Everyone year around one hundred students move on from Beecher Road School in Woodbridge, CT. Most of them continue on at Amity Middle School. Some move with their families to other towns, and a few are adult students who are moving on with their careers.
It is an important perspective and a sign of a successful educational system where a lifelong love of learning is taught and when everyone is viewed as a student. So, it is with mixed feelings that Beecher Road School prepares to say good bye to one of its star students, Principal Mary Lou Torres.
Principal Torres has been at Beecher Road School for five years and has accepted a new position that furthers her career. Tuesday evening, the Woodbridge Board of Education regretfully accepted her resignation and shared many words of praise for Principal Torres. The board then moved on to appoint Dr. Len Tomasello as Interim Principal. Dr. Tomasello and Principal Torres made a brief appearance at the Board of Education meeting and additional commendations for Principal Torres were shared as well as some of the hopes that Superintendent Stella, Dr. Tomasello and the board all share for the transition period.
The Board of Education then continued on with its special meeting to address goals for the board of education over the coming year. There is an important need to address the aging infrastructure of the school building. The board hopes to further explore the quality of education at Beecher Road and the departure of Principal Torres provides a great opportunity for the Board of Education to reconsider the structure of the administration.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting on September 20th will address many of these issues and parents are encouraged to attend.
(Cross posted at the Woodbridge Citizen.)
Wednesday evening, the Beecher Road School Parent Teacher Organization held its annual back to school Ice Cream Social. As with other years, it was a well attended event. Sen. Joe Crisco and State Rep. Themis Klarides were both on hand to help PTO members, Superintendent Guy Stella, and members of the staff serve ice cream to students, parents and community members.
Parents sat in lawn chairs and compared notes of summer vacations and hopes for the coming school year as children ran around with their friends or danced to the music of a DJ.
Wednesday was a particularly hot day and many enjoyed the cold ice cream. Others talked about the effect of the heat on education. The Horace Porter School in Columbia, CT closed early because of the heat on Wednesday and the Laurel School in Bloomfield, CT is closing early today because of the heat. While there are currently no plans to close Beecher Road School early because of the heat, such a move would create complications with bus routes.
Beecher Road School appears to be adequately handling the current heat wave. While there have been scattered reports of students heading to the nurse's office because of the heat, it has not been at such a level that the administration has needed to take action, and so far, there is only one report of a class having to be moved because of excessive heat.
Indoor air quality has a significant impact on education which needs to be carefully considered at Beecher Road School. Events like the BRSPTO Ice Cream Social provide an important opportunity for members of the community to gather for a fun social event, as well as to share concerns about what is best for long term education in our town.
(Cross posted in the Woodbridge Citizen.)
With a week left before proposals are due to the town of Woodbridge, CT concerning the purchase or long term operations of the Country Club of Woodbridge, I have been asked to provide my thoughts about how the club has been run over the past two years.
For those not acquainted with the recent history of the club, in 2009, The Woodbridge Country Club experienced financial difficulties. Instead of the land being sold to a developer, the town stepped in and purchased the property. For the past two years, the club, renamed the Country Club of Woodbridge has been run for the town by a management country. Now, the Town of Woodbridge is seeking either a long term manager or a buyer.
I live approximately three quarters of a mile from the club. I have walked to the club to sled on its hills in the winter, just as my wife did when she was younger and would walk with her parents and grandparents to go sledding at the club.
Much of the focus of the current management has been on the golf operations and although I worked as a caddie about forty years ago, I am in no position to comment on that aspect of the operations. I also have eaten at the club restaurant from time to time. I was disappointed that the chef who had been at the club in 2009 did not return in 2010. I believe he provided real value to the club. I am glad that the town's Request for Proposals has asked all bidders to address issues of retaining current staff.
The aspect of the club that I have used most has been the pool. We were one of the first families to sign up for pool and tennis membership in both 2009 and 2010. I have used the pool extensively. In 2009, the pool didn't open until late in the season, and not many people joined. It often felt as if I had a great private pool to use in 2009. 2010 has been a different year. There have been days during 2010 which saw more people use the pool that used it in all of 2009.
As with any operation, there are minor things I would like to see done differently, yet all in all, through the difficulties of these first two years, the pool operations have been excellent. It is my hope that whomever buys or enters into a long term agreement to manage the club continues to run the pool the way it has been over the past two years.
The Town of Woodbridge has made a wise decision in purchasing the club and handling its operations as it has for these first two years. Hopefully, the decisions made by the town concerning the future operations will be as wise as these initial decisions and the people of Woodbridge will have this wonderful facility remain available, boosting the value of all the properties in town.
(Cross posted at the Woodbridge Citizen.)
It is already hot, sticky and hazy at quarter of nine in the morning as I drive Fiona to camp. The town recreation director is sitting at the entrance to the camp dressed up in a silly outfit to welcome the young campers. “Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” exclaims Fiona.
I drive the old black car through the slalom of small cones to get to the drop off point. As we approach, Fiona shouts out, “Oh, I see two of my friends”. The green is covered with counselors wearing their Woodbridge Recreation Department T-shirts.
I pull the car to a stop and Fiona says, “I think I’m a mermaid this year”. Yup. Her group this year is called the mermaids. A counselor approaches the car and Fiona rolls down the window greeting the counselor saying, “I missed you so much”. The counselor checks what grade Fiona is going into and they are gone.
No longer are there tears of departure, fears of how much she will miss mommy or me, or other protestations. Nope. She is out of the car without so much as a ‘bye’, or ‘thanks for the ride’.
And so, summer camp begins.
(Cross-posted at the Woodbridge Citizen.)