Region In Review

December 21, 2018 | Shepaug Focus

The Shepaug Experience - From the Perspective of our Students

2018 Holiday Bazaar

The Holiday Bazaar is the highlight of the season at Shepaug Valley School. It is the major fundraiser of the year for school classes, sports teams, and clubs. The bazaar is a fully student-run event and truly showcases the Shepaug Experience. Students get real-world experience in the creative process, problem-solving, and answering a call to citizenship. It is truly amazing to see students working collaboratively to figure out how to construct their booths and design their murals. Students plan weeks ahead and spend the day of the bazaar transforming the mall and cafeteria into a winter wonderland.

This tradition dates way back to the opening of the school in 1969. There are crafts, food, and fun for the whole family - something for everyone to enjoy! Athletic teams, school clubs, Shepaug Dramatics, and middle and high school Student Councils all have a variety of games and craft activities and many goods available for purchase. The bazaar still features those time-honored favorites that were started in the beginning; including the Freshman Class selling baked goods, the Sophomore Class selling poinsettias, the Junior Class selling handmade holiday wreaths, and a delicious dinner served by the Senior Class. In addition, this year students sold three kings cakes, handmade ornaments, Shepaug apparel, bracelets, folk art prints, root beer floats, blankets, used books, basket raffles, and much more. There was also button-making and sport skill competitions.

It is truly a great way to start the holiday season!

Shepaug Valley School's 2018 Winter Concerts

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This year’s SVS Winter Concerts were dedicated to the amazing Mrs. Beth Harvison, who is out on medical leave. The high school band started the winter concert season with five exciting pieces: "Celebration," "Encanto," "Hymn for Band," "In a Bleak Midwinter," "Darklands March." The high school chorus ended the evening with three selections that wonderfully captured the winter and holiday season.

The middle school concert coincided with the SVS Holiday Bazaar which added to the excitement of the evening. The sixth-grade band performed their first concert as a combined ensemble. They worked extremely hard to prepare for this performance. The seventh and eighth-grade bands joined together to form the middle school band ensemble. This combination allowed the grades to be more balanced and musically successful. The evening concluded with the three middle school choruses, which also worked hard to prepare for this concert night. Closing out the concert was a rendition of John Lennon’s "Imagine," which was performed by the eighth-grade chorus.

Shepaug Dramatics Presents: Steve Martin's 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile'

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Beginning on Friday, December 14th, the comedic genius of Steve Martin took center stage at Shepaug Valley School for a dramatic production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Set in early 20th century Paris, the ninety-minute play featured an ensemble cast of eleven students from Washington, Roxbury, Bridgewater, and Sherman, and the combined efforts of a talented, student-led crew of builders, designers, and artists.

Blending the wit of Steve Martin with the eccentric ideas of its central characters Alberta Einstein and Pablo Picasso, the production asked its viewers to contemplate the origins of genius and the impact of one’s legacy. Students have worked for five weeks under the dramatic and technical direction of Tim DeRosa, a Shepaug 2001 graduate and former member of Shepaug Dramatics. DeRosa has worked with Shepaug students in a variety of theatrical pursuits in recent years. “I can’t wait for the audience to join us at the Lapin Agile for an evening of art, science, comedy, and brie,” said the director about the intimate theatre production.

The staging featured an array of vibrant period characters as well as a time-traveling visitor from the future. Combining Martin’s comedy with the philosophical questions raised by its characters, the show was a lively and exciting vision into the minds of its central figures as they began to realize their creative and scientific genius.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile was presented through special arrangement with Samuel French.

Health & Wellness Day 2018

Students at Shepaug Valley School recently participated in our annual middle school Health and Wellness Day. The purpose of this day is for students to be exposed to a variety of activities that focus on physical, mental, social, and emotional wellness. Activities ranged from yoga to zumba and karate to aromatherapy. There were also opportunities for students to interact with a therapy dog and learn about wilderness racing. We were fortunate to have such a large group of enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenters. There were many volunteers from our local communities that contributed to the success of the day. We also had three seniors present and lead stations as part of their senior projects. The Physical Education department would like to thank all of the volunteers who presented and helped lead the groups from station to station.

Listed below are all of our stations as well as the volunteers who lead the activity:

Circuit Training - Lauren Werkhoven

Yoga - Ashley Mulhare and Anna Maxwell (Senior Project)

Karate - Tom Scarola

Zumba - Andres Rico (Senior Project)

Therapy Dogs - HelenAnne Ostrosky

State Police K9 Unit Demo - Officer Greg Kenney with K9 Officer Chase

Nutrition - Michele MacDonnell (New Milford Hospital)

Aromatherapy - Lori Trovato

Adventure Racing - Justin Planz and Austin Planz

Experimenting With Nature - Rory Larson (Steep Rock Association)

Mandala Coloring/Thankful Wall - Shepaug Valley School Guidance Department

Congrats Shepaug Spartans!

Congratulations to the indoor track team on a solid first meet! Olivia Tibbatts and Gavin Block both qualified for states in the 300-meter run and Cam Brown qualified in the 55-meter hurdles and the long jump.

Berkshire League Swim Relays at Shepaug

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The pool was rocking as Shepaug hosted the Berkshire League Relays on Friday, December 14th.

Every year Shepaug hosts the “Berkshire League Relays,” in which all Berkshire League swim teams are invited to compete in a preseason scrimmage, which features multiple heats of a limited number of the swim meet events.

It is a good way for our teams to break up the monotony of preseason practices and compete against other schools since sports like swimming do not have the same kind of preseason scrimmages that team sports such as basketball do.

Shepaug Student Wrestler Featured in Republican American

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Lane Faison of Shepaug Valley School and who wrestles with the Nonnewaug team, top, takes down Northwestern’s Graham Sullivan in the 120lb class during a wrestling match between Northwestern Regional and Nonnewaug at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury on Wednesday.

Story and photo by

Bill Shettle


The Shepaug Valley Partnership

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Welcome to our amazing new transition program, the Shepaug Valley Partnership, also called SVP. It is Region 12’s community based secondary transition services for students between the ages of 18 and 21 years old. Our program is new to the Region for the 2018-2019 school year. SVP provides individualized services and supports, as determined by each student’s Planning and Placement Team. In the past, our students have attended transition programs in neighboring towns. Our program is supported by a program coordinator who is a full-time teacher, Betsy O’Neill, and two job coaches, Tammy Beatty and Tracy Rebillard.

We focus on the areas of employment, post-secondary education/training and independent living skills, all of which are necessary for an adult to live as an independent and productive person in his/her community. Each student has an individualized transition plan created to support and reinforce his/her strengths, interests, skills and vocational preferences in our program.

SVP is centrally located in the community of Washington Depot. This site is within walking distance of numerous local businesses. Some of the businesses that we frequent are the Washington Market, Washington Pizza, Union Savings Bank, American Legion Hall, Bryan Memorial Town Hall, and Phys Ed in New Milford. The transition services offered at SVP provide age-appropriate opportunities for our students to gain independent living skills, social skills, employment, training and self-advocacy skills in a community setting.

Betsy enthusiastically added, “The support from our community has been a true partnership. Our students are learning important life skills through daily hands-on experiences because of the support and encouragement from so many businesses and people in the town. Our students are flourishing and becoming productive citizens right before our eyes!”

Welcome Michael Boucher, Our New Director of School Counseling!

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Dear Shepaug Families, Students, and Staff,

As the new Director of School Counseling at Shepaug Valley School, I am thrilled to join the Shepaug family. I come to Shepaug after serving as a School Counselor at Danbury High School for over five years. I am humbled to have the opportunity to work in a school district with such rich tradition and great community support.

Prior to beginning my career as a School Counselor, I attended Central Connecticut State University where I earned my Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in School Counseling. In 2017, I completed my Sixth Year Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership through the University of New England.

I reside in New Milford with my wife of six years, Jen, my daughter, Olivia, and my two dogs, Lexi and Dexter. I enjoy playing, coaching, and watching sports in my free time. I look forward to ensuring that our comprehensive school counseling program supports all of our students in the areas of academia, personal and social well-being, and college and career development. It is the Counseling Department's hope that the opportunities and information provided to students will allow them to carve out their own path and unique Shepaug Experience.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. I look forward to collaborating with faculty, students, families, and community members to assist students to reach their fullest potential. I am anxious to hear from you. Please contact me at with ideas, concerns, or even to just say hello!


Michael P. Boucher

Director of School Counseling

Shepaug Valley School

A Year In Review, September - December 2018 Slideshow


Coxsackievirus is highly contagious. It can be spread by direct (close) contact with an infected person, or on surfaces that are contaminated with the virus. The virus can also be spread if an infected person coughs or sneezes. This virus is just one of the many enteroviruses (found in the gastrointestinal tract) that exist.

The virus can spread to others during the incubation period, which is three to five days in length. During this time, symptoms may not be in evidence. However, a person is most contagious during the first week that they are exhibiting symptoms. To further complicate the issue, not all persons exhibit symptoms at all, and some experience only mild symptoms.

Coxsackievirus symptoms can be similar to the common cold: fever, nausea, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite and sore throat. Visible signs of this virus are: painful blisters in the throat and inside of the cheeks, on the tongue, gums and palate areas of the mouth along with palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It is important, especially in young children, to offer frequent fluids, such as popsicles to keep the child hydrated. Because of the painful mouth sores, the child may not want to drink which can lead to dehydration. Other more serious infections that can develop from Coxsackievirus are: a severe form of conjunctivitis of the eyes, inflammation/infection of the heart, inflammation of the pancreas, and inflammation/infection of the brain/spinal cord. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has reported an uncommon complication that can occur within a few weeks of contracting this viral illness; the loss of fingernails and/or toenails. The loss is temporary as the nails grow back. In addition, present research suggests that infection related to the Coxsackievirus may be linked to Type 1 Diabetes. There is hope in the near future to develop a vaccine for this.

Infants (to include newborns), children (especially a child who has asthma), and teenagers are at highest risk of being exposed to this virus as it spreads easily in group settings (ex. schools, daycare centers).

There is no specific treatment for the Coxsackievirus. However, to decrease the possibility of infection, good personal hygiene and proper hand washing need to be done frequently throughout the day. These measures will help to minimize the spread of organisms. It is important to consult with the healthcare provider with any questions/concerns related to this health concern.

Edith M. Poidomani, RN, MS, NBCSN

Shepaug Valley School Nurse

Fliers & Upcoming Events

Region 12 Calendar

Dec 21st - Holidays Around the World, Washington Primary School

Dec 24th - Jan 1st - Holiday Recess - No School

Jan 3rd - Alumni Return Day, SVS Auditorium, 10:30am

Jan 7th - SVS PTO Meeting, 6pm

Jan 9th - BFS PTO Meeting, 6:30pm

Follow Region 12 on our social media channels for all updates!

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The Region 12 community educates, challenges, and inspires all learners to become compassionate, creative, and courageous individuals who are empowered by the knowledge, character, and perseverance to achieve their greatest potential within the global society.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday from Region 12!

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