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    New Teachers pose with administrators in WHS library.
    Nicola Davies

    Cider Mill introduced five new teachers today during new teacher orientation.

    New Teachers pose with administrators in WHS library.

    Tuesday, August 20th was the first day of school for five new teachers at Cider Mill. There are twenty-five newly hired teachers across the whole district. Maria Coleman, Director of Human Resources welcomed the group and shared that the newly hired teachers in the room represented ‘The top 5% of our applicant pool of 550 applicants.’ She also shared ‘Sitting among you, valedictorian from Wilton high school, a Fulbright scholar and a professional musician whose music was featured at the Sochi Olympics. You are the best of the best and you should feel very proud to be here. We hope Wilton will become your forever home.’

    Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith spoke next, he encouraged all new staff to search for the twitter hashtag #WiltonWayCT.  “I challenge and invite you to visit it and post to it, it will make your day.” In what has become an annual tradition in the Smith Family, Dr Smith asked his own children for their advice for the new teachers. Dr Smith’s five children range in ages from 3rd grade to a High School Freshman and their wise words were:

    • We know how hard your jobs as teachers are.
    • Get to know your students.
    • Be creative.
    • Play lots of games, smile and give out lots of candy.

    Chris Finkelstein, Chair of the Wilton Board of Education spoke next:

    ‘As you begin your work, you are joining a community that enthusiastically embraces its teachers and supports it schools. Wilton teachers develop strong relationships with families. In our family, we frequently exchange stories about teachers who mean a lot to us. Our community shows support through schools in many ways – investing in them, supporting them on the football field, attending music and drama performances. This is an exciting time to be starting your tenure, teachers are the center of everything’

    Chuck Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Andrea Leonardi, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services also spoke reinforcing the days theme of fostering relationships, increasing student engagement and helping students to take risks to meet their goals.

    ‘Success is when students come in smiling, telling you stories and relating something you taught them to something that happened to them in the world outside of the classroom’ said Leonardi.

    The meeting ended with Dr Smith presenting each new hire with their Class of ’19 Wilton shirt. New teachers then returned to their own school to continue their orientation day.

    The new teachers at Cider Mill are:

    • Beth Bakst – Music
    • Margaret Barbieri – 5th Grade Teacher
    • Ethan Bourque – School Counselor
    • Erin Crowley – 5th Grade Teacher
    • Sara Ando – Teacher of Hearing Impaired
    5th grade audience listen to 6th Dimension band
    Nicola Davies

    The trip gives Cider Mill students a taste of Middle School.

    5th grade audience listen to 6th Dimension band

    This week the annual tradition of Fifth graders toured Middlebrook took place. The Fifth graders enjoyed a performance from the sixth grade chorus and our advanced sixth grade stage band, The Sixth Dimension. The visiting students toured Middlebrook led by the seventh graders who will be serving as WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) leaders next year. This complex event was pulled together by Ms. Bonnie O’Brien, the school counselor for the rising sixth grade, in collaboration with colleagues from the music and counseling departments as well as our WEB leadership.

    The event is one of great excitement for the fifth graders as they learn how things will be different next year when they reach Middle School.  Students are looking forward to the increased independence of middle school – no more walking in a line. They are looking forward to switching classes and having the opportunity to meet and work with different students in every class. Gym at Middlebrook is an exciting prospect for many. There are many new games to be played and things to try – the rock-climbing wall for example.

    The most exciting thing about Middle School?  Our survey reveals the same results as last year - free seating in the cafeteria and the much better lunch food options!


    Toni Boucher, Jennifer Elvgren, Fran Kompar
    Nicola Davies

    Author of The Whispering Town, talked to students about the book and her writing process.

    Jennifer Elvgren visits Cider Mill

    Author Jennifer Elvgren visited Cider Mill on Thursday as part of the Wilton Reads 2019, she talked about her book ‘The Whispering Town’ which is a fictionalized account of a true event that happened in the town of Gilleleje, Denmark during World War two.

    Every student heard her story about the writing and illustration process she undertook for her book. She also provided a background on the German occupation of Denmark during the second world war.

    Fifth grade students had the opportunity to join her for lunch and a further question and answer session in the Library Learning Commons. She shared with the students that her top tips for writers were to read, read, read; to spend time outside in nature for inspiration; to not be afraid of kind criticism and to have a group of friends to trust and help you through set-backs and hard times. 

    High School Students pose with Bee character
    Nicola Davies

    WHS students visit Cider Mill with a message of inclusivity.

    High School Students pose with Bee character

    April is Inclusion/ Diversity Awareness Month. Wilton High School’s Top Inclusion Models (TIMs) traveled to Cider Mill to put on a show for the students. They performed ‘Do the Right Thing,’ based on the book ‘Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun’ The short play celebrates kindness, courage and doing the right thing.

    Top Inclusion Models is a High School Club whose mission is to promote inclusion of all students regardless of ability or differences.

    Logo for WEF smarter than a 5th Grader
    Nicola Davies

    The Competition Returns on March 22nd. Here's how to get tickets.

    When: Friday, March 22, 2019
    Time: Doors open at 6:30 pm, show will start at 7 pm
    Where: Middlebrook Auditorium

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