GPS District Digest (v4, i8)
Stories, news, and updates from Greenwich Public Schools
We Have Lots To Get Off Our Chest
Well, we have come to a fork in the road, and we decided to take it. With the December Holiday Recess almost upon us, Issue No. 8 of the GPS District Digest will be the last of the 2022 calendar year! But don't you worry, don't you fret, we will be back in January of 2023. We know you will miss us, but it will be so much sweeter when we return.
Issue No. 8 is loaded! We have robots, lasagna, social media postings, alumni achievement, assistant principals, and more assistant principals.
Enjoy Issue No. 8 and thanks for reading! Happy New Year!
GPS District Digest
2023 Distinguished Teachers Award
Do you know a teacher, guidance counselor, specialist, instruction coach, social worker, or any member of the Greenwich Education Association who touches a child’s life with dedicated support and gives selflessly to serve their students?
Listen to what the 2022 winners have to say. They are video stars that the Buggles would be proud of!
Makes sure to go on the webpage dedicated to the Distinguished Teachers Award and start working on the nomination packet!
Are the Robots Taking Over?
Eastern Middle School's newly formed robotics club earned first place in "Robot Design" at the First Lego League Connecticut Robotics State Tournament in Glastonbury earlier this month, beating out 47 other teams. Earlier in the year, the team won the "Core Values Award" at a qualifier event.
Eighth-graders Arnav Bhatia, Chris Giannuzi, Neev Nedungadi, and Tim Viefers proudly brought home the winning trophy! Go Gators!
Here at the Digest, we love to check in with Food Services Director Mr. Nanarello. Maybe it is because we all love to eat in the newsroom, or maybe it is because he sends us amazing photos of smiling children getting ready for lunch. Either way, we want to share what he has sent us.
This time, he gives us a good look at the Cos Cob School lunch line. On this day, they were serving lasagna roll-ups with marinara sauce and unlimited fresh fruits and vegetables, served up by long-time service personnel Ms. Mirjana Abramovic and Ms. Heather Pugni.
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. Feel free to reach out anytime!
She's Our AP of the Year Too!
The Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) has named Western Middle School’s Ms. Suzanne Coyne as its 2023 Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year. Annually, a CAS selection committee, consisting of active and retired principals and assistant principals, recognizes one assistant principal in each of the elementary, middle, and high school levels who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and unrivaled dedication to their students, school and community.
“We are all so proud that Ms. Coyne has been recognized as the State of Connecticut’s top middle school assistant principal,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Toni Jones said. “She is a true inspiration to the entire Greenwich community. Ms. Coyne is a phenomenal representative for our great district and all of the dedicated administrators that work so tirelessly for our students.”
The Assistant Principal of the Year Program, sponsored annually by CAS, was established in 1990 to bring recognition to the assistant principalship and to spotlight the critical role that assistant principals play in the education of our youth. The program recognizes outstanding school assistant principals who have succeeded in providing high quality learning opportunities for students. Ms. Coyne will be honored by CAS at a recognition dinner in the fall of 2023.
“For anyone fortunate enough to work alongside Suzanne as she supports our students, this recognition should come as no surprise,” WMS Principal Gordon Beinstein said. “Her tireless work ethic, unbending commitment to our students, and knowledge of best practice makes her an incredible asset to our school community.”
Ms. Coyne has been at Greenwich Public Schools since 1997 and has held multiple positions including special education teacher and district special education instructional coach. She was named WMS’ assistant principal in 2014.
As the CAS Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year, Ms. Coyne is now a candidate for the National Association of Secondary School Principals National Assistant Principal of the Year Award, to be announced next fall.
Science & ELL Working Together
A team of middle school science teachers has been partnering with English language/multilingual learners support teachers to better serve the needs of the ELL student population in grades 6-8.
After two eighth-grade science teachers explained to K-8 Science Program Coordinator Ms. Tara Fogel that this was a need, she included ELL/World Language Program Coordinator Mr. Geoffrey Schenker to get planning.
The group is working with ESOL consultant Marina Moran to better understand the EL learner in the setting of science instruction. After a brief training, the science teachers broke into grade-level teams with their ELL teachers to create student guides, classroom supports, and assessment materials for this population.
This work has already begun to positively impact students and staff alike.
"I loved that we did this," one science teacher said. "I felt that it was necessary and it provided us with new tools that will essentially benefit our students."
"I feel like this was an enormous step in the right direction," another science teacher said. "I am really excited about the possibility of building a strong, general education, ELL program."
The team has met twice so far, with two more sessions planned this winter.
Former Cardinal Excels
Everyone here at the Digest loves to hear about great success stories from our alumni. Recently, we were alerted that Austin Towle (class of 2021) was a member of winning team from The Ohio State University at the International Financial Modeling World Cup's Microsoft Excel Collegiate Challenge in Tucson, AZ.
Microsoft Excel World Championship is an online esports tournament that is based in Microsoft Excel. The tournament has a Qualification Round followed by Playoff Rounds, starting from the Last 128 Round. The event was livestreamed on YouTube and will be broadcast on ESPNU tonight at 4:00 PM.
“We didn’t even know that we had won the competition until it was fully over," Towle said. "But when it was all finished, we turned to the scoreboard to surprisingly see us on top. It was completely unexpected.”
The Ohio State team, self-named “Plain Janes,” bested more than 2,800 players from 98 countries to capture the championship.
Cara Vitolo Heads to Glenville
Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced yesterday the appointment of Ms. Cara Vitolo as assistant principal at Glenville School, effective January 3. Ms. Vitolo replaces Ms. Barbara Brennan Oxer, who is leaving GPS after 20 years of dedicated service. Ms. Vitolo will support the entire Glenville community, assisting in the development and achievement of school goals and objectives, while advocating on behalf of all students.
“We are happy to announce that Ms. Vitolo will be Glenville School’s new assistant principal,” Dr. Jones said. “Cara is a dedicated administrator, who has supported our students, while supervising and collaborating with staff. The hiring committee worked tirelessly during the entire process to identify Ms. Vitolo as the best candidate to join the administration team at Glenville.”
Ms. Vitolo has been with Greenwich Public Schools since 2007, holding multiple positions, including interim special education administrator; intervention specialist, special education and first-grade teacher at New Lebanon School; and fourth-grade teacher, learning facilitator, and special education co-teacher at Parkway School. Most recently, she served as the District’s special education preschool/elementary coordinator since July.
“I am thrilled to have Ms. Vitolo join our Glenville team,” Principal Klara Monaco said. “Cara is a highly respected educator who has demonstrated a long-term devotion to the Greenwich Public Schools. Her experience and expertise in elementary and special education make her a perfect fit.”
“It is my honor to join the Glenville community,” Ms. Vitolo said. “I am extremely proud to partner with Principal Monaco, the staff, and all of the Glenville families to encourage, motivate, innovate, and instill a love of learning. Our students are a constant reminder of this important job and amazing responsibility. I will continue the work Glenville is doing to support and grow our learners in their academic, personal, and interpersonal capacities.”
Ms. Vitolo holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Manhattan College, and a master’s degree in education and special education from Manhattanville College. She holds certifications in elementary education and elementary special education in both Connecticut and New York, and an intermediate administrator certification from Sacred Heart University.
Congratulations Ms. Vitolo!
Around the GPS Twittersphere 📱
Are you one of the 1,913 loyal followers of @GPSDistrict on Twitter?
On social media, we will keep our community informed of breaking news and all good things GPS. Sometimes, we will even have a Twitter Takeover, like we had last week, with some of your favorite people. And we love to show you some of our favorite posts around the GPS Twittersphere.
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