Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022

ALL AROUND TOWN there are names on school buildings memorializing educators and others for their contributions to our community. Arthur Illing, Fred Verplanck, George Waddell ... the list goes on and of them all the most revered may well be Elisabeth Bennet, whose birthday is Saturday (back in 1881). The school's celebration will be muted again this year, what with COVID, but on this snow day we have some background to share about her remarkable life. Btw, if you enjoy OneManchester you can subscribe by clicking here.

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Changing, And Saving, Lives

Elisabeth Bennet was an educator in town for 42 years but will long be remembered for her heroism on the horrific day in 1913 when the Ninth District School building burned (it stood at the site of what is now Bennet Academy). The passage and pictures below can be found in an account on the Manchester Historical Society website. Click here for more.

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  • To learn more about The Sculpture Project, which has for its next planned installment a seven-foot bronze replica of Miss Bennet, please click here.
  • The Manchester Historical Society also has a series of short videos about her life.

Morning Glory

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The parent of an IMS student snapped this after dropping off her daughter for jazz band rehearsal Tuesday morning.
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Proposed School Budget Deliberations

  • The Board of Education has another budget workshop tonight at 6 at Lincoln Center. Last Thursday Superintendent Matt Geary presented his recommended 2022-23 budget, which at $122.4 million represents a 3.95 percent increase over the current $117.8 million budget. The budget will be further discussed on Jan. 24 and Jan. 27 (click for the meeting schedule). To see Geary's presentation from last week click here (and here for a replay of the workshop.
January Family Survey: We want to hear from you! In order to make it easier and faster to provide feedback, we have developed four BRIEF surveys for the school year connected to district improvement planning. The 9-question January survey is linked here and here are the translation instructions: Translate on a computer / Translate on a mobile device
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Around the District

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At left, first graders in Mr. Rapp's art class at Keeney are creating Eric Carle inspired superheroes, and at right, a Team Tufts seventh grader during a book exchange in the Illing Media Center.
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Not a lot on tap as we slog through the longest coldest month of the year but you can head downtown Saturday morning to drop off cans at St. James and return at night for BINGO at the Army-Navy Club. There's more below including a special Saturday event at Northwest Park.

The Week Ahead, Etc.

Thursday, Jan 20

6 p.m. BOE budget workshop at Lincoln Center.

Saturday, Jan. 22
8:30 a.m. -- Daycare Provider First Aid & Heart Saver hybrid course at 75 Center St.

9 a.m. - noon -- Knights of Columbus can and bottle drive at St. James Church, 896 Main St.

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. -- Winter Fire and Ice at Northwest Park, 448 Tolland Tpke.

2:30 p.m. -- Paint a Wooden Sled Craft at Mary Cheney Library.

Monday, Jan. 24

9 a.m. - noon -- Five Senses Friendly Mondays at the Lutz, 247 Main St.
6:30 p.m. -- Growing Herbs from Cuttings at 153 Spruce St.

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

Tuesday, Jan. 25
9:30 - 11 a.m. -- Virtual Provider Fair for Schools & Pediatric Care Providers.
1:30 - 6 p.m. -- COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Odyssey Community School.

Wednesday, Jan 26

Noon -- Arsenic & Old Lace lunchtime lecture at Cheney Hall, 177 Hartford Rd.
6- 8 p.m. -- Middle School Nights at Mary Cheney Library.
7:30 p.m. -- Boy Scout Troop 25 virtual open house.


  • The Tea Party in celebration of Elisabeth Bennet’s birthday scheduled for Saturday at 131 Hartford Rd. has been postponed until spring.

  • The American Rescue Plan has up to $3600 available for children under the age of 18. Click here for more information (and here in Spanish)

  • CREC has an ESL Medical Office Assistant training program. Click here for more info.

Down the Road:
Feb. 21 is International Mother Language Day.

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Other Newsletters

  • Manchester Matters: Ordering for free at-home COVID-19 tests began Jan. 19, free upcoming COVID vaccines clinics and town taxes are due by Feb. 1.

  • Manchester Historical Society: Do you have vintage signs to donate or lend to the History Center? Read what boxer Joe Louis had to say to the PGA in 1952.

  • Manchester Adult and Continuing Education: Reflecting on MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speach; meet Gosha, a GED student from Poland who taught herself English by listening to her uncle’s CDs.

  • Better Manchester: The latest edition includes the 2022 Winter-Spring programming guide, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Odyssey School and the application for the vacant assistant town manager position.

OneMan Planner: We use this document to keep track of things coming down the road and you can include yours by contacting Paul Ofria at
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MHS is 6-2 after a 77-40 win over Cheney Tech last night in what was John Reiser’s 250th win as a boys coach and 501st career win as a high school basketball coach. Troy Butler (top left) and Laquonne Thames were among the Red Hawk standouts. Look for more photos soon on the OneManchester sports FB page.

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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.