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In November, the nation celebrated American Education Week. The first observance of American Education Week occurred back in 1921, with a resolution for: "An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs." In the spirit of that original resolution, the district opened its school doors in November to showcase best practices in public education, celebrate the accomplishments of staff and students, and recognize the community that supports the school system. So here are a few special November recognitions:
The Granby Board of Education received The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) as a Board of Distinction Level Two Award. This prestigious award recognizes exemplary Boards of Education that work effectively together as members of a team in support of public education. The Board of Education has received the Level Two Distinction Award for the past seven years.
The district recognized and celebrated the service and sacrifice of our Veterans. Choosing to have school in session on Nov. 11 allows staff and students to pay tribute to our servicemen and women. This is a rich Granby tradition that has special meaning to the Veterans, staff and students. Sixth grader, Jessie Talasco from Wells Road Intermediate School, read her Veterans Day Essay during the school’s Veterans Day assembly. We congratulate Jessie on being runner-up winner in the 2015 Connecticut Veterans Parade essay contest, a statewide competition for middle school and intermediate students to write an essay addressing the question, "Why Should We Honor Veterans?" Jessie also read her winning essay at the State Capitol during the Connecticut State Capitol's Hall of Flags Ceremony on WTIC 1080 radio.
Granby’s 2015 teacher of the year, Jodi Okenquist, was recognized during the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Ceremony at the Bushnell Theater. Jodi was also honored as a semi-finalist in the Connecticut State Teacher of the Year Program. Play, joy and love are attributes of Jodi’s teaching. The award simultaneously recognizes the dedication, talents and hard work of all our teachers.
At the November Superintendents’ Award Luncheon, two Granby students, Sophie Austin (8th grade) and Jonah Garcia (12th grade), were awarded the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents’ Award for academic achievement, leadership and service to their school and community. Sophie and Jonah were joined by their parents and principals.
These two talented, hardworking and service-orientated students give back much to their school and community and both have bright futures. Sophie plans on pursuing her passion for math and science at the high school and Jonah plans on studying molecular biology and music in college.
American Education Week is always celebrated around Thanksgiving—the perfect time to give thanks for the dedicated staff, talented students and supportive community that make Granby Public Schools so special. On behalf of the school system, I wish all of our families a safe and happy holiday season!