Principal's Welcome to AHS Website (Posted 11/7/2013)
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Avon High School website. On behalf of our entire learning community, I hope you find the information here accessible and useful. The Avon Public Schools are committed to regular and clear communication. By visiting the Virtual Backpack on our website, you can access the Friday Falcon to review weekly building communication.
Avon is recognized as one of the most outstanding communities for education in the state of Connecticut. Avon High School, with a student population just over one thousand, ranks among the most competitive high schools at both the state and national level. Avon High School works to realize the mission of the Avon Public Schools, to inspire in each student a joy and passion for learning and a commitment to excellence, personal integrity, and social responsibility.
Avon High School is a student-centered community that empowers each member to engage in authentic and substantive learning, develop effective leadership, and demonstrate humane character. In support of our core values and beliefs, we have established learning expectations “The Nine”, which guide our work as a community of educators and learners.
Make interdisciplinary connections and integrate previous learning experiences.
Use a variety of critical thinking and problem solving strategies.
Assess the value of information, produce quality work, and strive for mastery.
Express ideas clearly and creatively.
Respond to success and failure with reflection, resilience, and integrity.
Listen to the ideas of others and contribute in a meaningful way.
Make informed choices that promote mental, physical, and emotional well-being
Enjoy a sense of inclusion and belonging
Act in an ethical manner and recognize the potential to effect change
Throughout their time at Avon High School, students experience a course of study that is rigorous, and appropriately prepares them for success in their college and careers. Our students regularly achieve at high levels as evidenced by performance in state testing, SAT, and Advanced Placement Examinations. While these performance results make us proud, it is the innovation, and dedication of our students and faculty that have made Avon High School the very special place it is today.
This year, Avon High School is working to improve in the areas of culture, achievement, communication, and collaboration. As a result of our decennial accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, we will incorporate those recommendations with our school goals and planned strategic actions to make improvements to our already excellent school. As we work to further develop curriculum that is rich in authentic twenty-first century learning experiences, we will continue to refine and create new course offerings for students to meet their needs and interests.
In addition to the pride we share in our fine academic programs, our students have also had many successes in athletics and other student fueled clubs and activities. By taking advantage of the many opportunities offered beyond the regular school day, students foster relationships with peers, work with skilled coaches and advisors, and make outstanding contributions to our community. Getting involved is essential. If students finds there is not an activity that suits their own interest, they are encouraged to propose a new club to spark the interest of others.
Avon High School students participate in a weekly advisory program. During this time, a small group of students across grade levels meet with a faculty advisor that they maintain for the duration of their high school experience. This time not only allows for relationship building with an adult in the building, but also provides students with an opportunity to benefit and relate to the experiences of their peers. As seniors graduate from an advisory group, each group will welcome new freshman the following school year.
I am fortunate to be a leader in a community where students come ready to learn, teachers come ready to teach, and our community supports our ongoing efforts to be the best that we can be. It is a great source of pride to be the principal of Avon High School, and I look forward to our continued work in reaching new levels of greatness.
Christopher J. Tranberg
Principal's Message (Posted 8/26/2013)
Dear Avon High School Families,
On behalf of the Avon High School faculty, staff, and administration, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2013-2014 school year. Each year of high school plays an important role in developing students as learners and as citizens. I challenge you to set goals that will help make this your best year yet. Without question, Avon High School is one of the greatest high schools in Connecticut, and as a community we are proud of the academic standards that have been established. Our learning community looks forward to achieving new levels of success with you.
Avon High School is a student centered community that empowers each member to engage in authentic and substantive learning, develop effective leadership, and demonstrate humane character. To realize our core values and beliefs, you will notice a prominent display of our nine learning expectations throughout the building. The nine learning expectations are Learn, Think, Strive, Express Yourself, Face Challenges, Contribute, Choose Well, Belong, and Do Good. In addition to the various posters, you should recognize this language being used by faculty, staff, and hopefully among students. Using the nine learning expectations as a guide is a sure way of navigating a successful high school experience. These expectations strike the balance of valuing academic success as well as the importance of character development and treating each other well.
I would like to direct you to our student handbook regarding guidelines related to the most up to date policy and behavioral expectations. The handbook can be located on our website in the virtual backpack. Select handbooks in the category option and choose AHS Student Handbook (draft). The handbook offers explanation specifically in relation to our open senior campus policy and other senior privileges. While our campus remains open for seniors, it is important to recognize it is a privilege that will be lost if it is abused.
Late in October, we will be participating in an accreditation process by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This decennial accreditation looks at us as a school and provides critical feedback related to our strengths and areas of needed improvement. In preparation, we have set goals as a school to help us be at our best. As all of our teachers and administrators are thinking about how we can be at our best, we ask you to do the same. Take pride in your school, set goals that will stretch you but are achievable, and be at your best.
Avon Earns 8th out of 35 Teams in the CT Science Olympiad (Posted 4/25/2013)
Thanks to the support of the PTO, Avon High School's competed in their first CT Science Olympiad. The student had a great time and performed very well for their first appearance. We placed 8th overall out of 34 teams and the following students earned medals:
1st place - Designer Genes - Ben Lerner and Derek Pang
2nd place - Thermodynamics - Nate Kotler and Hannah Soucie
2nd place - Water Quality - Nate Kotler and Dev Dabke
3rd place - Technical Problem Solving - Eric Liu and Jack Wendler
3rd place - Chemistry Lab - Lauren McIsaac and Hannah Soucie
4th place for our Robot Arm showed by Mary Kaminski and Anesha Ramen.
Our Robot Team was featured as the cover story for UCONN Today following the event. The link to the story is below: http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/04/uconn-hosts-high-school-science-olympiad/
Submitted/Written by Andrea Galuska, Biology Teacher
Avon Scholar/Artists Honored SEE ABOVE PHOTO
Erin Kaminski (visual artist) and Kayleigh Bagley were recognized by the CT Assoc. of Schools Monday, April 1st as outstanding scholar/artists for Avon High School. At a banquet at the Aqua Turf, over 1300 people attended and approximately 300 students were recognized. For more information, contact Mrs. Drapeau or Mr. Ismail. Submitted by Eva Kaminski
AHS All-State Musicians SEE ABOVE PHOTO
Fourteen AHS Students were accepted to the 2013 Connecticut Music Educators Association All-State Music Festival. In the front row, from left to right are Emily Guersch, Courney Mollo, Stephanie Evans, Katherine Holobinko, and Spencer Sonnenberg. In the back row, from left to right are Emily Kane, Chenyang Lin, Brian Nasto, Kayleigh Bagley, Devon McLane and Meghan Stoll. Missing from the photo are Raquel Arias-Camison, Matthew Howard, and Maxton Connor
Have an AHS story to share? Send it to News4AHS@gmail.com.
Avon Athletics has stellar fall season (Posted 1/25/2013)
AHS athletes enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in school history this fall, with impressive team and individual results. Teams had outstanding win-loss records and strong tournament performances, while individual athletes were recognized, in record number, as best in the Conference, State, and beyond.
The Football and Girls’ Cross-Country teams were both undefeated in the regular season, with the latter finishing as state champions in Class L. For the second year in a row, the Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer teams both made it to the State Class L championship finals, with the girls bringing home a second title. The Field Hockey and Volleyball teams also competed in the state tournament, and both lost to the eventual state champions.
Even more impressive, perhaps, is the success of Avon’s individual athletes. Twenty-nine athletes (at least two per every fall team) were named All-Conference players; while twelve were awarded All-State honors. In addition, field hockey player, Caroline Schaefer was named to the All-New England team while football player, Colin Moore, was awarded the prestigious Gatorade CT Player of the Year award.
Photo Caption: Avon High School’s All-State Athletes for the fall season are: Sara Stokesbury (x-country), Rachel Rosow (x-country), Kaylan Conrad (soccer), Jimmy Murphy (football), Colin Moore (football), Jason Leaning (soccer), Jackson Davey (soccer), Maddie Riccardi (field hockey), Caroline Shaefer (field hockey) and Mary-Margaret Stoll (field hockey). Missing from photo: Catherine Jordan (soccer) and Jackie Greenberg (volleyball). Photo Credit: Maureen Norton.
Submitted/Written by Avon High School Athletics
Have an AHS story to share? Send it to News4AHS@gmail.com.
November News (Posted 10/31/2012)
NBC News Features Senior Kaylan Conrad
NBC’s “High Five” segment features outstanding high school athletes from throughout the state. This month, Avon Girls Varsity goalie Kaylan Conrad, a tri-captain on the team, was featured. Noting Kaylan's toughness and determination, sportscaster Kevin Nathan aired live footage of the goalie making a number of tough saves. To watch the piece, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGCbfbB22pM
Submitted by Susan Rietano Davey
Avon High School and Community Rallies for Robby Brisco
2012 was supposed to be Robby Brisco’s season to play varsity soccer at Avon High. Last fall, he played on the junior varsity team – a tough task for a junior and a young man who had played soccer since the age of 4. Brisco was looking to follow in the footsteps of his older brothers, Will and Thomas, who had played for the Falcons.
Unfortunately, Brisco is battling cancer. It was after the fall 2011 season that one of Brisco’s knees began to bother him. An x-ray was inconclusive. Rest didn’t help nor did physical therapy. He passed on playing indoor soccer or running on the indoor track team. Eventually, a MRI revealed a tumor in his femur and it was diagnosed as a childhood bone cancer. Additional tests showed cancer had spread to both of his lungs. By February, treatment had begun. He has already had his knee and part of his femur replaced. He has been undergoing chemotherapy since February. Even this fall, he continues to receive chemotherapy treatment to attack cancer cells in his lungs.
While Brisco can’t participate in contact sports, he is still a force for the Avon High School Team. He helps his teammates prepare for games, works with Coach Mulligan set up drills in practice, offers a tip to a younger player and keeps things moving along as most co-captains do. He participates in drills as best as he can and continues to push himself to build up strength in his new artificial knee. “Robby brings a real work ethic and the belief that you can overcome just about anything,” Avon goalie Lopreiato said. Co-captain Jackson Davey said, “He is an inspiration. He comes out and warms up with us and lays off passes for us to shoot. He is a positive influence and everyone looks up to him. We’re just trying to get him to play.”
Several fundraisers have been held, including an indoor soccer tournament at Avon High last spring. Proceeds from the annual Spirit Week night soccer games featuring the Avon boys and girls soccer teams against arch-rival Suffield went to benefit the Oncology and Hematology unit at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford where Brisco has been getting treatment for the past few months. The Avon boys and girls teams wore gold jerseys in the games to signify pediatric cancer awareness.
Edited from article by Gerry deSimas - Jr.â€¨
AHS Spirit Week News (Posted 10/20/2012)
Soccer fans will get their chance to see the top-ranked AHS boys and girls teams play in a featured ‘under the lights’ event on Wednesday evening, October 24, on the AHS football field. The game, originally scheduled for tonight, has been postponed due to rain. The boys will play at 5:00, followed by the girls at 7:00. The games, part of Avon High School’s Spirit Week, pit the top-ranked AHS Falcons against the rival Suffield High School Wildcats. Currently, the Avon girls (10-1-1) are in second place in the NCC Conference, behind Suffield, while the Avon boys (10-1-1) are tied with Suffield for first place. An exceptional game and a sell-out crowd are expected. The event has special meaning for the Avon boys’ team. Senior co-captain, Robby Brisco, is battling cancer, and money raised at the games will be donated to the CCMC oncology and hematology units where he is being treated. Robby is a key member of the team. Even as he undergoes treatments and recovers from multiple surgeries, he attends practices and games to cheer on his teammates and work on building up his own strength. He is an inspiration to his team and the school. Players will wear gold jerseys in honor of Robby and the cause, (gold is the color for Pediatric Cancer), and parents, teachers and classmates will be working the gates, the concession and the stands. Two gold soccer balls (one signed by the boys’ team and one by the girls’) will be given away to lucky fans at the event.
Monday: Volleyball 5:30 p.m., Field Hockey 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday: games scheduled for this date have been moved to Wednesday.
Wednesday: Boys Soccer 5:00 p.m., Girls Soccer 7:00 p.m.
Thursday: Field Hockey 5:15 p.m., Bonfire 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Friday: Student Pep Rally 1:00 p.m., Homecoming Dance 7-10 p.m.
Saturday: Football 6:30 p.m.
October News (Posted 10/9/2012)
Soccer Coach Patrick Mulligan celebrates 100th win
When the boys’ soccer team took to the field in Windsor Locks on September 21st, they were out to win big for coach Patrick Mulligan. The win would be his 100th in 8 years as varsity coach and his boys delivered, winning 8-0.
“I was very surprised; I didn't know the players even knew,” explained Mulligan. “I only found out that it could be my 100th win at about lunch time.”
That was enough time for the players to decorate t-shirts with the words ‘100 wins’ and for the parents to bake 100 falcon-blue cupcakes to bring to the field. When the buzzer signaled the end of the game, the boys donned their shirts, ran across the field and doused their unsuspecting coach with a cooler of ice water.
It was an exciting moment for the boys who were honored to complete what their coach, and the many talented players before them, started. And, with eight Varsity seasons behind him (and seven prior, at the JV level) Mulligan says he’s still excited to head to the field every day. “The players continue to inspire me to work hard.”
Submitted by Susan Rietano-Davey
150 Turn Out for the Avon Booster Club’s Falcon 5k
Under bright sun and clear blue skies, 150 runners, walkers and sports fans took part in the 2012 Avon Booster Club Falcon 5k Run/Walk event on Sunday, September 23rd at Avon High School.
Aside from a systems glitch that delayed the announcement of winners, the race ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all. “Overall, we were very pleased with the day,” remarked race organizer and veteran racer, Jeff Molson. “People came early and stayed late, enjoying the music, the camaraderie and the friendly competition. We hope to make this an annual tradition.”
Families fared well during the Falcon 5k Awards ceremony with the Strassners, Mascolis and Daveys all raking in multiple wins. “Seeing families racing together, and students running and cheering each other on, was really inspiring,” commented John Hagan, Avon Booster Club president. “The Falcon 5k is a community event and that really showed on Sunday.”
The Avon Booster Club would like to thank the many volunteers, sponsors and racers for their generous support of the 2012 Falcon 5k. A special thanks to the 40 AHS Cross Country team members who, per CIAC rules, were not able to race so instead came early and stayed late to ensure a successful event. Approximately $3,500.00 was raised, all of which will directly support AHS athletes and teams who have come to rely on the club’s generosity to provide essentials not covered by the budget or by parent ‘pay to play’ fees.
Next up for the Booster Club is the Migli Golf Tournament in the spring. More on that to come!
Submitted by Susan Rietano-Davey for Avon Booster Club
9-14 (Posted 9/14/2012)
Cut Sports, No-Cut Sports and Equal Playtime – It’s Tough for Many
Playing in a team sport can be a very exciting part of the high school experience for many students; however, the flip side to this can be the disappointment particularly in sports where a developmental player (DV) wants to move up to Junior Varsity (JV) or a JV player hopes to make Varsity in a sport that has cuts. In addition, not getting equal playtime can create controversy between the team coach and the player/parent.
Like most schools, Avon offers competitive athletic programs along with intramurals opportunities. In intramurals, the students compete against each other within the school and the number of participants is not restricted; everybody has the opportunity to play. No surprise, one of the objectives of the competitive programs is to attempt to win. In the competitive programs, the school has a limited number of coaches, limited number of athletes for practice purposes, and a limited budget. From a budgeting standpoint, replacement cost of uniforms and the cost of busing become issues. As teams get bigger, multiple buses are required.
So why cuts? On the Varsity level, generally the coach decides a set rotation of players. The number of athletes trying out for each sport will determine if cuts need to be made. These cuts are not based on the grade level of the athlete, but on the ability. Each coach is directed to have a rubric that measures specific skills when matched against others trying out to determine who gets cut. Clearly, a level of subjectivity exists in this evaluation, but when “hard numbers” can be identified (such as speed, jump, etc.) these are also combined into the subjective sport-specific skill evaluation. As a "rule of thumb" AHS tries not to cut seniors, however, when a player is on the bench and is not guaranteed much playing time, there are often unfortunate circumstances when the athlete may understand, but sometimes the parent does not. In contrast, on the DV level we attempt to play everyone in the games. However, equal playing time is not required. On the JV level, our goal is to prepare players to compete at the Varsity level. One coach mentioned that the “worst day” for a coach is the day he/she must tell hopeful students they are cut from the team, even if the student has solid promise, a good attitude, and some strong skills.
Probably, the most controversial issue in high school sports is playing time. Many times players (and their parents) do not agree on how much playing time an athlete deserves. The debate about equal playing time is in fact a debate about the value of inclusion in sport - the belief that anyone who wants to play sport should have the opportunity. Within the value of inclusion sits the issue of playing time. At AHS, the decision is ultimately made by the coach and needs to be clearly explained to the athlete and the parent - equal playing time is not required - to prevent disappointment.
Currently AHS offers the following sports:
The current cut sports include (note: cut sports can change year to year based on number of kids trying out): Soccer (Boys/Girls), Volleyball (G), Basketball (B/G), Cheerleading (B/G), and Baseball (B)
The sports that generally do not have cuts include:
Outdoor & Indoor Track (B/G), Football (B), Swimming (B/G), Field Hockey (G), Cross Country (B/G), Crew (B/G), Lacrosse (B/G), Ice Hockey (B), Wrestling (B/G), Softball (G), Tennis (B/G), and Golf (B/G).
Intramurals are offered in a variety of sports based on interest and season.
Information provided and article approved by Newell Porch, AHS Athletic Director – written by Martha Guidry (PTO PR/Newsletter coordinator)
AHS Open House (Posted 9/7/2012)
September 7, 2012
It is our pleasure to invite you to Avon High School’s annual Open House on Thursday, September 13, 2012. The focus of the evening is to establish connections with each faculty member and to better understand his/her expectations and classroom standards. We understand that some of you may wish to spend additional time with your child’s teacher. Given that the time allotted that evening does not allow for individual conferences, we encourage you to schedule an individual meeting for another time. Please email or call individual teachers to establish a good time to meet.
Parents and guardians of students new to AHS, and all other interested adults, are invited to attend a brief introductory meeting from 6:30 – 6:50 p.m. in the auditorium. During that time you will have an opportunity to briefly meet each of the school administrators and to learn more about the school community.
At 7:00 p.m. all parents will be asked to move to their child’s period one class. The building will follow an “E” day schedule. Each class period will allow for a ten minute opportunity to meet each teacher on your child’s schedule. Teachers will provide a review of their expectations and a brief outline of the content to be covered within their courses. Please bring a copy of your child’s first semester class schedule with you that evening.
We will be available all evening in the cafeteria and the main gallery to give you a chance to ask questions or simply to say “Hello.”
We appreciate the support the many clubs and activities provide the Avon High School community. During any open period, please go down to the cafeteria to meet with representatives of several organizations and groups. We encourage you to support their efforts throughout the year.
Finally, take this opportunity to tour our beautiful facility. Avon High School is truly a school of which our community can be proud.
We look forward to seeing you on September 13.
Jason Beaudin, Principal W. Jeffrey Sunblade (Assistant Principal) Kathryn Lawson (Assistant Principal)
AHS End of Summer Update (Posted 8/27/2012)
August 27, 2012
I hope you have had a wonderful summer and that you are enjoying the remaining days of vacation! I can’t believe that the time has passed so quickly and that the start of school is around the corner. I am excited to have our students back in the building and I look forward to working with each of them this school year.
Throughout the summer we have been busy getting ready for another exciting year here at Avon High School. Our maintenance, custodial, and IT departments have been working hard getting the facility and new technology ready for everyone’s arrival. By the start of school, our teachers will have participated in workshops that provided training in the use of this technology as an instructional tool. In addition, our administrative team has organized activities to align with the district’s strategic plan, state initiatives, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges self-study process.
The summer was also a time of new staff changes. We have hired an outstanding group of new and experienced professionals who will complement our existing staff very well. We are pleased to welcome the following new staff members to Avon High School: Athena Kosinski (Science), Cari Andross (Social Studies), Jill Paterson (Drama), Jenny Cox (long-term substitute- English. Michelle Zajac (Social Studies) and Jennifer Greene (Mathematics) return this year in full time positions. We welcome Mrs. Allison Schulman to our front office, Dr. Jim Fuller as our 7-12 Language Arts Coordinator, and Ms. Kathryn Lawson as our new Assistant Principal. Ms. Lawson comes to us from Avon Middle School, where she served as an Assistant Principal for the past two years. Ms. Lawson will be taking over for Dr. Robert Vojtek, who was recently appointed the Interim Technology Coordinator for the school district.
Avon High School students will return this fall to a state of the art television studio, located in what used to be the multi-purpose computer lab (MPL). The MLP has moved across the hall and will now have more computers available for classroom use throughout the day. Both of these changes will significantly contribute to the teaching and learning process in the building.
Our summer mailing was sent out on August 22. Please take the time to review what is in the packet while attending to the forms that need to be returned during the first week of school.
Ninth grade orientation will take place this Friday, August 31 from 7:30–10:00 a.m. Students will meet in the auditorium for a brief assembly, have a tour of the building, and will then follow their class schedule. Dattco will be providing bus transportation on that day. A new student orientation for grades 10-12 will be held on the same day from 10:00-11:00 a.m. in the school library.
The entire student body will be returning on Tuesday, September 4. Students should report directly to their homeroom by 7:40 a.m.
Seniors who have no outstanding fines or obligations, may receive their parking tag at the front desk on August 31 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Your continued cooperation with our driving and parking rules is very much appreciated. If you are dropping off your son or daughter in the morning, please attempt to arrive at school by 7:30 a.m. This will help ensure that the backup in the back parking lot is minimized and students get to their classes on time. For our students’ safety, we are asking all parents who drive their children to school not to use the front circle as a drop off point. Please utilize the drop off area in the back of the building, behind the school library.
I look forward to meeting and working with all of you throughout the year. I ask for your assistance, continued support, and input in making your child's experience at Avon High School this year the very best it can be.
Jason J. Beaudin
Call for Athletic forms (Posted 8/21/2012)
In order to try out for a fall sport, the following 3 documents must be turned into coaches by day 1 of tryouts. Coaches CANNOT allow any student to play unless they complete and hand in the following forms:
Sports Physical pass can be obtained from the nurses if you have an up-to-date physical on file with their office. Download the SPORTS EXAM FORM from the FORMS folder on the left menu and bring it to the nurse's office.
Athletic Permission Form can be downloaded from the FORMS folder on the left menu.
Athletic Emergency Card can be downloaded from the FORMS folder on the left menu.
The Avon High School nurses will be available in the main gallery to collect physicals and distribute purple "passes to participate" with athletic teams on Friday afternoon, August 24 (4-6 p.m.), and Saturday morning, August 25 (7-9 a.m.).
Practices begin in the following sports as noted below:
- Football - conditioning practices begins on August 15. (Wed. - Fri.) - 5:15 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. @ High School. Sat. 8/18 - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Freshman are invited to attend.
- Boys Soccer - August 25 - 8:00 a.m. @ High School (2 mi. run) Leave to Fisher Meadows until 11:00 - Afternoon Session: 1:00 - 3:00 @ Fisher
- Girls Soccer - August 25 - 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. @ Fisher Meadows (own transportation)
- Field Hockey - August 25 - @ High School - Morning Session: 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon / Team Lunch: 12:30 - 2:00 / Afternoon Session: 2:15 - 4:15
- Volleyball - August 25 - @ High School - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (All players 8:00 - 10:00; returning players 10:00 - 12:00; those new to the program, 12:00 - 3:00)
- B/G Cross Country - August 27 @ High School - 2:20 p.m.
- Crew - refer to www.avoncrew.org
- Cheerleading - There will be a mandatory meeting on 9/6 @ 2:20 in Rm. W108. Tryouts will begin on Monday, 9/10 - 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. by the track if weather permits. Regular practices will begin on Mon. 9/17. Location - TBA.
Additional information can be found on the ATHLETICS tab on the AHS website.
Class of 2012 Valedictorian Address (Posted 6/20/2012)
Last summer, a lot of us went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II when it came out in theatres. Of course, it was fabulous, but it was also a very strange experience, and I know other people felt the same. Walking out of the theatre, I got this sort of numb, lost feeling – “I can’t believe this is over. My childhood is gone. What am I going to do with my life?” Since first grade I had been waiting for each new book as it came out, each new movie, and then in 2 hours and 10 minutes (I had to look that up so maybe I’m not such a great Harry Potter fan as I thought I was) it was finished. Done forever.
Now, you’re probably all thinking, “Oh, now she’s going to draw a comparison between high school and Harry Potter, and talk about how she can’t believe it’s finally graduation, and maybe say that it’s time to stop living in a fantasy world and start adjusting for the real world, that we now have to find a new meaning to life.” No. Absolutely not. There is no way I would ever compare Avon High School to Harry Potter. Believe me, I wish I went to a school where we could practice magic, fly on broomsticks, keep owls as pets to deliver the mail, and battle Voldemort and the Death Eaters, but I do not. Instead, I practiced physics problems to no avail, my sport consisted of running around in circles on the track, our pet chickens could barely find their way into the coop each night, and the only people I battled were my teachers to move their tests back a day.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Much as we might like to, most of us don’t actually live in an epic tale where we regularly confront the forces of evil and do great things to save our world. I know that it is customary at events like this to talk about how the future is ours, to say that maybe we will find a cure for cancer or solve world hunger, and perhaps we will. But in between our superhero moments, we’re going to have to have day jobs and live our everyday mundane Muggle lives.
When I was younger, I think I spent half my time terrified that every new law, every economic downturn, every new outbreak of some disease was going to destroy or at least radically alter life as I knew it. Remember swine flu a couple years ago? Remember how they told us in 3rd grade, “You had better learn cursive now, because when you get to Thompson Brook you’re going to have to write EVERYTHING in cursive, and if you don’t your teachers will automatically give you a zero.”? But we didn’t die of swine flu, I have never written a paper in cursive, and life pretty much goes on. Or, in the words of my physics teacher’s favorite song, Let It Be.
So, after that nice 2-minute tangent, I would like to return to standing outside the theatre last summer, wondering what would become of my life. There would never be another new Harry Potter EVER. But obviously I survived, and you’re probably wondering, how on earth did I cope? Well, of course, I went back and re-read the books, watched all the movies over again. And while they didn’t end any differently than last time, I enjoyed them just as much and possibly even a bit more. I wasn’t thinking about what might happen next, worrying about pushing on to the next chapter.
I’m sure many of us can’t even count the times people have asked us over the past few years, “Where are you going to college? What are you going to study? What do you want to do?” Students like us are expected to go to college, so we can get a good job, so we can make money, be comfortable, maybe have a family, maybe save the world, grow old, retire, and die. We’re always pushing on to the next thing, the bridge to our ultimate goal of – what? When do we actually start living our “real” lives?
Well, we’re kind of in the middle of them. And the things that matter to us now are never going to stop mattering to us, because life is really just the sum of all those little moments that make us laugh or cry, the people that we meet and talk to and connect with.
And unfortunately, life is also the things that make us yawn, so I’m going to wrap this up now. I would like to apologize to the people who were expecting me to do something original (in other words, completely ridiculous), give a shout-out to my family and grandparents, and to the girls’ cross-country team, thanks for voting. Finally, to my class, it’s been wonderful knowing you. We survived high school, so let the next round of the games begin, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Sarah Kate Lane-Reticker
June News (Posted 6/2/2012)
Avon Hosts Connecticut’s first screening of Play Again.
The Unplugged Learning Project, in partnership with the Avon High School Sierra Club and the Avon Free Public Library, will host the award-winning documentary Play Again on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the library’s brand new Community Room. This emotionally moving and humorous film, winner of many national and international awards and ‘must-see’ designations, poses the question: is our connection to nature disappearing down a digital rabbit hole? And, if so, what are the consequences? Play Again follows six adolescents who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens of some sort. The Play Again production team unplugs them and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of the children and several leading experts, Play Again investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for reversing the trend and undoing the damage. The film is suitable for all ages.
Admission to Play Again is free and open to the public. However, seating is limited and registration is required. Seats may be reserved at the library, 860-673-9712 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the film’s trailer, please visit http://playagainfilm.com/gallery/trailers/. Refreshments will be served and a moderated community discussion will follow the screening. Come be inspired!
Submitted by Susan Rietano Davey
Volunteers Propel Avon Music Education to Successful Year
Friends of Avon Music Education (F.A.M.E.) would like to thank all the parent volunteers who helped make this year a great success. The year started with Northern Regional Auditions, and finished with three enjoyable concerts at the end of the year, and the band marching in the Memorial Day Parade. In between, winter concerts and an amazing collaborative concert in March rounded out the year. The music department hopes to make the March concert a yearly tradition in the future. Thank you to all who made food for our receptions, volunteered their time, sold chocolate at the concerts, made monetary donations, or supported us in any way. It is much appreciated, and we could not do it without you. We look forward to another musically successful year, and we hope to see you in September. Thank you.
Submitted by Karen Edgar, President F.A.M.E.
AHS Booster Club Migli Tournament a Soggy Success
Steady rain didn’t dampen the spirits of 110 golfers who played in the Avon High School Booster Club’s 19th annual Richard Migli Golf Tournament, held Tuesday May 22nd at the Golf Club of Avon. Spirits were high as foursomes of business colleagues, neighbors, friends and AHS graduates gathered on the course for the shotgun start at 12:30. Winning the lively competition was the foursome of Hutch Haines, Jon Zieky, Paul Hammick and Dana Hinman.
Early estimates indicate that the event, Avon Booster Club’s biggest annual fundraiser, brought in more than $25,000. “Every dollar raised directly funds programming and resources for our kids’ sports teams,” said Avon Booster Club president John Hagan. A percentage is also set-aside for the Migli Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student-athlete who, as Dick did, demonstrates a ‘zest for life.’
The Avon community clearly appreciates school sports programs, as evidenced by the record number of companies, families and individuals who generously sponsored this year’s Migli Tournament. The Booster Club board and the event planning committee are especially grateful to Northwest Community Bank, the event’s signature sponsor.
Submitted by Susan Rietano Davey
May News (Posted 5/22/2012)
AHS Student Government has another successful year
With strong support and dedication all year from the representatives and executive board members alike, the Avon High School Student Government has accomplished a year chockfull of both community service and school events. The following items represent some of the many activities the group has been involved in this school year.
- Blood Drives: Two blood drives were organized resulting in 50 students donating blood. 15-20 student volunteers ran these events.
- Homeless Shelter Visits – Each month, students visited and served food at the homeless shelter. In addition, other students baked Sheppard’s pies to be brought to the shelter by their peers.
- Holiday Bear Project – For Christmas, members formed groups to support 13 less fortunate, inner-city students with holiday gifts. Each child received a blanket and necessary winter gear, along with a few gifts tailored to their particular interests.
- Relay for Life - Student government advocated and supported this fundraiser for the American Cancer Society on May 19-20. Avon High School students participating in this event divided into teams of ten. On the Relay For Life day, they participated in the various activities offered, while at least one member of the team walked the track. The event lasted 24 hours. Teams raised money through donations and pledges that went towards cancer research.
Student Government is currently preparing for one last event.
- The Mr. AHS - Concluding the year, will be hosting the annual Mr. AHS pageant. It is an opportunity for our male upperclassmen to compete in a number of areas. Faculty members will serve as the judges.
These events would not be possible with the strong team of student leaders, participants from AHS and the faculty advisors. Thank you to all of them for their support.
Submitted by Matthew Mooney, Math Department & Student Government Advisor
May News (Posted 5/9/2012)
Please Join the Avon Schools and Community to Fund Raise for Lorenzo
AHS freshman Fabrizio Rodriguez is accustomed to journeying far and wide as a competitive soccer player, but his younger brother Lorenzo’s journeys are of a completely different nature. Lorenzo, an engaging 4th grader at Oak Hill School in New Hartford, suffers from respiratory, physical and digestive abnormalities that render him dependent on others for his every need; he has been on a life-long journey of assessments, diagnoses and treatments. Despite extensive attempts, Lorenzo’s condition has never been accurately diagnosed. He is confined to a wheelchair and communicates with the assistance of an eye gaze computer. A determined and tenacious student, Lorenzo loves school and excels in Science and Spanish. In 2010, he earned the Student of the Year award for academic excellence in the face of many challenges.
This year, Lorenzo faces some new challenges and the Avon schools and community have joined to help. Because of his growing size, Lorenzo can no longer travel in a regular vehicle, nor can he be easily transported upstairs in his home. The solution is a handicapped-accessible vehicle and a first-floor bedroom with access ramps in his home. At an estimated cost of $150,000.00, this is well beyond what the Rodgriguez family can afford. The Diversity Lions Club of Hartford, led by Jeffrey Soto, has stepped in to help two of their struggling members, Daniel and Patty Rodriguez, Lorenzo’s parents. The couple, who are not the type to ask for help, was at the end of their rope when the Lions team sprung into action. The Lions are sponsoring a benefit dinner-dance on Saturday, May 25th, at Casa Mia in East Hartford. Over half of the seats have been sold and $22,000.00 in cash donations has been received. In-kind labor and material pledges continue to come in, as well.
Closer to home, Avon Middle School teacher and AHS soccer coach, Patrick Mulligan, heard Lorenzo’s story and stepped in immediately to help a member of the ‘soccer family.’ With help from his Tech Ed students, the soccer team and donations from Sanford and Hawley Lumber, Patrick is planning to build a deck and ramp on the back of the Rodriguez home for Lorenzo. His assistant coach, AHS Latin Teacher Peter O’Sullivan, has also been inspired to help. O’Sullivan and the AHS National Honor Society, which he co-advises, will be hosting a Community Fair on Thursday, May 31, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Roaring Brook Elementary School. They’re calling it the K.A.R.E. Fair (i.e. Kids in Avon Reaching Everyone) and hope it will become an annual tradition of fun for a good cause. This year, all proceeds will benefit the Rodriguez family.
Thanks to many generous people, touched by this big-hearted little boy, his home will better accommodate him, and his future travels will be comfortable and safe.
To help Lorenzo on his journey, you may make a donation by contacting Jeff Soto at email@example.com or 860-622-8080. To volunteer labor or materials to the construction project, please contact Patrick Mulligan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Susan Rietano Davey
April-May News (Posted 4/24/2012)
AHS Students Selected for All-State Music Festival
Eight AHS students have been selected as Connecticut All-State Musicians. They will be participating in the Connecticut All-State Music Festival on April 12-14, 2012 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Mary Pearce was selected for the Orchestra, Thomas Sisson was selected for the Band, and Devon McLane, Katie Holobinko, Stephanie Evans, Everett Davis, Brian Nasto and Mary Margaret Stoll were selected for the Choir. Congratulations!
Submitted by Karen Edgar, FAME President
Casting Call for Summer Theatre Program at AHS
This summer the performance for “Once Upon a Mattress” will be July 19, 20 & 21 at 7:30pm and July 22 at 2:00pm. All participants are cast in the show, but the first 2 days of rehearsal will be used to match students to the appropriate roles. Casting dates are June 21 & 22 and rehearsal will be held June 25th-July 18th. All students presently in grades 7-12 are welcome to join in for the fun. Fee for performers is $275 and for technical theatre is $50. Registration is required prior to casting. Registration forms and FAQs can be found at www.avonsummertheatre.com or sending questions to email@example.com.
Submitted by Doreen Cohn
Important Reminders from our AHS Health Professionals
Springtime brings us warmer weather, flowers and seasonal allergies. We are starting to see students in the Health Office who are suffering with congestion, itchy eyes and sneezing and we DO NOT have allergy medicine to dispense. Please make sure your child takes their allergy medicine prior to school in the morning as we can not provide them with anything once they are at school.
A reminder to 9th grade parents...if you have not already given the Nurses a State of CT Health Assessment form (the blue form) filled out by your MD, you need to get it in the AHS Nurse's office prior to your child beginning 10th grade. Make sure you keep a copy before you send it in. A student without a State of CT Health Assessment on file, risks exclusion from school next Fall, when starting 10th grade. Please do not hesitate to contact the AHS Health Office if you have any questions.
Submitted by AHS Nurses - Susan Lane, R.N. & Marybeth Twohig, R.N.
April News (Posted 4/10/2012)
PTO’s Final Documentary – American Teacher
American Teacher will be shown on Thursday, April 12th, at 7:00 p.m. in the AHS Choral Room. It is the third and final documentary of AHS PTO's Parent Education Film Series that has taken place throughout the 2011-2012 school year. After the film, George Goens, prominent author, recognized educator and featured public speaker, returns to facilitate our ongoing conversation about another component of the challenges in education today. To view a trailer from this film, visit http://theteachersalaryproject.org/. This event is free, open to the public and sponsored by the AHS PTO. No tickets are required. For more information contact Randy Leaning at Sherlean2@aol.com.
Submitted by Wendy Howard, PTO President
Substance-Free Graduation Celebration Needs Your Help
Avon High School Project Graduation is sponsoring a substance free Graduation Party on Friday evening June 15 at Avon Middle School for all graduating seniors from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. We are looking for volunteers in many areas to help make this night a success.
Food Committee - pick up and deliver food to Avon Middle School during the day on Friday 6/15 as well as people working in the Cafeteria that night helping to serve food.
Decorating Committee - decorate Thursday and Friday 6/14 and 6/15 during the afternoon.
General Party Volunteer - need two shifts of volunteers, 9PM until midnight, and midnight until 3AM.
Clean Up Committee – to clean up Saturday morning 6/16.
You can contact the following people if you are interested in volunteering: Joan Miller (General Party) – firstname.lastname@example.org; Barb Koenig (Food) – email@example.com or Mary Oliver (Decorating) - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Joan Miller
March News (Posted 3/29/2012)
SPARK 2012 a Tremendous Success
On Friday March 23, 2012 Avon High School PTO hosted a series of workshops designed to give students insight into a wide range of careers, encompassing traditional business opportunities and contemporary lifestyle interests. This initiative, called SPARK 2012, was intended to fire up the students’ imagination by providing insights into the world beyond High School’s halls. Our diverse group of presenters included: professors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, authors, fitness gurus, artists, chefs, people who are active in the media in all its various forms, and many more.
Building on the success of the inaugural seminar series last year, SPARK 2012 offered 73 different workshops to over 1,200 students in Grades 9-12. Students selected 3 workshops requiring the coordinators to ambitiously consider 3,600 placements. AHS PTO President, Wendy Howard, said that the months of planning and “back-room logistics” for a smooth day were well worth it because of the benefits offered to students. In addition, the day represents the best of community and school working together to help prepare students for future challenges as they enter the “real” world.
AHS Principal Mr. Jason Beaudin stated, "Our students had a wonderful experience the morning of SPARK 2012. We are extremely grateful for the time each of the presenters has given to make this event a meaningful learning experience for our students.” He went on to thank the SPARK committee, who spent countless hours organizing this event. In an earlier press release, Superintendent of Avon Schools, Mr. Gala Mala, also stated "The SPARK concept has and will continue to serve as a driving force with respect to future district initiatives such as expanding direct connections with resources in our local and surrounding communities.”
More March News (Posted 3/19/2012)
Fabulous Auction Items slated for AEF/PTO Spring Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, March 31
The Avon Education Foundation and the Avon High School PTO will co-host the 2012 Spring Gala to benefit the ongoing efforts of both organizations to enhance the educational experience of Avon Community Schools. Many great auction items have been donated for bidding live and online including: a round for golf for 4, spa day, a gift of energy ($100 off oil, $100 electric bill, $50 worth of gas), driving lessons for your teen, UConn Football tickets and a wine tasting. This year's event will be held at Avon Old Farms Hotel from 6:30 until midnight including a reception, both live and silent auctions, a three-course dinner, and dancing to music provided by the Lounge Lizards. Brent Hardin, co-anchor “Fox 61 New at Ten” will serve as the celebrity MC for the evening's activities. Reservations may be made by downloading the 2012 Spring Gala flyer from the web: www.avonedfoundation.org . If you have questions about reservations, please contact Beth Inglis at (860) 678-0366 or email@example.com.
AHS Booster Clubs Donates $15,000 to AHS Sports Teams and Seeks to Grow Its Fund Through Increased Membership
So why is the Booster club so important to the AHS sports? It’s simple; pay-to-play (P2P) funds are insufficient to meet the needs of our teams. Collected P2P money flows through the BOE general fund and the majority of it simply covers busing. The remainder covers basics like the athletic trainer and his supplies, referees, rentals, police and ambulance services. Often, essentials like uniforms and sports gear can’t be fully covered by P2P fees. In these lean times, the Booster Club is critical to the sustenance of AHS’ athletic teams. Most recently, Avon Booster Club members voted to donate $15,000.00 to cover the costs of much-needed equipment and resources for various AHS sports teams including: football, field hockey, boys basketball, crew, girls lacrosse, track, and softball. (See www.avonbooster.org for a complete list and more detailed information.)
According to data provided by Newell Porch, AHS athletic director, approximately 50% of the near 1,200 AHS students (600 kids) participate in at least one interscholastic sport (figure excludes double-counting kids who play in multiple sports). Yet, approximately only 200 of these athletes' parents are dues-paying members of the AHS Booster club. If you are not a member, please consider joining today. And, If your child plays more than one sport (approximately 250 students) OR if you have more than one child participating in AHS sports, please consider increasing your donation accordingly. Every dollar you give will directly improve the athletic experience of all AHS student-athletes. Please visit our website, www.avonbooster.org to join today. The Booster Club meets on the second Monday of every month at 7:00 in the AHS Community Room and all are welcome to attend.
March News and Notes (Posted 3/12/2012)
AHS Library Media Center (LMC) on the Cutting Edge for our Students
According to leading librarians and publishers who spoke at the American Association of School Libraries (AASL) conference in the fall, eBooks are more revolutionary than the printing press. How libraries, patrons, individuals, and the public access information in this digital age have transformed the services libraries provide. At AHS, students now rely heavily on eBooks for grades 9-12 research projects. AHS library statistics show almost 5,000 downloads of the Gale books alone since the LMC opened the virtual reference library three years ago. Based on the AASL’s most recent survey, 44% of secondary school libraries have started to add eBooks to their collections, so the AHS LMC is definitely following that trend.
Our LMC now has approximately 1,000 eBooks and primarily seeks to build its nonfiction collection in the virtual realm, rather than the physical print collection since resources are so limited. We have eBooks from InfoBase (150 science), ABC Clio (500 in an History Reference Online [HRO] Collection on a range of topics), Marshall Cavendish (25+ on a range of topics), along with the original Gale (300+) platform books. The LMC ran a trial from WTCOX exploring their offerings of almost 3 million eBooks, primary docs, and other items and is considering it for future acquisition in hopes of making our digital collection one that has real authority/breadth to offset the LMC’s very dated print collection. Students are using the digital resources and seem very happy with the citation tools and other digital options (including translation to 12 languages, MP3 downloads, email capacity, etc.)
Last year, the LMC initiated transitional programming for the AMS 8th graders, so when middle schoolers do their Big Six Research Project, they have remote access to the eBooks along with our other databases via a "virtual fieldtrip" to the AHS library media center. We have continued this programming again this year and just finished working with two of the three teams; the last team will take its virtual trip in April. The combined high school and middle school programming helps ensure Avon students are well prepared for research at the collegiate level and for life beyond the academic realm.
Submitted by Julia Cowans-Wilhelm
Avon High School Librarian/District Technology Integration Specialist
The Student Assistance Center (SAC) Is Here to Help Your Child
Does your student need a little extra help in an academic course? Does your student struggle to stay on top of Math, English, History or Science? Does your student need a little extra support staying organized and getting assignments in on time? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, the SAC can serve as a valuable resource to any Avon High School student. The SAC is located off the long corridor next to the library and is always open all day every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. When possible, it is also open Mondays and Fridays. Participation in SAC is completely voluntary and students may drop in during their study halls when they need some sort of academic assistance.
Submitted by Dale Bronson, SAC Tutor
AHS Students Making Connections Across the District (Posted 3/8/2012)
Twenty-three students in Señora Kristen Werblow’s Academic Spanish class authored, illustrated, and presented bilingual children’s books to Jim Lindberg’s 5th grade class at Thompson Brook School. Senora Werblow’s students wrote these books based on the language skills that they acquired during the first half of the year. Her students also developed and co-taught their own mini-lessons in Spanish to the 5th graders about topics ranging from introductory greetings to months in the year. Without any prior Spanish knowledge, all of the 5th graders at Thompson Brook were able to speak Spanish successfully at the end of the event. Señora Werblow’s students also created additional enrichment materials for the Thompson Brook children to practice further. Werblow and Lindberg are extremely proud of the leadership and collaboration demonstrated by all students involved.
Submitted by: Kristen Werblow, AHS World Language Teacher
AHS March News (Posted 3/3/2012)
Winner of Poetry Out Loud to Compete in Finals on March 21st
Nazli Morel, AHS 9th grader, will compete in the Connecticut Poetry Out Loud State (POL) Finals on March 21, 2012, at the John Lyman Center for Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University. Nazli emerged as the 2012 AHS POL winner with Paula Tirado and Victoria Gibbs earning the 2nd and 3rd place spots, respectively. Approximately 275 students participated in the first round of in-class competitions, and on February 6th a field of eighteen contestants recited two poems each for the AHS school competition. The winner of the state finals will go on to compete in May at the national competition in Washington, DC. POL is an annual event at AHS, sponsored and run by the English Department.
Submitted by Sharon Wendler, English Department
World Languages Trip Explored Greek and Roman Artifacts and Culture
In February, the Department of World Languages at the high school organized a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to visit the Greek and Roman Galleries. Avon students engaged the ancient world by witnessing an array of Greek and Roman artifacts spanning numerous epochs. After the exhibits, Avon students had lunch near Fordham University where they then toured Fordham's Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art. William Walsh, who had spent his life in search of ancient artifacts that would gratify his passion for classical antiquity, donated the collection. From Greek terracotta vases to Roman marble heads to Etruscan urns, Avon students beheld how he gradually assembled a private gallery of more than 200 pieces valued at over $6 million dollars. Mr. Nye, Mr. O’Sullivan, and Mr. Patterson had a good time.
Submitted by Tyler Nye, World Languages Department
The Barcelona Exchange Program Planning has Commenced
The exchange students from our sister school in Barcelona will be visiting in Avon October 14-22, 2012 and Avon students will be visiting Barcelona February 13-22, 2013. If your high school son/daughter would like to attend in 2013, your family must host a student.
Any family interested in hosting, should contact Ms. O’Leary (firstname.lastname@example.org or room W219) for an application.
While the trip is open to all AHS students, you must host a student to participate in February.
Submitted by Martha O’Leary, World Languages Department
AHS February News (Posted 2/2/2012)
Two Varsity Soccer Receive Multiple Honors
Teammates Drew Montano (senior) and Conor Lanahan (senior) were named to the All New-England, All State and NCCC All Conference soccer teams. Drew was also the leading scorer for the Falcons during the season.
Drew clearly had an early passion for the sport. He started playing at 3 years of age and was on his first “real” team in kindergarten. Drew plays both forward and right mid-fielder and says he enjoys those positions because “he gets to score goals.” His advice to anyone playing those positions it to not hesitate and always shoot the ball. Drew’s advice for up and coming players is “work hard, think smart and be a leader.”
Conor also started playing soccer when he was very young in his kindergarten in Fremont California. When he was 9 he had to decide if he’d play with Avon travel or going to Oakwood Soccer club, with stiffer competition. While he chose Oakwood at the time, in High School he was reunited with some of his friends and old teammates as a Falcon, which Conor really enjoyed. While he played mid-fielder, right back and center back in his career, Conor may paly a center back when he starts college in the fall. Conor believes the best part about soccer is that you work together – you win and lose as a team. His advice to younger players is “not to get frustrated, just keep playing and fight through it. Don’t give up.”
Other Sports Notables for the Fall Include:
Senior Mike Dorney named to the All NCCC team for Soccer. In addition, the following students were named All NCCC for Football: Tyler Arnott (12th), Will DiStefano (11th), Colin Moore (11th), James Murphy (10th), and Will Shiffrin (12th).
Twenty Three AHS Student Musicians selected for Northern Regionals!
After regional auditions hosted by Avon High School on November 12, there were 23 AHS student musicians selected to participate in the CT. Northern Region Music Festival. Participating in the two day music festival on January 14 and 15 at New Britain High School, including a concert performance to a packed auditorium on Saturday were the following students. Congratulations to these students on a great accomplishment!
Choir: Caroline Cianci, Stephanie Evans, Katie Holobinko, Rachel Oremland, Jessa Sahl, Meghan Stoll (Soprano); Jessica Polesel, Katie Stoll, Mary Margaret Stoll (Alto); Devon McLane (Tenor) and Everett Davis, Brian Nasto (Bass).
Band: Christine Bae (Flute), Emily Kane (Bassoon), Jeffery Lewis (Trumpet), Mary Pearce (Oboe), Thomas Sisson (French Horn), Jason Sittambalam (Trumpet).
Orchestra: Kayleigh Bagley (Bassoon), Evan Dorsky (Viola), Chenyang Liu (Violin), Gabe Pellino (Cello), Eric Seltzer (Viola)
Submitted by Marjie Evans
Offer your Expertise for SPARK - A Student In-Service Workshop Day on the Morning of March 23rd
Do you have an interest, hobby, profession or life skill that you are willing to share with our AHS students? If not, do you know someone else who would be?
The AHS PTO will be conducting a half day program called SPARK, a student in-service workshop day designed to introduce students to a wide variety of interesting topics, broaden their exposure to a wide array of careers, and provide opportunities for hands-on activities. The intent of the day is to “Spark” an interest in any of the areas that the kids are exposed to.
The SPARK committee members are seeking volunteers from the Avon community, surrounding areas, and local businesses to be presenters at SPARK and come and share your passion and knowledge during this day of exploration for our students. We would love to have you! To volunteer, contact Randy Leaning at 860-675-6143, Joan McDonald at 860-284-4406 or Wendy Howard at 860-675-6815.
Join Us at the 2012 Spring Gala with Celebrity Host, Brent Hardin (Fox News)
On Saturday, March 31st, the Avon Education Foundation and the Avon High School PTO will be co-hosting the 2012 Spring Gala to benefit the ongoing efforts of both organizations. This year's event will be held at Avon Old Farms Hotel from 6:30 until midnight including a reception, both live and silent auctions, a three course dinner, and dancing to music provided by the Lounge Lizards. Brent Hardin, co-anchor “Fox 61 New at Ten” will serve as the celebrity MC for the evening's activities.
Reservations may be made by downloading the 2012 Spring Gala flyer from the web: www.avonedfoundation.org . If you have questions about reservations, please contact Beth Inglis at (860) 678-0366 or email@example.com. Donations of goods and services are also needed to make this event a success. Auction Chair for the event is Irene Herrera who may be contacted at (860) 673-6623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Female Athletes Shine in Fall Sports (Posted 1/17/2012)
Varsity Volleyball Player Honored by NCCC Conference
The Avon Falcons volleyball team received an exciting announcement in early December. Ariel Lepito, a junior, was selected for the NCCC (North Central Connecticut Conference) all conference Team. To win this designation, coaches nominate deserving players from their teams. All the other NCCC conference coaches then vote on whom they think should be named to the team. One other caveat is that the player’s coach cannot vote for members of their own team. Ariel started playing volleyball as a freshman and has played a variety of positions the past three years. She currently plays an opposite hitter (also called right side hitters) who carries the defensive workload for the front row, basically blocking the opponent’s outside hitters. Ariel’s wisdom for new players is “work hard because coaches can always see if you are passionate sport. You can teach skills, not passion. And, of course, bring a good attitude all the time.” Congratulations to Ariel!
Varsity Field Hockey Player Named Regional All-American
Emily Arciero, a senior, named Regional All-American by a committee based on criteria such as past accolades like All State, All Conference, Scholar/Athlete and who made the national futures field hockey tournament. Emily started playing in middle school because so many of her friends were also playing and she immediately loved the sport. Emily plays field hockey year around and this past summer her club team traveled to Virginia to play in the national club championships. She plays forward where she enjoys scoring goals, as well as midfield where she likes the challenge of playing both offense and defense. The best advice she received from a coach was to “simply work your hardest all the time, and that it matters what you do when the coach isn’t watching.” In terms of Emily’s advice to a new player – “stick with field hockey even though it is really tough at the start and always have a positive attitude.” Nice work Emily!
Other Female Sports Notables for the Fall:
10th grader Rachael Rosow finished in first place in the state cross-country championship followed by 10th grader Sarah Stokesbury who placed fourth. In girls soccer, Seniors Sarah Gerali and Erica Primovic named to both the All NCCC and All State teams. Erica was also named MVP in the State Championship game against Farmington. Teammate Jenna Donahue (12th) was named All NCCC and played in the Senior All Star Game. In Field Hockey, Nicole Andrew (11th) was named to the CT. All State Team. Along with Emily (article above) and Nicole, Elle Crane (12th), Rachel Neuhoff (12th), and Mary Margaret Stoll (11th) were named to the All NCCC team in Field Hockey.
Freshmen Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Posted 1/8/2012)
Egyptian mummies, Persian mythological figures, and archaic Greek statuary were all on the menu as Avon High School freshmen recently tasted the artistic treasures found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The first several units in the ninth grade world history curriculum focus on ancient and classical civilization, culminating each year with a trip to the Met. The visit was highlighted by a tour of the extensive galleries dedicated to ancient and classical civilizations. Guides divided the students up into small groups and then encouraged them to examine the art, carefully considering the importance of objects and symbols. Thereafter, the students were asked to make connections between the pieces they had seen. One particular guide focused on the way rulers were depicted across cultures. Students were surprised to discover that a bearded statue of an Egyptian monarch was actually queen Hatshepsut the only female ruler of ancient Egypt.
Following the tour, students chose a piece of art to analyze and draw. Sketching a piece of art causes the students to examine it more carefully than they would normally. Although the activity produced a wide range of artistic renditions, the purpose was well served. Some of the groups even had enough time to visit the Cloisters museum and gardens in Fort Tryon Park near Fordham University. The Cloisters’ collection is devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe and was assembled from architectural elements that date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century. While visiting the Cloisters, the students learned about stained glass, illuminated manuscripts, and the symbology of Crusader sarcophagi.
The yearly trip to the Met is another example of how Avon teachers are constantly trying to enrich the curriculum with outside resources. Thanks to the parents who helped to make it possible.
Tim Curtis, Social Studies Department
Fall Sports Wrap Up (Posted 12/21/2011)
The Avon Falcons had a fantastic fall 2011 sports season and all teams played very well. As always, visit our Avon High athletics page for more information about all of our sports teams and upcoming events.
Boys soccer ended the year with a 15-4-1 record, losing in the class L state finals to Bunnell. We had three all NCCC league players Mike Dorney, Conor Lanahan, and Drew Montano. We had two all- state players Conor Lanahan and Drew Montano. We had six players selected to play in the league SR bowl which included Tyler Bonini, Mike Dorney, Max Leopold, Alex Andrews, Drew Montano and Conor Lanahan and three selected to play in the state SR bowl Mike Dorney, Conor Lanahan, and Drew Montano. (Coach Patrick Mulligan)
Girls soccer finished the season with an overall record of 16 – 1 – 2, winning the Class L State Championship for the for the first time in that division by defeating Farmington in the Finals 2 – 1. It was the third year in a row that the varsity had been in the Class L finals. In the regular Varsity NCCC season, the team (only 15 of the games) finished 2nd behind Granby with their only loss to Granby, 1-0. This year’s team was lead by a strong senior class consisting of 11 girls. Defensively, the team had a great year, only giving up one goal in 9 of their games and 0 goals in other 10 games. JV’s finished the season undefeated 12 – 0 – 1. This undefeated season extends the JV unbeaten streak to 39 games since Halloween day 2008. Freshman /DV team had one of the best seasons on record, they finished 11 – 0 – 0 for the season. (Coach Jim Murray)
Another highlight was the “Kick out Cancer” Game under the lights. This event was organized by the players and parents of both boys and girls teams and a total of $3668.37 was donated to the American Cancer Society.
Avon Football had a very successful season with over 80 participants between the freshman squad and JV/Varsity. On the field, the team competed well every week. While the team did not win the division, we finished with a 7-3 record and were in every game. We had our 5th straight winning season, an accomplishment that has not been seen at Avon since 1967. We had five players voted All League. Tyler Arnott, Will DiStefano, Colin Moore, Jimmy Murphy and Will Shiffrin were all voted first team All league. (Coach Brett Quinion)
The Girls XC team finished the regular season 13-0.It was their 2nd undefeated season in the past 3 years and won the league championship for a total record of 26-0,making it their best season since 1994. The girls placed 2nd at the state class MM meet winning a plaque. Rachael Rosow (finished 1st) and Sara Stokesbury (4th) and both made all statel. Other outstanding performances included Molly Hamel (12th), Madi Zapatka (26th), and Kate McIntrye (27th) earning all conference at the the NCCC meet. The girls finished 22nd at the state open meet, making them one of the best teams in the state for the 2011 season. (Coach Al Dadario)
The Boys XC team had a fairly successful and competitive season. Our regular season record was 9 wins and 4 losses. Our overall NCCC record (including the results of the league championships at Windsor Locks HS) was 16 wins and 9 losses, resulting in a 7th place finish in the conference. At the CIAC Class MM championships we placed a respectable 8th. Junior Jeffrey Demers won All-Conference (NCCC) honors at Windsor Locks by placing 13th of the top 15. (Coach Gene Macy)
Avon Field Hockey finished up their season in the quarterfinals with a 15-2 final record. The team earned the NCCC Championship this year. Several players were selected as All League and All State players. (Coach Terri Ziemnicki)
Latin Students Enjoy Educational Field Trip on Pompeii (Posted 12/12/2011)
The Department of World Languages at Avon High School organized a field trip for Latin students to the Boston Museum of Science before Thanksgiving break to visit the exhibit entitled "A Day in Pompeii". Avon students learned about ancient Roman culture by observing a variety of artifacts from the city of Pompeii. The artifacts included gladiatorial gear, jewelry, cooking utensils, frescos, marble friezes, etc. Students identified the daily activities for which these items were used and determined how they were preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Avon students also had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of discovering the power of volcanoes by examining plaster casts of the volcano's victims frozen in their last moments (shown in photo). Avon students also saw an IMAX film entitled "Greece: Secrets of the Past". The documentary revolved around the volcanic eruption that buried the Greek island of Santorini in 1646 BC. A great time was enjoyed by all including the 3 faculty members who coordinated the trip.
Tyler Nye, World Languages
The Student Initative Club fixes up trails (Posted 12/12/2011)
On November 11th, a group of seven AHS students gathered behind Roaring Brook School to help undo the damage that winter storm Alfred caused to the elementary school's nature trail and amphitheater. The students are part of a club called The Student Initiative, founded this past spring as the continuation of a Sophomore Civic Virtue Project. Since its inception, the club has grown to 30 active members. The club has worked on maintaining and improving trails at Roaring Brook, Pine Grove, and land owned by the Avon Land Trust and has led both members of the community and younger children through the outdoors. "It's a great way for me to earn service hours for NHS while at the same time giving back in a meaningful way and spending time outdoors," says AHS senior Michael Rosenthal, one of the club's most active members. The Student Initiative is completely student led and organized, aided by adult intervention only when required for supervision and paperwork. For more information, contact the Student Initiative at email@example.com or go to www.studentinit.org.
Matt Howard, AHS Junior
Avon High School News and Events (Posted 12/1/2011)
The AHS HALLS Were Alive With the Sound of Music!
In fact, nearly every space at Avon High School was abuzz Saturday, November 12, as more than 1,000 students from some fifty Connecticut high schools convened for the 2011 Northern Region Music Festival Auditions. As they rehearsed and waited for their scores throughout the day, the singers and musicians (and 150 judges/teachers) enjoyed the hospitality provided by AHS's student volunteers, and members of FAME (Friends of Avon Music Education), the parent 'booster club.' This is third year Avon High School has hosted Northern Regionals. AHS is able to do it in one facility, to make things go as smoothly as possible. It's a huge effort, but it is down to a science with plenty of great volunteers.
To participate in the audition, students must perform and also sight-read one piece of music preselected by Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA). Those who reach a particular score are chosen to take part in the Northern Region Music Festival concert, to be held this year at New Britain High School on January 13th/14th, 2012. Northern Regional scores also serve as initial criteria for participating in the All State music competition. Scores are posted in late November. Come back in a few weeks to see how our Avon students fared in the competition.
Karen Edgar, FAME President
Avon Volleyball Finishes a Storm-Challenged Season
Avon Volleyball concluded the 2011 season on November 7 with a first-round loss in the CIAC Class L State tournament to Stratford High School. Our 10-6 record in the regular season qualified the as a #14 seed and gave Avon a home match in the first round. In conference (NCCC) play, Avon finished with an 8-4 record. Two conference matches were cancelled due to the storm and the NCCC tournament (scheduled for Avon HS) was also cancelled due to storm related issues. Highlights of our season include junior opposite hitter Ariel Lepito being voted All-NCCC Volleyball by the opposing conference coaches, a seven match winning streak from September 23 thru October 12, an exciting comeback 3-2 win at Bolton HS after being down 0-2 in the match, the AHS student fans enthusiastic support at many of this season's home events and the Avon Volleyball head coach being nominated by the CHSCA for the National HS Coaches Association Coach of the Year honors. Next year is promising - the program can return up to 40 volleyball-experienced athletes for the 2012 season with 10 of those having varsity-level experience. The future looks bright as the team builds upon what was accomplished in the 2011 season.
Curt Burns, Head Coach, Avon Volleyball
Education Activism at AHS (Posted 11/15/2011)
“Two Million Minutes” education documentary to be shown Tuesday, 12/6 at 7pm at AHS
The documentary film looks at how three superpowers - China, India and the United States - are preparing their students for the future,
This film follows two students from each country and composes a global snapshot of education, from the viewpoint of kids preparing for their future.
How a student spends their two million minutes in high school -- in class, studying, playing sports, working, sleeping, socializing or goofing off -- will affect their economic prospects for their lives. This movie lays the foundation for questions like: How do family, friends and society influence a student's choices for time allocation? What implications do their choices have on their future and on a country's economic future? How do we want to live? And how does public education support that?”
A facilitated discussion will follow the movie. Visit the website www.2mminutes.com for to learn more about this film. This event is free, open to the public, and sponsored by the Avon High School PTO. Mark your calendars!
“Race to Nowhere” Follow up
On October 26th, the hosts of the February Race to Nowhere screening sponsored a follow-up event at which attendees brainstormed how to turn the learning ‘race’ into a ‘journey’, and suggested changes that can be made in school, at home and in the community to make Avon education more effective, more relevant and less stressful for all. The program kicked off with a brief video by world-renowned educational consultant Sir Ken Robinson who turns preconceived notions of education upside down, and challenges virtually all existing principles and practices. (View the video yourself via link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U).
The group then reviewed the results of a survey conducted in February, noting the exceptionally high response rate and the 28 pages of typed comments. The film clearly touched a nerve and revealed, quite interestingly, that the concerns of the 1st grade parent are not much different from the concerns of the high school parent. Four key themes were identified: Managing Stress; Homework Content & Policies; Breadth vs. Depth of Instruction; and Changing Culture.
Attendees, including parents, grandparents, teachers and administrators broke into four corresponding teams to brainstorm plans of action. In the coming weeks, the teams will meet individually to tackle their top three ideas. If you would like to participate in this exciting initiative, please contact Susan Rietano Davey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spirit Week (Posted 11/9/2011)
AHS Spirit Rocked the Last Two Weeks of October
AHS Spirit Week is all about promoting school spirit and a sense of unity among students. To this end, AHS had two weeks of events and activities to embrace this goal.
On Monday October 17, Avon High School kicked off its Homecoming and Spirit Week festivities. In addition to the under the lights games at home, the Student Government also put on a bonfire on Friday where students could listen to live music performed by Matt Mascoli and Tucker Davey, socialize, and eat various baked goods that were for sale. At Saturday’s football game, the Homecoming court was announced at halftime and the contestants were driven around the track in convertibles in front of their peers.
In-school spirit week started Monday the 24th where each day students and teachers dressed up according to a theme. This year themes included: cowboy/farm day, pajama day, academics vs. athletics day, and pirate day. All week students had opportunities to win prizes and give to charity. Games like “Pin the stem on the pumpkin”, "Guess the number of candy corns in the jar", and “Pumpkin beanbag toss” were available for students to play during the lunch periods for a small fee. All proceeds went to UNICEF. The week was wrapped up on Friday the 28th at the annual Pep Rally. Each fall sport got a chance to talk about their season and the road ahead. In addition, selected students will partake in Halloween related activities in front of the entire school.
Student Government Co-President
Mid-October Avon High School News (Posted 10/18/2011)
Announcing our new… Avon High School News! Thanks to Martha Guidry, we have re-evaluated the PTO newsletter that had been mailed home, and then later posted online. We became aware that it was not getting the readership we had hoped for. Now we will be using the school website as a means to keep the AHS community apprised of the news and events that involve our students. This center column will be used to post articles that highlight educational topics and news while the left hand column will be used for posting school related events. School clubs, organizations, administration, and staff are encouraged to submit articles or events to us throughout the month at News4AHS@gmail.com.
The school year is off to a great start! Many PTO committees are planning for some really exciting activities this year. We have included a few highlights of our PTO efforts in this article… Student planners were purchased and distributed to all freshman. More planners are available for purchase by all other students for $5 in the main office. The PTO is investigating the purchase of new seating in the AHS Gallery so students and guests to the building can socialize and relax before-during-and after school. We have introduced a new program called the "Parent Education Film Series" that will strive to bring a series of educational films to the greater community, beginning with 2M Minutes on December 6. This will be followed by a period of audience discussion. We have a follow-up program planned this month by the parent organizers our of Race to Nowhere on October 26th at 7:00 in the cafeteria. Planning meetings have begun for March events, SPARK and the AEF/PTO Spring Gala and Auction. As always, your input on PTO activities is always welcomed and appreciated.
(THE AHS PTO Executive Board)
Welcome to Avon High School (Posted 6/6/2011)
Avon High School is a four-year comprehensive school offering curricular and co-curricular programs to 1140 students. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The class of 2011 has 258 students. The faculty consists of 85 members; 90% of whom hold advanced degrees. Avon High School prides itself on its record of outstanding student achievement and rigorous academic standards. In 2010, Hartford Magazine named Avon High School the number one public high school in Hartford County. US News and World Report awarded the school a silver medal in its ranking of America's Best High Schools in 2009.
Our mission, in partnership with the community, is to educate students for active membership in a complex world. We teach them to use their minds well in order to become informed, responsible, and honest participants in this community and, upon graduation, in our democratic society.
2009-10 Student Highlights
- 2 students were National Merit Finalists.
- 5 students were National Merit Semifinalists.
- 9 students were Commended Scholars
- 246 students took 480 Advanced Placement exams.
- 86.5% of the class of 2010 went on to attend a 2 or 4 year college/university.
- Over 74% of the student body participated in athletics.
- In the performing arts, 22% of the student body participates in Band, 14% in Chorus and 8% in Drama.
- The Avon High School athletic program accumulated the following recognitions:
- 61 All-Conference athletes
- 16 All-State athletes
- 5 Conference Championships
- 1 All American athlete
- 1 All New England athlete
- Over 85% of our students participated in over 40 clubs and activities.