GPS District Digest (v3, i21)
Stories, news, and updates from Greenwich Public Schools
The Summer Has Just Begun, But First, Here's Issue No. 21
Our time together has just flown by. It has been one heckuva ride. But now is time to put down our pens and pencils, cover up our keyboards, take a deep breath, and go on a little hiatus until the fall, when we do this all over again next school year.
If you had as much fun reading the GPS District Digest as we here in the newsroom have had creating it for you, then we know you had a blast.
Enjoy some time with each other, appreciate what you have accomplished, and protect yourself from those rays beating down on you, whether you are on a beach, traveling around, or just going for a stroll in one of our wonderful parks and hiking trails.
Thanks for reading the Digest throughout the year. Tell your friends.
Enjoy issue 21!
GPS District Digest
It's a Jungle Out There!
Did you catch The International School at Dundee's production of The Jungle Book KIDS earlier this month? It was made possible by the ISD Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as part of an in-school residency program with Open Arts Alliance to promote arts education in the curriculum.
It was high-energy, designed for elementary school-aged performers, and based on the classic Rudyard Kipling novel and the beloved 1967 Disney film. The fifth-grade cast included 28 students and the musical was directed by Cindy Busani, teaching artist for Open Arts Alliance, music directed by ISD music teacher and choir director, Dr. Sandra Heikel, and produced by the ISD PTA and a team of fifth-grade parent volunteers.
“After the various challenges our students faced in the past two years, presenting a story of friendship, overcoming odds, and togetherness was very much the goal of this partnership and at the heart of the show choice,” Open Arts Alliance Executive Director Rocco Natale said. ”The Jungle Book is a story about growing up and all of the people who teach us along the way. The film holds such a warm place in the heart of so many generations that have come before us, that we cannot help but be excited to share the music and laughs with a whole new generation of students."
A Call to the Hall
Last week, the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference added six new members to its Hall of Fame, including our very own, GHS Principal Ralph Mayo.
Mr. Mayo has been at GPS for 41 years. His career included time as an English teacher, athletic director, house administrator, program administrator for Special Education, Eastern Middle School principal, and interim superintendent. He held several roles in support of athletics, as a board member with the FCIAC, CIAC and CAS. He is also chairman of the CIAC Lacrosse Committee and was also a coach in the Greenwich varsity boys' lacrosse, girls' basketball, and wrestling programs, and junior varsity football program.
The conference also inducted: Trumbull's Charlie Anderson, Wilton's Tim Eagen, Ludlowe's John Reisert, Norwalk's Kyle Seaburg, and Warde's Jason Shaughnessy. Trumbull's former football coach, Jerry McDougall, was posthumously honored with the Ralph King Award, and former New Canaan Athletic Director Vin Iovino received the John Kuczo Award.
All four of Mr. Mayo's children were in attendance at the induction ceremony. Pictured below, left to right, are Kelly Mayo, Ryan Mayo, Principal Ralph Mayo, Sean Mayo, and Keri Mayo Bridge.
A Special Thank You to the GPD
International School at Dundee's fifth-grader Isaac Farr presented his completed research project focusing on “Expression Through Art” this week to our friends at the Greenwich Police Department. Through his art, he thanked the GPD for their hard work in keeping our community safe.
Isaac's project was part of the IB Fifth Grade Exhibition, an essential and required component of the International Baccalaureate program. It provides an opportunity for students to engage in in-depth inquiry while exploring multiple perspectives and sources.
Pictured below, left to right: Sergeant John Tar, Captain Mark Zuccerella, fifth-grader Isaac Farr, and Sergeant Pierre Corticelli.
Youth Citizen’s Police Academy
The Greenwich Police Department is accepting applications for the 2022 Youth Citizen’s Police Academy. The five-day program runs from June 27-July 1 at the GPD. Applicants must be Greenwich residents or children of Town of Greenwich employees entering seventh, eighth, or ninth grade in the fall of 2022. The class size is limited to 30 students and will be filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. For more information, please refer to their flyer and application on the GPD website.
Training Police Academy participants will receive a five-day course of comprehensive instruction with the Greenwich Police Department. Participants will also be asked to participate in physical agility drills.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863, the news took time to make its way around the country. As such, it was not until June 19, 1865, when the Union army brought word of the proclamation to enslaved people in Galveston, TX, making them among the last to be freed.
The GHS Diversity Awareness Club brought awareness to Juneteenth last Friday by having trivia questions for our students to respond to during the lunch waves in the Student Center. Students responded electronically by scanning the QR code that took them to the questions.
Earlier this week, Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced that Western Middle School's Mrs. Tyler Mecozzi is GPS’ selection for Connecticut State Department of Education’s 2023 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program.
“Mrs. Mecozzi is a wonderful representative of our 2022 Distinguished Teachers and all educators at Greenwich Public Schools We are so proud of her accomplishments and everything she has to offer to the entire Western Middle School community,” Dr. Jones said. “Observing her in the classroom was like watching a master class on teaching middle school science. She made a very detailed lesson plan look easy. Every student was engaged and genuinely enjoying their learning. Her students were analyzing what was happening with an eager discussion. She reaches and teaches every student, differentiating the lesson in a way to meet the needs of every student.”
“Thank you to my nominators at Western Middle School, the Distinguished Teacher Awards Committee, and Dr. Jones for the honor to represent Greenwich in the 2023 Connecticut Teacher of the Year program,” Mrs. Mecozzi said. “The past 11 years, and especially this last one, have provided incredible opportunities for me to learn and grow as an educator alongside my dedicated colleagues and administrators who work tirelessly to make Western a positive environment. Our resilient students serve as my daily inspiration to deliver the greatest possible school experience and capitalize on the unique privilege to make a difference in their lives.”
According to the CSDE, the Teacher of the Year Program recognizes and honors teacher excellence. It does not attempt to select the “best” teacher; rather, to identify, from among many outstanding teachers of the year, one teacher to serve as a visible and vocal representative of what is best in the profession. The program celebrates excellence in teaching by recognizing teachers who have inspired a love for learning in their students and who have distinguished themselves in the profession.
“We at Western Middle School are so proud of Mrs. Mecozzi,” WMS Principal Mr. Gordon Beinstein said. “The best thing that can be said about her is the best thing anyone can say about a teacher: she is in it for her students. While she is an expert in her content area, and she is a leader in our school, everything she does is motivated by what is best for all of the students in her room. Her connection to her kids is deep and it is real. They love her class because they love her, and as a result, they give her their best effort.”
Mrs. Mecozzi has been a science teacher at WMS for the last 11 years. During her tenure, she has taught seventh and eighth grade science, seventh grade STEM electives as well as mathematics support classes. Over the past nine years, she has been the science department learning facilitator, taking the lead in developing and implementing the District curricula. Mrs. Mecozzi received her bachelor’s degree in Science, Mathematics & Reading Education from Miami (OH) University and a master’s in Teacher Leadership from Quinnipiac University.
For more information about the CT Teacher of the Year Program, including its history, purpose, benefits, eligibility requirements, selection process, and the duties of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, visit the CSDE website.
Congratulations to all of our GHS rowers that competed in the 2022 USRowing Youth National Championships in Sarasota, FL earlier this month. The event featured more than 3,500 high school and junior athletes competing in 778 boats from 210 programs, with 688 coaches and support staff on site.
In the men's youth eight, Greenwich took home the gold by just over two seconds ahead of Newport Aquatic Center and Sarasota Crew. The Greenwich boat of coxswain Elenna Seguin, William Drinkall, Maxwell Raabe, Andrew Cavanaugh, Maximilian Willott, Willem Lebrun, Brandon Mark, Harry Waters, and Eric Genden finished with a time of 5:48.53.
In the women's youth eight, Greenwich took home the silver, falling just short by 1.49 seconds behind Chicago Rowing Foundation.
The full results, including all of our Cardinals teams can be found on USRowing's website.
Leadership Team at North Mianus
Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced earlier this week the appointment of Ms. Abigail Anders as assistant principal at North Mianus School, effective July 1. Ms. Anders replaces Ms. Kathleen Ramirez, who will be the school’s principal, also starting July 1. Ms. Anders will support the entire North Mianus community, assisting in the development and achievement of school goals and objectives, while advocating on behalf of all students.
“Ms. Anders has been a wonderful teacher at GPS for close to a decade and has a reputation for being a caring, hard-working educator that has the respect of everyone around her,” Dr. Jones said. “Through the years, she has gained the experience to be an asset to the administrative team at North Mianus through her work with the Special Education Advisory Council, IEP training, ESY program, and so much more.”
Ms. Anders has been with GPS since 2013 as a third and fifth-grade teacher at International School at Dundee and a fifth-grade teacher for Greenwich Remote Learning School, while starting out as a permanent building substitute at Glenville School. For the past two summers, she was the elementary site supervisor for summer school at Glenville and New Lebanon.
“I am thrilled that Ms. Anders will be joining the dynamic North Mianus learning community,” incoming Principal Ramirez said. “I look forward to partnering with her as we work together with students, staff, and families to build upon our school's collective efforts supporting all our students to reach their full potential.”
“I am honored to join the North Mianus community and support our educators, students, and their families,” Ms. Anders said. “I look forward to meeting each and every one of them to share my enthusiasm, serving our young learners. In partnership with Ms. Ramirez, we will continue to foster enriching experiences both in and out of the classroom. Together, we can accomplish a shared vision for our students’ success.”
Ms. Anders holds a bachelor’s in Journalism, with a minor Political Science, from the University of Connecticut, a master’s in Teaching from Sacred Heart University, a Sixth Year Certificate in Management and Inclusive Teaching from the University of La Verne, and an Intermediate Administrator Certification from Sacred Heart.
It's a takeover!
Last week, New Lebanon Media Specialist Ms. Cheri Amster took over the District's Twitter account and gave us all an insider's look at their garden event with Greenwich Green & Clean.
For 90 minutes, Ms. Amster showed us all how much fun the fifth grade Bobcats had taking care of their grounds. We saw dirty hands, lots of sweat, and even a worm or two.
Head over to the photo gallery to see all of the great action from over at Mead Avenue. #GoBobcats
The Running Cardinals
Last week, our Cardinal runners participated in the 2022 New Balance Nationals Outdoor Track and Field Championships at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia, PA and represented Greenwich High School proudly.
Competing in the 1600 sprint medley relay, the team of Kaitlyn Fay, Olivia Eslava, Haley Townsend, and Esme Daplyn placed second, earning All-American honors, while their time of 4:07.64 set a new school record.
Harrison Goldenberg, Cameron Williams, Gianluca Bianchi, and Zach Jelinek were named All-Americans with a fifth place finish in the 1600 sprint medley relay with a time of 3:30, also a school record. In addition, Zach Carifa was named All-American by placing second in the pentathlon.
This annual event showcases the very best of United States high school track and field and offers strong competition for more than 3,600 student athletes. Full results from the entire weekend can be found on the competition's website.
Adult and Continuing Education Program Needs You!
Our Adult and Continuing Education Program is in need of teachers for sewing and Greek/Roman mythology literature, and instructors for finance, technology, photography, guitar, and golf. They are open to new ideas and creative classes. Instructors do not need a degree. They are looking for talented people with great hobbies. If you know anyone that may be interested, please contact Coordinator of Adult and Continuing Education Braulio Santiago at email@example.com and please pass the word on!