GPS District Digest (v5, i5)
Stories, news, and updates from Greenwich Public Schools
What It Takes
Here at the GPS District Digest, November feels special. Why that is isn't exactly clear, but there is something about this month that gets our juices flowing. We wonder if you feel the same way.
Our loyal readers continue to shower the newsroom with amazing feedback. The calls and letters are piling up. Oh wait, we are just kidding ya' - no one calls or writes letters anymore, do they?
As they say in the Digest newsroom, anywho! Let's get to it. This issue is loaded. We mean, it is packed with all good things GPS. Videos, photos, stories - it's all here waiting for you.
Enjoy Issue No. 5 and thank you for your support.
GPS District Digest
Breaking News: Cardinals Win 2023 Girls Cross Country Class LL Title
What's That Smell?
Shake n' Bake
They are at it again! Back in volume 4, issue 3 of the GPS District Digest, you read about a bake sale that raised funds for victims of the 2022 catastrophic floods in Pakistan. Bake on!
Eastern Middle School Principal Mr. Marc Guarino alerted the Digest about another neighborhood bake sale by the same group of the now EMS sixth-graders Jimmy Hsu, Sikander Tiwana, and Maxim Stobetsky, along with Jimmy's sister, International School of Dundee second-grader Ellie Hsu, to raise money "to help EMS give everybody experiences, activities, and enrichment programs."
Mr. Guarino said that these students recognized how so many people within their community support the programs they have by dedicating "their time...and effort...every single day" in a variety of ways. This was their way to show appreciation and gratitude for all the people who support and bring meaningful programs to their school.
Mr. Guarino wanted to give a special thanks to the entire Laddins Rock neighborhood who showed up and donated $270 to support EMS. He loved that his students met new people and learned new things about their neighbors that they otherwise would not have if people did not stop and talk with them.
Getting The Party Started
Raise your glass to the staff and students at Western Middle School who recently raised an amazing $1,450 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by selling pink accessories and promoting online fundraising for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Proudly, the WMS community's total was the highest in the four years that this event has been held. Perfect!
For the first time on Pink Day, this year, students participated in a "Principal Pink Out Penny War." In the past, WMS hosted "Pie a Principal."
There you go.
Turn Back The Clock 🕰️
Let's turn back the clock a little bit in this issue's installment of "Turn Back The Back," shall we?
Loyal Digest readers will remember in volume 3, issue 20 where the clock was turned back for the first time to Cos Cob School. The site of CCS goes back more than a century, with the school’s formal opening taking place on October 15, 1915, marked by an Open House and evening program. The current building opened its doors to GPS students in the fall of 1993, three years after a fire devastated the building on this postcard. The school's website has a fantastic history section that you are encouraged to read.
Unfortunately (yes, unfortunately), this postcard was sadly left unused, unable to fulfill its destiny. We think that it was purchased at Taylor's, located at the Hub near the intersection of Strickland Road and East Putnam Avenue.
Cardinal Alum Turned Husky Grad
Everyone in the Digest newsroom loves when they get information on successful GPS alumni and their achievements. Maybe a regular "Alumni Corner" feature would be appropriate?
We have been told that GHS graduate Thomas Waurishuk, Jr. (class of 2019), recently graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and minors in Real Estate and Geography. And his GPA? A perfect 4.0.
In addition, the university's Finance Department presented the former Cardinal with three prestigious student managed fund awards: Best Stock Pitch, Best Financial Analyst Report, and Best Stock Performance.
Thanks Mom for keeping us updated!
You too can keep us updated on our Cardinals who recently flew the coop. Reach out!
Loyal readers of the Digest know how much we love feedback. Recently, the director of the Greenwich Suzuki Academy and GPS parent, Heather Watson Hardie, alerted us about the enjoyment she gets from reading our little newsletter. Aw shucks!
She also told us about GSA's recent annual Spooky Suzuki concert and party. Maybe you will recognize some of these performers in the videos she shared with the Digest. The majority of their students are GPS kiddos!
And all of us here in the newsroom agree with Heather: we all need to hear cheerful, fun bits of news in our lives.
Matejek Named Special Education Coordinator
Congratulations to Mr. Eugene Matejek who was named special education coordinator. Mr. Matejek had been serving as the assistant principal at Riverside School since July and will continue to assist Riverside Principal Christopher Weiss during the transition until a replacement is named.
Mr. Matejek will be providing assistance to building administrators, general education staff, and special education staff to increase access to the curriculum for students with disabilities. He will review and recommend supplemental curriculum materials, evaluate curricular options for non-academic instruction, and promote universal access in the development of curriculum and instructional activities. In addition, Mr. Matejek will plan, coordinate, and provide professional learning for certified and non-certified staff and will be an evaluator for certified special education and related services staff. He will report directly to Chief Officer of Special Education and Student Supports Dr. Stacey Heiligenthaler.
“After an extensive interview process and receiving feedback from the search committee composed of many GPS stakeholders, Mr. Eugene Matejek emerged as the most knowledgeable and experienced candidate for this position,” Dr. Heiligenthaler said. “He has tremendous experience as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and special education coordinator that will prove to be a fantastic asset to our special education team.”
Read the full press release on the GPS website.
It Was Spook-tacular
Earlier this month, a lucky crowd of music and Halloween enthusiasts were treated to the GHS Orchestra Spooktacular concert, featuring invited eighth-graders from all three of our middle schools to perform a side-by-side number with the high schoolers, at GHS' Performing Arts Center.
In the Halloween spirit, children in costume received candy at the door!
Watch for yourself! Were you there? What did you think?
A Visit From Fred
Third graders at Hamilton Avenue School have been learning about how government decisions are made at the state and local levels.
Recently, Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo came for a visit and talked with the students about how the local government is run, how the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government work at the state and local level, and also answered questions from curious third graders.
At the Board of Education October Business Meeting, the Greenwich community got to express their gratitude towards two outgoing board members, Chair Joe Kelly and Vice-Chair Christina Downey.
Mr. Kelly and Ms. Downey, who have both served on the Board since 2019, received mementos and well wishes from many dignitaries, including Superintendent of Schools Dr. Toni Jones, PTAC President John Fisher, GOSA Co-President Jennifer Bencivengo, GEA President Lil Perrone, Board Member Kathleen Stowe, Town of Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, State Senator Ryan Fazio, and State Representative Hector Arzeno.
A "Pumking" to Rule the Patch
Hamilton Avenue was serious about their fun and sharing their great news with the Digest this issue.
Students and families embraced their love of reading while decorating pumpkins as their favorite book characters which were put on display in the media center at the school's annual, "Pumpkin Book Decorating Contest."
We were told that this activity embodied the district norm, "Care for Self and Others," as students enthusiastically viewed and supported the creative work of their classmates.
Special acknowledgments go out to Media Specialist Mr. Lane and Media Assistant Mrs. Alfano for organizing the contest, IT Support Technician Mr. Count for creating an amazing video of all of the submissions, and Third-Grade Teacher Mrs. Preiss for bringing this event to Ham Ave.
The winners were:
- Pre-K: Luna B. for the flowers from My Garden by Kevin Henkes
- K: Jamie G. for the Magical Unicorn from Peppa’s Magical Unicorn
- 1st: Elliott B. for Eva the owl from The Owl Diaries
- 2nd: Kelly M. for the Snail from How to Party Like a Snail
- 3rd: Dhanvi M. for Big Nate from the Big Nate series
- 4th: Giuseppe B. for Harry Potter from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
- 5th: Reagan B. for The Food Group by Jory Johns
GPS X-Cellent Adventures 📱
We love sharing good news with our 2,058 closest friends on the GPS X (Twitter) account, @GPSDistrict.
Are you following us? But only do it if you are a member our families, students, staff, or community that want to see all of the good things happening around the District. No negativity from us!
At the Digest, we love to show you some of our favorite posts from around the GPS social media world.
Do you have a favorite social media account? Let us know!
To Our Loyal Readers...
- If you have a great story or photograph to share from our schools inside the District, alert the good folks in the GPS District Digest newsroom. They want to know!
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- Have you missed any past issues? Go to our archive to catch up.
- The first headline of each issue? Talk to us. What's the theme?
- Linda and Karen: I hope it always will stay this way. My hat is off. Won't you stand up and take a bow?
- Karen: We hope you are feeling better.
It is the Mission of the Greenwich Public Schools to:
- • Educate all students to the highest levels of academic achievement;
- • Enable them to reach and expand their potential; and
- • Prepare them to become productive, responsible, ethical, creative and compassionate members of society.