GPS District Digest (v5, i2)
Stories, news, and updates from Greenwich Public Schools
Round and Round
After this school year's first issue of the GPS District Digest was released, an amazing amount of great feedback flooded the newsroom. You like us. You really like us.
A huge thanks to Susan Z. who told us that the Digest is "fabulous" and she thanked us for making her "feel like our motivated students and inspirational teachers may actually save the world!"
But we will not rest on our laurels. Issue No. 2 is just as packed with all good things GPS.
And now, we have one question, and one question only, for you: Who is Gustaf Carlson and why is his photo leading the Digest this time? Keep reading to find out!
Enjoy Issue No. 2 and thank you for your support.
GPS District Digest
Junior No More
Society for Science recently announced the Top 300 Junior Innovators in the inaugural Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge - the nation’s premier science, technology, engineering, and math competition for middle school students. Wouldn't you know it, two former Central Middle School students, and current GHS freshman, Amelia Foell and Bridget Hadden were on that list!
Amelia's project is "Reducing Food Waste with Early, Visual Detection of Bread-Mold via BODIPY-Colorimetric Card Detection of 1-Octen-3-ol" and Bridget's is "Demonstrating the Persistence of Long Island Sound Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Contamination."
Our two students were selected from 1,828 entrants from across the country and are eligible to be chosen as part of 30 finalists to compete for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes.
The Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, a program of Society for Science, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century.
Good Eats 2023
Oh, Mr. Dave Nanarello! You continue to show us amazing smiling faces in our cafeterias across the district. As you now know, Mr. Nanarello is the district's food services director, aka the Digest's BFF. Each issue he gives us all an inside look at mealtime in our schools.
This issue, he shows us lunchtime at Eastern Middle School. Food Service Workers Sussan Stulz, Monica Criollo, Daryl O'Hara, and Loreta Salku were serving penne pasta with meatballs, oven baked chicken tenders with whole grain breading, and mixed hot vegetables. Unlimited fresh fruits and vegetables available included cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower florets, fresh pineapples, oranges, and red bell pepper slices. Boar's Head sliced turkey sandwiches and chicken Caesar salads were also available.
Mr. Nanarello reminds us that the Connecticut State Department of Education has advised us that breakfast will be available for all students during the 2023-2024 school year free of charge. You are encouraged to visit the Food Services webpage to check if your children are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch. New for this school year, those families who qualify for “reduced” meal pricing will now be provided school lunch meals at no charge. Please complete the 2023-24 Application for Free and Reduced-price School Meals and addendum forms found on the Food Services webpage and submit them to your school’s main office.
And as always, Mr. Nanarello encourages families to use the Food Service Department as a resource in setting up lunch accounts, navigating menus, and of course, any allergy concerns. Reach out anytime!
Rick Dale would be so proud!
The Digest newsroom recently received a great tip about GHS alum Andrew Hanna (class of 2023) being named a finalist in the 2023 Chevron Tractor Restoration Competition. Andrew, currently a freshman at Pennsylvania State University, completely restored a 1942 Farmall M, submitted a report, video, and pictures and will present to judges in Indianapolis on November 3. His 2023 senior project was working on this restoration project, with GHS Teacher Ms. Kate Bolger as his Mentor.
The TRC is a national program open to U.S. high school students. For over 25 years, the Chevron TRC has provided students with an array of opportunities to learn and grow — both professionally and personally — with hands-on exposure to real world skills. Contestants must locate and secure an old tractor which needs a lot of love and attention and then preserve the past to show the promise of the future through the complete restoration of a once-valuable, workhorse of a tractor.
You can watch Andrew's restoration process on his YouTube video.
Turn Back the Clock 🕰️
Let's turn back the clock, shall we?
Our loyal readers know the history of 101 Field Point Road. You have probably visited this building to watch a BET meeting, say hello to the First Selectman and our good friend Ken, or enjoy a local celebration. Today, we call it Town Hall. But as you learned in volume 3, issue 11 of the Digest, this building was the home of Greenwich High School from 1926 through 1970.
This super nostalgic postcard came into the Digest newsroom recently. On August 14, 1930, Evelyn (age 17) and Alice (19) Carlson sent this correspondence from Greenwich to their 69-year-old father, Gustaf Carlson (remember him?), just up the road about 65 miles north to their farm in Washington Depot, CT.
Here is what we know about Gustaf: he was a Swedish immigrant who came to this country in 1880 and had at least six children. We do not know why his daughters were here in Greenwich that day, but we love that they used the colloquial expression, "The water is fine - come on in!"
Do you have any cool Greenwich ephemera that you want to share? Did you Google the word "ephemera?" Let us know!
Twenty Greenwich High School seniors have been recognized as 2024 National Merit® Scholarship Program Semifinalists, the most semifinalists of any high school in the State of Connecticut. These students will now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered in the spring.
The National Merit® Scholarship Program is an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships based on their Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) scores. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
“The students of Greenwich High School continue to produce incredible achievements and accomplishments our entire community should be proud of year after year,” GHS Principal Mr. Ralph Mayo said. “Not only should these 20 seniors be commended, but each teacher, administrator, and staff member that helped inspire them should be applauded for their dedication and commitment to the students of Greenwich.”
These students will be recognized by the Board of Education at an upcoming business meeting:
Stella Boyd, Marcus Chung, Isaac Dcruz, Kate Friedman, Connor Hone, John Junius, Jackson Kim, Audrey Lin, Andrew Lowe, Maximillian Lu, Michael McClammy, Kyle Nadel, Amrutha Nandakumar, Aubrey Niederhoffer, Ryosei Tanakamaru, Shuya van Dooijeweert, Kenneth Wilber, Jacob Winston, Evelyn Woo, and Christina Zhang.
Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest
Loyal readers of the Digest are well aware of our fondness for essay contests. Recently, the newsroom was alerted to the Optimum and TelevisaUnivision Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest for middle and high school students to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Students are asked to think about how they stay connected with their communities. What are the opportunities to connect culturally with others occur each day, whether through media and entertainment, experiences, or relationships with people in your community?
In 500 words or less, essay contest participants can choose a person, group of people, or cultural experience (TV show, movie, music, app, event) that has helped them to connect to Hispanic culture and what that means to them.
For more information and instructions on how to apply, head to their website dedicated to the Hispanic Heritage Essay Contest. Students do not have to be Hispanic to apply. The essay must be in English. All essay submissions must be received by 11:59 pm EST on October 31, 2023.
Breaking news! Greenwich High School Junior Brandon Nadel earned a perfect score on the college-level Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles Exam from May 2023. Brandon was one of only 459 students in the world to earn every point possible on this exam.
“Greenwich High School continues to educate all students to the highest levels of academic achievement,” GHS Principal Mr. Ralph Mayo said. “We are not only proud of Brandon Nadel’s amazing accomplishment, but we celebrate our amazing staff, including teacher Ms. Kate Bolger, who continues to be dedicated and committed to the entire Greenwich community.”
“AP courses and exams are college-level, requiring great focus and persistence among participating students,” Head of the Advanced Placement Program Trevor Packer said. “We applaud the educators who encourage students to challenge themselves, who motivate and encourage diverse students to achieve their academic potential.”
Colleges and universities around the world receive AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, and/or consideration in the admission process. To learn more about AP, please visit exploreap.org.
GPS X-Cellent Adventures 📱
We love sharing good news with our 2,024 closest friends on the GPS X (Twitter) account, @GPSDistrict.
Are you following us? Good! You should be. But this feed is only for our families, students, staff, and community members 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 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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- There has only been two so far, but have you figured out the theme of the first headline of each issue yet?
- Do you miss Winston? I bet you do.
- Karen and Linda? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
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.