Manchester Country Club. At left is junior Cole Huyler on the first tee Tuesday afternoon and on the right is Alyssa Eisele making a downhill chip on the eighth hole look easy.
  • Community Athletic Solutions will hold soccer camps for boys and girls ages 6 -14 at Charter Oak Park in July and August. Click here for details.

Rebuilding Together Celebrates 30 Years

"We are so thankful for everyone who came out to help us as well as the incredible homeowners who were in heaven with all the work that had been done to their homes. "

-- Molly Devanney, Executive Director

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Clockwise from top left are volunteers from Highland Park, MHS and Bowers -- all among more than 700 people who spent time last Saturday at 40 homes throughout town. A month-long series of projects led to a big finish that started with volunteers from ECHN, Channel 3 Kids Camp and Rebuilding Together Committee members doing prep work in collaboration with the Manchester Public Works Department. "Pat Casey and his crew went above and beyond," said Devanney. "It was incredible seeing the energy around town."
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OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office; he can be reached at or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017 and features the photography of Paul Ofria. Want to subscribe? Just click here.