GPS District Digest

Stories, news and updates from Greenwich Public Schools

February 4, 2021

GHS Students Win Scholastic Writing Awards

Thirteen Greenwich High School students have been selected in the Scholastic Writing Awards competition within the Hudson-to-Housatonic region for their exceptional essays, poems and stories.

These Greenwich High School students were recognized for their work among 1,700 submissions for the region. Greenwich High School English Teacher Ms. Laura Blumenthal Burdick shared, "What a fabulous accomplishment! These talented young writers have shown their abilities in a wide range of genres and I'm thrilled their work has found a wider audience. I can only imagine where their skills will lead them throughout high school and well beyond."

Honorable Mention

  • Cody Baker for his critical essay titled "How the Inequality in Education Will Affect Children in the Long Run"
  • Jordan Cervantes for his poem titled "Beauty"
  • Alexander Hauschild for his science fiction/fantasy story titled "Rerun"
  • Helena Kennedy for her short story titled "The Duel"
  • Max Lu for his critical essay titled "Bipartisanship in a Politically Polarized Society"
  • Angela Valentina Pellegrin for her poem titled "just a word?", her poem titled "Lavender Lovechild," her personal essay/memoir titled "My Kitchen," her writing portfolio titled "Finding Home Where I Stand," and her writing portfolio titled "The Magic of Women"
  • Ziyi Yan won three Honorable Mentions for her poems titled "Everything," "Writing," and for her short story titled, "Triumph"
  • Joanna Zhang for her short story titled "Falling Star"
  • Annabel Zhou for her science fiction/fantasy story titled "The Bankers"

Silver Key

  • Eva Anderson for her flash fiction story titled "Message in a Bottle"
  • Everest (Eve) Fesko for her personal essay/memoir titled "Strangely Native"
  • Amrutha Nandakumar for her personal essay/memoir titled "Political Refrigerators"
  • Angela Valentina Pellegrin for her flash fiction story titled "Lover's Lane" and her poem titled "Select Memories"
  • Jacob Winston for his science fiction/fantasy story titled "The Flares"
  • Ziyi Yan for her poem titled "Morning Walk, Freedom"
  • Annabel Zhou for her personal essay/memoir titled "Angels Landing"

Gold Key

  • Angela Valentina Pellegrin for her flash fiction story titled "I Do"
  • Ziyi Yan won two Gold Key awards for her poems titled "Home" and "Love Letter from a Christmas Ornament on the Back of a Tree to Footprints in the Snow"

Five GHS Students Selected for Emerging Young Artists Exhibition

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announced the eighth annual Emerging Young Artists exhibition selections. Among the 87 works that are on display at this exhibition, five photography students from Greenwich High School were selected.

Student Selected for Exhibition:

  • Isabelle Brett, Junior
    Nyhavn, Copenhagen, 2019 (Digital Photograph)

  • Elizabeth (Ellie) Baxendale, Freshman
    Midday Vacancy, 2020 (Photograph)

  • Mackenzie Boolbol, Junior
    The New November, 2020 (Digital Photograph)

  • Emma Peck, Freshman
    Looking Upwards, 2020 (Digital Photography)

  • Nicole Catalano, Junior
    Quarantined Easter in NYC, 2020 (Digital Photograph)

According to the 2021 Emerging Young Artists Exhibition, Dean of CVPA, A. Lawrence Jenkins selected the final works from a pool of over 400 submissions. Due to the pandemic, this year’s exhibition will be displayed in an online gallery. Exhibition dates are: January 22 – February 6, 2021.

Greenwich High School Photography Teacher Shekaiba Bennett shared, “I am very proud of my photography students and the high quality of photographs that they have created during this challenging time. Their acceptance to this juried exhibition is evidence not only of their artistic talents and efforts, but also of the importance of the arts at Greenwich High School.”

Digital Photo of Copenhagan by GHS student
Photograph from GHS Student
Digital photograph of trees in November from GHS student
Digital Photograph of Times Square by GHS student
Digital photograph from GHS student

World Read Aloud Day at ISD

ISD students participated in the 12th annual World Read Aloud Day. Millions of children throughout the world celebrated the power of reading aloud on this day.

Hundreds of authors and illustrators provided free guest speaker sessions which ISD students benefited from. Our 4th graders enjoyed learning about Dustin Brady’s action-packed chapter books about a boy trapped in a video game. While our budding poets visited from Alan Katz, a well-published author from Milford, CT. Kindergarten students were treated to nonfiction authors while a third grade class met with Marci Colleen, an author who wrote Bear's Garden, one of our upcoming Charter Oak Book Award nominees. Kim Tomisic shared her newest nonfiction narrative book, The Elephants Came Home, which will not hit bookstores until May!

ISD is grateful to all ten authors who spent time with our students on World Read Aloud Day 2021.

GHS Students Exhibiting Artwork at MOCA Westport

GHS has 23 students who are displaying photography at the MOCA Westport-Museum of Contemporary Art, High School Student Art Exhibition: Hindsight Is 2020.

The Hindsight is 2020 High School Student Art Exhibition features submissions created during the year 2020, illustrating a diverse portrait of what young people experienced during these challenging and unique times.

This juried exhibition features close to 200 entries from across Connecticut and New York, including painting, photography, digital art, drawings, sculpture, and more.

Student photographers are listed below and are currently taking Digital Photography, Intermediate Photography or Advanced Placement Photography:

Catherine Duffy, Laura Ross, Victoria Rivera, Lindsey Muldoon, Anastasia DeMakes, Kaitlyn Feighery, Hayley Schmidt, Nicole Catalano, Alexandra Aravides, Alex Goldman, Molly McNulty, Michelle Llerena, Isabelle Brett, Mackenzie Boolbol, Francisca Kim, Caroline Yu, Kylie Finkelstein, Isabella Lattuada, Sydney Floch, Cameron O'Carroll, Parker Conte, Zita Cohen and Tyler Friedman

The exhibition is up until March 13, 2021. The gallery is open Wednesday- Sunday 12pm-4pm, and is open by appointment only due to the pandemic.

Greenwich Alliance for Education AVID Scholarships

The Greenwich Alliance Scholarship Fund, part of the AVID SUCCESS umbrella, has awarded $100,000 to 45 students for the 2020-2021 school year. Steven M. (GHS Class of 2018, pictured right) shared, “This scholarship award allows me to continue school during these unprecedented times. Greenwich Alliance has been such a great help matching me with a mentor and awarding funding to allow me to pursue my career goals in sports business.”

The Alliance has now given out over $500,000 in scholarships to hardworking AVID students. To donate and learn more visit the Greenwich Alliance website.

Greenwich Student Diversity Leadership Conference, February 6

The First Selectman’s Youth Commission is accepting registrations for the 2021 Greenwich Student Diversity Leadership Conference: Difficult Dialogue: Exploring Identity to Impact Change. The program will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., virtually on Zoom.

Up to 200 students, from all high schools in the Town of Greenwich, are invited to participate in a day of reflection, conversation, and collaboration on issues that shape their worldview and influence their experiences in their schools and community.

Students in grades 9–12 can register using the program’s Google Form.

Greenwich Alliance for Education's "Reaching Out Grants" -- Open for applications!

Greenwich Alliance for Education’s 2021-2022 Reaching Out Grants Application is open and seeking proposals from GPS educators and community organizations who educate GPS youth.

Grant projects should “change up” the educational experience to raise student achievement and be supported by a dedicated “grant champion.” Previous grants include the "Unbound Innovations Grant" at Western Middle School. Funds from the grant have helped these middle school students explore using Virtual Reality (VR) technology (pictured below).

Deadline to submit is March 26, 2021. Applications and details about the grant program are available through the Greenwich Alliance for Education.

A student at Western Middle School wears Virtual Reality goggles funded by the Greenwich Alliance for Education's Reaching Out Grants.

Distinguished Teachers Awards -- Open for Nominations!

Let's celebrate and honor the great teachers that we have at GPS by nominating them for a Distinguished Teachers Award!

The Distinguished Teachers Awards Committee, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 1984 to recognize and celebrate excellence among the dedicated teaching staff of the Greenwich Public Schools. The Committee is comprised of approximately 20 members and is a balance of representatives from the Greenwich Education Association (teachers), the Greenwich Organization of School Administrators, PTA Council (parents), and Board of Education, and members of the community. Members serve a three-year term. The awardees are selected based solely on the written information provided in each candidate’s Nomination Packet.

NEW THIS YEAR! For health and safety purposes, all nominations will be submitted electronically. All forms and submission instructions can be found on the DTAC website. Submissions are due no later than: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm.

Projects Update

GHS Phase II Soil Remediation Project Update & Public Notice

Phase I cleanup activities for the Greenwich High School property (the Site) were performed over the 2020 summer recess. This work focused on the northernmost athletic fields and several small areas on the property to allow for renovation of Athletic Fields 6 and 7. (This work expanded on cleanup done in prior years.)

The Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for Phase II of the cleanup program at the Site has been submitted to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Phase II cleanup activities are expected to commence in Summer 2021, contingent upon regulatory approval.

Meetings have been held with EPA and DEEP to gather their input, and a virtual public meeting was held on Wednesday, January 27th to present the Phase II Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to the public. If you would like to submit a public comment, please visit the site linked below for information.

More information can be found on the GPS website.

Around the GPS Twitterverse

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