Thursday, June 16, 2022

GRADUATION IS SPECIAL anywhere and under any circumstances but ending your high school years on your own football field makes the occasion all that sweeter. Commencement ceremonies for the MHS Class of '22 were last night and we have photos and more below, as well as a look ahead to Saturday's Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration. Interested in subscribing to OneManchester? Just click here.

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OK, there were a few brief sprinkles but otherwise the ceremony was beautiful and memorable as the Class of '22 graduated on Memorial Field. Among the speakers were (above) salutatorian Alexanda Hamza and valedictorian Kyle Zingler -- and you can hear what they and everyone else had to say (and see everyone receive their diploma) by watching this video of the complete ceremony. The photo of Alexandra and those below were taken by MHS junior Ky'Lynn Monts.
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Bowers Groundbreaking Ceremony

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Elected officials, staff members and students and others gathered Monday outside Bower to, as Mayor Jay Moran put it, 'throw a little dirt' to signal the ceremonial start to the renovation of Bowers. You'll find this photo and a few more on the district Facebook page. Work at Bowers will go through next summer, with the school using the Robertson building during the 22-23 academic year.
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One Week Left For Everyone Else!

The last weekend of the school year is a long one, as Juneteenth is being recognized with a day off on Monday, Looking ahead:

  • All schools will have early release (using emergency dismissal schedule) every day next week when classes resume on Tuesday,.
  • The last day for all schools except Illing is Thursday, June 23.
  • Illing will have classes on Friday, June 24 (with an emergency dismissal schedule) because they were closed one day earlier this year due to a staffing shortage.

It's Saturday From 4-7 p.m. at Mahoney Center

That Was Then: On June 19, 1865, a Union general named Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended two months earlier -- and that they were free, and would be treated as hired workers if they chose to remain on plantations

This was more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

This Is Now: Over the years, June 19th has morphed into Juneteenth, and the anniversary has evolved into a celebration. Manchester will mark the occasion on Saturday with festivities from 4-7 p.m. at the Mahoney Center adjacent to Washington School; included will be art and live music as well as food, a vendor market and more. Click for details.

Community Connections

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For more photos check out the OneManchester Facebook page.

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Other Newsletters

  • Manchester Historical Society: Research volunteer needed; an interesting television show: ‘Floyd Welch Remembers Pearl Harbor,’ and learn a little more about Adeline Gray, who may have been the only female parachutist in the US before the 1940s.

  • Manchester Matters: Holiday schedule for the weekend; Adult Summer Reading Kick-Off Party; Moon Dance: The Ultimate Van Morrison Tribute on July 9; Walking Tour on the Great Lawn hosted by two members of the Cheney Brothers National Historic District Commission on Saturday.

  • Manchester Adult and Continuing Education: Highlights student success at the 5th Annual International Dinner; Class of ‘22 in the spotlight as graduation (June 23) approaches; STEAM Camp for incoming 1 - 6 graders from Aug. 1 -19.

Also This Week

The Juneteenth Celebration is the biggest local event but there's more happening as summer starts to heat up:

Thursday, June 16
9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. -- Red Cross blood drive at North United Methodist Church, 300 Parker St.

7 - 8:30 p.m. -- Conversations for Racial Healing on ZOOM.

Friday, June 17
10 a.m.-- Ladybug Tea at the Lutz, 247 S. Main St.

Saturday, June 18
1 p.m. -- Great Lawn History Walk starting at 146 Hartford Rd. (Fuss & O'Neill building).
4 -7 p.m. -- Manchester’s Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration, Leisure Labs at Mahoney Center, 110 Cedar St.

4:30 - 7 p.m. -- Spaghetti Dinner for Ukraine Refugee Relief at Assumption Hall, So. Adams St.
7 - 8:30 p.m. -- Conversations for Racial Healing on ZOOM.

Monday, June 20

6 - 8 p.m. -- In-person Songwriters Group at 153 Spruce St.
Town offices will be closed in observance of Juneteenth - no delay in curbside collection.

Wednesday, June 22
3 p.m. -- Celebrate Invertebrates: Octopus, at the Lutz.
3 p.m. -- Adult Summer Reading Kick-off Party at Mary Cheney Library.

4:30- 7:30 p.m. -- Spruce Street Farmers Market at 153 & 163 Spruce St. (Wednesdays through August 31).
6 - 8 p.m. -- Middle School Nights at Mary Cheney Library.
6:30 p.m. -- Connecticut Wineries with ‘The Nutmeg Nose’ at Whiton Memorial Library.


  • Celebrate Invertebrate Week at the Lutz Museum starts on Friday. Click here for details.

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Down The Road

  • The MARC, Inc Summer Concert Series will be back on Tuesdays in July - click the link for dates and lineup.

  • The first of four consecutive Off-Main Experience events on Purnell Place will be on July 7.

  • Cruisin’ on Main has been a Manchester staple for over 20 years and will be back on Main St. Aug. 7.

  • The Silk City Fest will be held on Aug. 27 at Purnell Place. Click here to see this year’s band lineup.

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In other news:

  • Manchester Police Athletic League’s Summer Basketball 3 on 3 Tournament begins on Friday at Charter Oak Park.

  • Registration for the fall Manchester Pop Warner Red Hawks Cheer and Football program is open. Click here for more information.

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While the senior class has moved on there are 5,500-plus other students throughout the district at various stages of their own journeys, including Keeney kindergarteners Malaysia, Alexia, and Omyra, shown here ready to head out the recess on Tuesday afternoon after their snack.

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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.