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October 2017

Music Celebration

in Arts in our schools by

Washington Central music teachers hosted a full day of music celebration and learning opportunities for our elementary, middle and high school students at U-32 on October 25, 2017.  The students from our five elementary schools joined a workshop model in the morning to explore our Artistic Expression Student Learning Outcome more in-depth.  The students were in three groups that focused on instruments, strings or chorus.  After morning workshops, groups of students from U-32 middle and high school performed for the elementary students. After lunch, elementary students from all five schools combined to perform as a band, string ensemble, and chorus.

Several of the elementary students said how much fun they had during WCSU Music Day.  The students also remarked at how impressed they were by the high school’s students and that they wanted to strive to reach their level.

Washington Central would like to thank our eight music teachers for organizing and delivering a tremendous learning opportunity for all of our music students.  Anne Decker, Roger Grow, David Powelson (U-32); Katelyn Liptak (Berlin); Brad Ohlson (Calais); Michael Close (Doty); Samantha Gelfon (East Montpelier) and Kira Krikorian (Rumney) – your continued enthusiasm and expertise in music for all of our students is appreciated and valued.

To view the videos of the performances, please visit this link.

Teachers of the Year

in celebrations by

Doty Pre-K teacher Christina Strobridge and U-32 English teacher Jenn Ingersoll were named U-32 Teachers of the Year at a ceremony at the 37th Annual UVM Outstanding Teachers Day, October 12.

Christina was nominated as she “is a fierce advocate for early childhood education in general but even more so for students at Doty Memorial in Worcester.” This past year she increased participation in Doty’s Pre-K program by over 60% by making it more accessible for families. She is a voracious lifelong learner, seeking out opportunities for growth and emerges excited to implement what she has learned in her classroom. The hallmark of her contributions is the relationships she forms with families during their student’s critical earliest years of school. She carefully and skillfully navigates even the trickiest situations to arrive at a foundation of trust and respect throughout their schooling.

Jenn’s nomination comes from staff and students of U-32 where she is respected and loved. She is at the forefront of U-32’s work in Proficiency-Based Learning and she serves as a great example of how to navigate the change from a traditional system. She strives to learn more, question what she doesn’t understand, hold others accountable for their learning and constantly puts students at the center of her thoughts. There is not a day that goes by that she does not reflect on her own teaching and look for ways to improve. A student stated Jenn “brings positive energy to class and is always willing to work with a student to help them continue their education at a pace that works and is beneficial for them.”

Congratulations Christine and Jenn!

Berlin Elementary Ribbon Cutting

in Educational Funding by

The Berlin community gathered October 12th to celebrate the successful completion of a $3 million project at the town’s elementary school. The project began last spring and wrapped up on time and on budget. Renovations and updates include asbestos removal, accessibility upgrades, new plumbing, heating and flooring, and the installation of energy efficient lighting and heating.

Berlin students enjoyed the festivities.
School Director Chris Winters said, “This is something we can all be proud of. There are a whole lot of caring, kind and generous people who contributed to the effort. They helped make this happen on time and under budget a mere 18 months from when we got started. The Berlin community really rose to this challenge. Thank you all.”

Welcome Aimee Toth, Rumney Principal

in celebrations by

Before taking over as principal at Rumney Memorial Elementary School in July, Aimee Toth had been the principal at Roxbury Elementary, worked on literacy professional development across Vermont including in Montpelier and Woodstock, had spent twelve years in the classroom teaching both second grade and kindergarten and was the Associate Director for Elementary Education at Upper Valley Educators Institute, providing teacher training. Toth has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Toth, who loves her new job at Rumney, says the biggest challenge administrators have is making sure to be mindful of the resource of time and that it’s being deployed in the most effective way.

She says there is a higher degree of collaboration between teachers, than in the past. And, that it’s important time to work together, including working with parents as partners. Rumney staff is looking for new ways to partner with parents, including the recent class meeting night. Teachers shared information with parents explaining what would be covered in each class including specific information about how parents can help to support their kid’s education. Toth has also initiated monthly “coffee talks” where parents can come to give feedback and ask questions, the last Friday of the month from 8:45-9:30 am.

When asked how she balances work and family with the rest of her life Toth candidly said, “This is a new job, so that’s a challenge. Making sure I’m there for my own children, (she has three). Staying connected with friends. It’s a little easier when you love what you do. My work is very satisfying and rewarding.”

Outside of work, Toth loves a good project, loves to paint, likes spending time with friends, and she loves to can. Just last week she canned a full bushel and a half of apples into applesauce!

When asked what her favorite part of the building or grounds is, she replied, “The water garden has become a really neat space for kids and adults, reading, hanging out during recess, ice cream social; also the view out Ben’s window.”

Toth wants kids to see her as somebody who believes in them and wants them to learn and grow in all aspects. And as someone who wants to support them. She says, “I’m always looking for the good in them.”

Originally from Ohio, Toth loves central Vermont for both the easy access to local foods and all the natural areas to explore. “Even ten years after moving to Vermont I still pinch myself at how beautiful it is. It feeds my soul.”

She finds Middlesex to be a community that truly cares about the kids and the type of education they’re getting and she’s looking forward to getting to know the community better and to allow the great teachers and students to be everything they can be. Welcome Aimee Toth!

40 years

in celebrations by
Doris Philips was honored for 40 years of service to WCSU schools at opening day for staff, August 22nd!

 

35 years

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Robin Gannon, Cynthia Gauthier, Janice Hood were honored for 35 years of service to WCSU schools at opening day for staff August 22nd.

25 years

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WCSU Administrative Assistant Michele Ksepka honors Ellen Cooke (right) for her 25 years of service at WCSU opening day August 22nd. Also honored for 25 years of service (not pictured): Patty Blondin.

20 years

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Lisa Gariboldi, Julie Kiefer, John Fish, Jen FItch, Sonya Rhodes and Lynne Woodard are honored for 20 years of service to Washington Central schools on opening day, August 22nd.

15 years

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Sharon Grossi, Anne Decker, Paula Crossett, Meg Dawkins, Ben Heintz, Adam French, Ellen Shedd  were honored for 15 years of service to Washington Central Schools on opening day, August 22nd.

10 years

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Lynn Wagner, Mary Carpenter, Lisa LaPlante, Tracy Martin, Jennifer Wiater were honored for 10 years of service to Washington Central Schools on opening day, August 22nd.

Not pictured: William Dunn, William McMahon, Chantal Boulanger
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