GPS District Digest
Stories, news, and updates from Greenwich Public Schools
We Won't Pull Your Leg
Welcome back! Everyone here at the GPS District Digest hopes that you had a fun-filled Winter Recess, no matter what you call fun. Our loyal readers certainly know how much fun we like to have in the newsroom, especially with our puns, movie and song references, and hidden gems.
Did you remember that today is Fairfield County's Giving Day? When you are done reading the Digest, make sure you head to the Greenwich Alliance for Education's page on the Fairfield County's Community Foundation webpage. Our friends at the Alliance is the education foundation that supports GPS. The Alliance funds innovation to elevate student achievement for all GPS students, expands educational opportunities for underserved students, and inspires educators.
In this issue of the Digest, we have a special contributing writer, Sophie. By now, you all know about Ms. Lenschow and her amazing efforts around the District. So sit back with your sandwich or bowl of soup, and read all about PJ Day and all good things in Greenwich Public Schools.
Enjoy Issue No. 12 and thanks for reading!
GPS District Digest
A PJ Day to Remember
By Sophie Lenschow
Greenwich High School Junior
On Friday February 10, faculty and students across the District came together and wore their pajamas to school for "PJ Day" to show support for children with cancer that have to wear their PJ's every day in the hospital.
In addition to raising awareness, everyone could donate at least $1 at school that day, or online. All of this money will go to Connecticut Children's Hospital and will be used for pediatric cancer research. This means that all children across the nation battling cancer will benefit from this astonishing amount of money raised by you, Greenwich Public Schools. In total, GPS raised $19,425.16 (at press time).
As someone who had to endure that battle, it was so amazing and moving to see how all of the schools in the Greenwich district came together and participated in PJ Day. It really means a lot not only to me, but to all the kids currently fighting cancer to see all the support that Greenwich showed.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated.
There Are no Mistakes, Just Happy Accidents
The art teachers at Greenwich HS and Eastern MS could not hold back their excitement when they alerted the Digest of the 11 GPS honorees on the list of 2023 Connecticut State Scholastic Art Awards. This year alone, nearly 2,800 students entered original works from about 145 schools in Connecticut.
Now in their 100th year, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is considered by many the largest, longest running and most prestigious recognition program for creative young people in the country. The awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923 and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Ken Burns, Philip Pearlstein, Red Grooms, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, and more.
The awards winners from Greenwich HS include (student name, category, award):
- Monika Brown-Smith, Digital Art, Honorable Mention
- Joshua Daye, Art Portfolio, Gold Key (Hartford Art School Scholarship)
- Julian Lujan, Drawing & Illustration, Gold Key
- Julian Lujan, Art Portfolio, Silver Key (Hartford Art School Scholarship)
- Nicholas O'Brien, Drawing & Illustration, Honorable Mention
- Lucia Razeto, Photography, Silver Key
- Kasey Tierney, Photography, Gold Key
- Amanda Wong, Ceramic & Glass, Gold Key
- Mateo Zitella, Drawing & Illustration, Silver Key
The awards winners from Eastern MS include (student name, category, award):
- Isabella Deng, Painting, Silver Key
- Kaitlyn Qin, Drawing & Illustration, Honorable Mention
- Lula Wang, Mixed Media, Gold Key (CAEA/Arnini Best in Mixed Media)
- Lulu Wang, Drawing & Illustration, Silver Key
Gold Key winners automatically advance to national judging by renowned creative professionals from across the country. Judges select work for national recognition based on three criteria: originality, skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice.
The National Awards will be announced on March 22, 2023.
The art teachers that have supported our students in this process are Eastern MS's Ms. Summer Merritt and Greenwich HS's Ms. Lisa Scarogni, Ms. Jaimie Charles, Ms. Cheryl Iozzo, Ms. Shekaiba Bennett, Mr. Ben Quesnal, Ms. Julie Nixon, and Ms. Liz Vazquez.
What is a Trivia Challenge?
Oh wait, this is not Jeopardy! Your response does not need to be made in the form of a question. Or does it??
The Greenwich Alliance for Education's annual virtual Trivia Challenge fundraiser is guaranteed to be another fun and competitive night. Host a house party and/or bring together friends and family from across the country to make up your team of 10. Cost is $50/person. A silent auction and scholarship match can be bid on by all.
Register now for the Trivia Challenge, scheduled for Friday, March 3 at 7:00 PM. This year's theme: Theme - "Friends, Romans, Countrymen"
They Are Home to Stay
Earlier this month, GPS Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced the appointments of Mrs. Diane Chiappetta Fox as principal of Hamilton Avenue School and Mr. Kerry Gavin as principal of Cos Cob School, effective July 1. Both were named interim principals at their respective schools on July 29, 2022.
“This is a great day for Greenwich Public Schools and the communities of Cos Cob and Hamilton Avenue Schools,” Dr. Jones said. “With overwhelming positive feedback from the hiring committees, staff, and parents, it comes with great pleasure to announce Mr. Kerry Gavin and Mrs. Diane Chiappetta Fox will remain as lead administrators at their respective schools to promote the educational development of each student and the professional development of each staff member.
“Since the start of the school year,” Dr. Jones added, “both have endeared themselves into their communities as dedicated and committed principals serving as amazing role models and leaders. As a District that receives interest from qualified candidates from all around the region for open positions, it was clear to the hiring committee that Kerry and Diane are outstanding administrators who have demonstrated their ability to lead these schools in more permanent roles.”
“Hamilton Avenue School is a caring, hard working, family community that has made me feel welcome the past seven months,” Mrs. Fox said. “There are amazing traditions at Hamilton Avenue passed down from the Greater Greenwich and Chickahominy community that we will continue to promote, while moving forward to support our school’s goals and the District’s Strategic Plan, while advocating on behalf of all students for many years to come. I am home.”
"I am honored to have been chosen to continue to lead Cos Cob School,” said Mr. Gavin. “Having grown up in town, I know that Cos Cob is all about family and community. The past six months have allowed me to forge strong relationships with our amazing students, staff, and families. I am dedicated to honoring Cos Cob’s many great traditions and eager to see what lies ahead. Our future is bright!”
Scholastic Writing Awards
Congratulations to 15 of Greenwich HS' 2023 Hudson-to-Housatonic Scholastic Writing Awards recipients. Winners were announced earlier this month by Writopia Lab, whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in children and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing. This mission is rooted in their belief that celebrating and sharing stories contributes to the building of stronger, more empathetic young people and societies.
A panel of professional novelists, editors, teachers, poets, librarians, journalists, and other literary professionals selected these works from 2,247 works submitted this year.
The awards winners from Greenwich HS include (student name, category, award):
- Miller Fishback, Journalism, Honorable Mention
- Alexandra Gusinski, Flash Fiction, Silver Key
- Chloe Henske, Critical Essay, Honorable Mention
- Kristen Jacks, Short Story, Silver Key
- Hanna Klingbeil, Journalism, Honorable Mention
- Alexa Loera, Poetry, Silver Key
- Ashley Malkin, Poetry, Three Honorable Mentions; Flash Fiction, Gold Key
- Belle Nichols, Dramatic Script, Silver Key
- Aubrey Niederhoffer, Personal Essay, Gold Key
- Shreya Prabhu, Journalism, Silver & Gold Key
- Shreya Prabhu, Personal Essay & Memoir, Silver Key
- Ainsley Sahrbeck, Short Story, Silver Key
- Natasha Samant, Poetry, Two Silver Keys
- Elizabeth Wallace, Poetry, Gold Key
- Huibo Xu, Critical Essay, Honorable Mention
- Ziyi Yan, Poetry, American Voices Nominee, 4 Gold Keys, 10 Silver Keys & 5 Honorable Mentions
- Ziyi Yan, Critical Essay, Gold Key
- Ziyi Yan, Personal Essay & Memoir, Honorable Mention
To recognize their outstanding work, this year's Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention recipients are invited, along with their guests, teachers, and our esteemed jurors, to the 2023 Awards Ceremony for the Hudson-to-Housatonic Writing Region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Gold Keys are automatically forwarded for consideration at the national level of the Scholastic Writing Awards.
Oh those smiling faces! How we love smiling faces in the cafeterias and dining rooms across the District. This issue, the Digest's favorite friend, Mr. Dave Nanarello in the Food Services Department, sent us photos from Cos Cob School.
Cos Cob got an early start on their St. Patrick's Day decorations. Cooks Mirjana Abramovic and Heather Pugni this day served whole grain breaded chicken tenders, edamame beans, baby carrots, local apples and Musselman's applesauce, and the fresh veggie bar with dressings and snacks.
And as always, Mr. Nanarello encourages families to use the Food Service Department as a resource in setting up lunch accounts, navigating menus, and of course, any allergy concerns. Reach out anytime!
Cardinals go to Washington
Earlier this month, the Greenwich HS Model UN Team participated in the American University Model United Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., a three-day Model United Nations conference hosted by American University for high school students.
"We had a tour at the United States Capitol building with one of Congressman Jim Himes’ staff interns, and then we took the underground tunnels to the Rayburn building where we got to be inside his office and speak with his staff assistant about all things Congress," Model UN co-President Nicole Orlofsky said. "We then ate lunch in the Rayburn building and made our way to American University’s campus for pre-conference workshops and opening ceremonies."
GHS' Model UN Club is a community that fosters diplomacy, debate, and research skills while increasing its members' knowledge of geopolitics and economics. They travel to colleges for conferences which simulate the workings of the UN, as well as other historical and fictional groups, in an environment that is both competitive and collaborative.
Fantastic Mrs. Fox Gets Surprised After Big Announcement
Around the GPS Twittersphere 📱
Are you one of the 1,956 loyal followers of @GPSDistrict on Twitter? If not, you should be, but only if you are one of our families, students, staff, or community members that want to see all of the good things happening around the District.
On social media, we will keep our community informed of breaking news and all good things GPS. Sometimes, we will even have a Twitter Takeover with some of your favorite people. And we love to show you some of our favorite posts from around the GPS Twittersphere. Do you have a favorite social media account? Let us know!
To Our Readers...
- Did you play "Where's Winston?' in the last issue of the GPS District Digest? A photograph of the smartest American foxhound has been placed strategically in the Digest for a third straight time. It is your job to find him.
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- There is a connection to all of the first paragraph headlines this year. Some of our readers got it. Did you?
- Did you ever notice the image corresponding to the opening paragraph is of the very issue of the Digest you are reading right now? How did they do that??
- Thanks for reading until the very end!
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