GPS District Digest
Stories, news, and updates from Greenwich Public Schools
Packed With Plenty, Here's Issue No. 20
It seems that the tradition of using clever rhymes in the lead headline of the GPS District Digest is trending! The newsroom gets many great suggestions from our most loyal readers. A big thank you to Maria K. and Linda V. for their poetic verse for Issue No. 20 - we heard you and we liked it!
Speaking of being heard...Did you fill out your GPS Family Survey yet? I know you saw the email. What are you waiting for??
After you checked that off of your to-do list, dig into the newest Digest below. We have PSAs, Connecticuters in Iowa, two incredible Twitter Takeovers, a local celebrity sighting, and more!.
Enjoy issue 20!
GPS District Digest
Congratulations to all of the students and staff at GHS that participated in the second annual "Just Drive" public service announcement and social media campaign video contests, held by NJM Insurance Group, in partnership with Impact Teen Drivers.
The Cardinals placed third and took home the $2,500 prize for their social media campaign featuring research-based messaging that was shared on Twitter, a Safe Driving Day event at GHS that was promoted on Instagram, and video interviews with safe driving organizations.
The competition presented a creative opportunity for teens to express safe driving practices. The winning schools put their prize money towards a post-prom, post-graduation, or safe driving program. According to the National Safety Council, car crashes are the number one cause of preventable deaths for teens.
“The students had a great time making these videos,” Technology Education Teacher Mr. Sean Mayo said. “Since they are new drivers or about to get their licenses, I think it was more meaningful to them and they got very creative about giving a message about distracted driving.
“I want to thank Ms. Kathy Steiner, who was holding the safe driving event. She enthusiastically encouraged my broadcast students to come down to film, which added additional b-roll/pictures and interviews for my students to submit to the contest. And thanks to the SROs who talked to the students and the administration who supported us.”
"Our television production students really took charge of recording the Safe Driving Day event, creating the Safe Driving PSA video, and putting it together for our entry into this contest," Ms. Steiner said. "I am so grateful for the collaboration within Greenwich High School and our Greenwich community to make this important event happen. Together, we can make a difference, and create a community of caring."
Watch a summary video of the campaign below. It has social media posts, a student PSA, and some great interviews from the Safe Driving Event.
Nutmeggers in the Hawkeye State, Part I
Back in March, we told you about a team of Central Middle School students tying for first place in the Odyssey of the Mind State Competition, while earning the right to compete in the 2022 World Finals Competition. Earlier this month our champs, Bancker Appleman, Murphy Bennett, Asha Chattoraj, Eden Citron, Daniela Gojani, Elliot Ornstein, and Sylvester Pecora III, returned from the Odyssey of the Mind World competition at Iowa State University and proudly finished fifth out 45 teams in their division.
"We are so proud of the team," Coach Alissa Pecora said. "Everyone was so excited to be participating in this incredible experience and to see teams from not only the USA, but also teams from outside of the country. Having been the first time they competed in a World's tournament as a group, it was an amazing honor to place in fifth. Thank you to all of the supporters along the way from those who donated and helped get donations, to those who shared the team’s journey with the District."
Over four days, the team solved spontaneous verbal and long-term problems. They were assigned to create a musical about the life of a lesser-known historical figure and chose Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.
"They crafted an incredibly moving 7:00 minute musical, with original lyrics and score, and spent countless hours on costume and set creation over the eight months in preparation," Pecora added. "The team worked together so cohesively to get to the finished product and make this musical come to life without any outside assistance."
You can watch their amazing performance below.
Nutmeggers in the Hawkeye State, Part II
The Odyssey of the Mind team from Hamilton Avenue School of Paloma and Victoria Camoes, Ben and Ty Frimere, Emma Grijalba, Rocco Meistrell, and Luca Yamasato also headed to Iowa for a once in a lifetime opportunity. Being on a college campus, surrounded by passionate and creative students from around the world, the Ham Ave students had an inspiring experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.
And their schedule was packed! They participated in the Opening Ceremony with a parade of states and nations, a giant dance party, a laser light show, and a pin trading session. Students attended the Creative Festival, participated in a virtual reality workshop, and visited the Reiman Gardens, where they visited the Butterfly House and Sculpture Gardens.
Students also toured Iowa State University and enjoyed swimming in the campus pool.
The team did a fantastic job presenting the solution to their long-term problem in front of friends and family and also participated in the Spontaneous Competition.
A Superior Performance
Last week, the Western Middle School seventh and eighth-grade orchestra traveled to Bristol, CT to compete in the 2022 Music in the Parks Festival at Bristol High School, followed by a trip to Lake Compounce amusement park. They competed against 10 other schools and received the highest possible ranking of "Superior."
This festival experience was part of the many fine school music programs and serves as a valuable assessment for both teachers and students. The performance was adjudicated by university-level music educators, including Kathryn Crask and John Mastroainni.
Turn Back the Clock ⏰
Our favorite feature at the District Digest returns with the debut of Cos Cob School. It is unfortunate that this postcard never fulfilled its purpose, but it somehow found its way into our newsroom. There is so much sentimental goodness on the front with a great black and white photo featuring two students posing on the stairway of the front entrance. Extra bonus points to anyone that can identify the make and model of the two automobiles parked out front.
The site of CCS goes back more than a century ago, with the school’s formal opening taking place on October 15, 1915, marked by an Open House and evening program.
All of you Greenwich historians surely know about the devastating fire on July 29, 1990. You can read all about it and why the school's mascot was changed to a phoenix on the school's website.
Twitter Takeovers x2
All of the 1,681 loyal followers of the @GPSDistrict account know what a special two weeks we had with two amazing Twitter takeovers!
First, 2022 Distinguished Teacher Mrs. Tyler Mecozzi from Western Middle School gave us a front row seat at the annual Sudell Sprint, a capstone event for WMS eighth-graders. It honors Steven Sudell who fought brain cancer while he was a student at WMS.
The Castagna, Harkness, Morlock, Utzinger, and Migliaccio families generously donated pizza, water bottles, and paper goods so that more proceeds from a T-shirt sale could go to “Make-A-Wish Foundation,” a charity from which Steven benefited and to which he solicited contributions in the inaugural Sudell Sprint that he organized.
Below is a sample of some of Ms. Mecozzi's posts, but you can go over to the photo gallery to see all of her social media influencer work!
Last week, Hamilton Avenue School hosted the inaugural STEAM Symposium Challenge. Throughout the day, HAS scholars were engaged in numerous science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics activities (STEAM), with stations for robotics, meteorology, and engineering. To take the challenge, they completed a problem-based learning activity by selecting a topic of interest related to STEAM.
Below is just a sample of some of social media posts from that day, but you can go over to the photo gallery to see how things went throughout the day.
Who is your favorite meteorologist? Here at the District Digest, we are fans of News 12 Connecticut's Jonathan Cubit. And we think the feeling is mutual. Not only did he stop by the STEAM Symposium Challenge, but he brought Thunderbolt 12 with him.
Watch the video below from his three live hits from Hamilton Avenue School.
Virtual & Augmented Reality STEAM Camps
Virtual & Augmented Reality STEAM Camps are week-long immersive experiences that introduce a broad range of innovative disciplines within virtual and augmented reality. Participants will practice, play, design and build their own experiences.
All sessions are taught by Gaspare Lipari, a 20+ year veteran teacher and XR enthusiast and Unbound Innovations Grant Champion!
The weekly sessions begin July 5 and ends August 5. Campers may register for multiple weeks. Campers will be divided into two age groups:
- Rising 6th–8th Graders: morning session 8:30 AM–11:30 AM
- Rising 9th–12th Graders: afternoon Session 12:30 PM–3:30 PM
More information and to register, go to the Greenwich Alliance for Education website..