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February 16, 2019  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

East Haven Courier

Liz Franco-Spano says education is more than math and reading, but all subjects have a place in her physical education classes at East Haven’s elementary schools. 

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Learning Life (and Math) Lessons in the Gym

Published Jan. 16, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Liz Franco-Spano teaches physical education in East Haven schools, but that doesn’t stop her from bringing math and even language arts to her gymnasium. As with everything she does, teaching is a collaborative effort.

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Harbor News

His efforts on the Water Pollution Control Commission aren’t the most glamorous int town, but Matt Kennedy and his fellow commissioners’ work is helping clean Clinton waterways and improving water quality in areas like Rocky Ledge. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

A Geologist Sets Deep Roots in Clinton

Published Jan. 16, 2019 08:30 a.m.

“I’m a husband, dad, geologist, licensed environmental professional, and one of those goofy Yankees, Celtics, and Steelers fans.”

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Valley Courier

Former Essex resident Roseann Ventimiglia now calls Chester home, and she’s quickly established community ties through activities like leading the Friends of the Chester Public Library annual book sale. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Roseann Ventimiglia: Buy the Book

Published Jan. 16, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Roseann Ventimiglia said yes. The result is that she is the new head of the upcoming book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Chester Public Library. And there is more that is new. For the first time the sale will be held at the United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, rather than in the library basement. The four-day sale will take place from Friday, Jan. 18 through Monday, Jan. 21.

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The Source

Arlene Burke of Madison recently retired from the Madison Racquet & Swim Club and looks forward to a retirement filled with family, travel, and sports. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Arlene Burke: From Racquets to Retirement

Published Jan. 16, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Arlene Burke of Madison recently retired from the Madison Racquet & Swim Club, leaving behind a legacy of diligence, care, and devotion to an active lifestyle to pursue lifelong passions and discover new ones.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford’s Katie Trainer, music teacher at the North Branford High School, is the winds instructor for the East Haven/North Branford Co-Op Marching Band that recently took home a second win in the state-wide and New England championships. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Katie Trainer: Taking Playing Together to the Next Level

Published Jan. 16, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As an educator and a musician, Katie Trainer always strives to find new ways to bring people and music together. She started with music at a young age and soon decided to make a career of it.

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Guilford Courier

Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Anne Keene has made an important impact on Guilford Public Schools (GPS) during her 20-year tenure, and is working hard to make the most of every moment in her final school year with GPS. She’ll retire from GPS in June. Photo by Pam Johnson/Guilford Courier

‘The Most Important Thing’: A Thoughtful Gift to Guilford Schools From Dr. Anne Keene

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Twenty years ago, Dr. Anne Keene started a tradition of reading a children’s book at convocation, the annual back-to-school gathering of Guilford Public School (GPS) teachers and administrators.

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North Haven Courier

North Haven High School grad and Wheaton College history major Marisa Hexter recently gave a presentation on five forgotten women from North Haven’s history at the North Haven Memorial Library. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Marisa Hexter: Sharing North Haven’s Hidden History

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Marisa Hexter is bringing the unexpected and unacknowledged women out of North Haven’s historical archives and back into the public eye. Exploring lost histories is a part of her studies as a history major.

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The Sound

Phoebe Chandler brings decades of service—and now a special keynote speaker, her daughter Beth Chandler—to the shoreline’s 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Breakfast. The breakfast, which celebrates the life and teachings of Dr. King, is set to take place Monday, Jan. 21, at 8:30 a.m. at a new location, Branford High School, 185 East Main Street. Photo courtesy of Phoebe Chandler

Phoebe Chandler: Decades of Support for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

On Monday, Jan. 21, Phoebe Chandler’s 34-year-connection and decades of humble work supporting the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Breakfast will celebrate a full circle moment when her daughter, Beth Chandler, returns to Branford as this year’s MLK breakfast keynote speaker.

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Valley Courier

In a short time in Essex, Susan Hosack has become an active community volunteer, including co-helming the upcoming Putt Fore the Library mini-golf fundraiser for the Essex Library. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Susan Hosack: Book a Round of Golf

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Surely, it was fate. Pulling open the holiday table favor known as a Christmas cracker or a Christmas popper, Susan Hosack found a tiny plastic golf club and a miniature green to go with it.

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Harbor News

Outside the Saybrook Stage Company’s Westbrook Ambulance Association rehearsal space, Jim Hile takes a break from preparing for the upcoming production of Other Desert Cities, a play coming to The Kate Thursday to Sunday, Jan. 17 to 20. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Jim Hile: For Love of Theater

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Jim Hile was 21, his sister was participating in a musical called The Boyfriend. At the time, Jim was “more interested in the technical aspects of shows, such as the lighting,” than performing. You can imagine Jim’s surprise, then, when he received a call asking him to audition for the play.

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East Haven Courier

East Haven Public Information Officer Lieutenant Joseph Murgo was one of the officers behind the department’s lip-sync battle in 2018. Throughout the year, he wants to inform and serve the public as best as he can. Photo courtesy of Joseph Murgo

Joe Murgo: Protect, Serve, and Inform

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As the public information officer for the East Haven Police Department (EHPD), Lieutenant Joseph Murgo helps to tell the department’s news in a changing world.

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The Source

Lisa Landa of Madison, known for her career as a Daniel Hand English teacher, devotes her retirement to teaching college freshmen and volunteering. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Lisa Landa: Education and Empathy

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Lisa Landa of Madison is known throughout the community for her contributions as an educator, but since retirement from Daniel Hand High School, she’s continued to teach and now volunteers with both Connecticut Hospice and Bare Necessities, a diaper bank.

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North Haven Courier

At 88, Fran Bartlett has spent 62 years in town and she’s never stopped being involved in one way or another. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Active Hands, Active Mind, Active Life

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

“I’m not one of these people that worries about the age. To me, it’s a number,” Fran says. “I’m just an active person.”

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Guilford Courier

Thea Martin is an attorney, mediator, yoga teacher, mom, and wife who volunteers at the Women & Family Life Center to lead divorce workshops, including the upcoming Adapt program on Saturday, Jan. 12. Photo courtesy of Thea Martin

Thea Martin: Real Change Starts at Home

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Thea Martin began pursuing her career in law, she was drawn to public policy and social justice, but as she began practicing, she found her true calling as a divorce attorney. A self-proclaimed feminist, Thea found herself fighting for women and children.

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Valley Courier

Deep River native Shane Lindner was recently back in town with reports from his recent 2,653-mile through-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Mexican to Canadian borders. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Shane Lindner: Going for a Walk

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Everybody has their own way to finish the sentence, “Happiness is…” but few people’s idea of happiness would match Shane Lindner’s. For him, happiness is a tattered pair of hiking shorts, a leaky one-person tent, and a 2,653-mile walk.

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Harbor News

Connecticut Cancer Foundation (CCF) CEO and President Jane Ellis has spent more than three decades helping those with cancer cope with everyday expenses, honoring and growing the commitment made by her husband John Ellis. The foundation, first established as the Connecting Sports Foundation, operates out of its newly outfitted Old Saybrook headquarters, complete with a Hall of Fame. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Uniting Heroes, Large and Small, to Aid Cancer Patients

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

More than 30 years ago, John Ellis, an entrepreneur and former Major League Baseball player, made a promise: If he beat cancer, he would devote his life to helping others facing cancer diagnoses. He may not have realized that his wife, Jane Ellis, would devote herself to fulfilling that promise, too. But she has.

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East Haven Courier

Nancy Salk and her dog Friday will go to the Westminster dog show in February—but showing dogs isn’t just about winning, she notes. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

For the Love of Dogs

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Nancy Salk has been showing dogs since she was five years old. Now, her dachshund Friday is going to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the biggest dog show of the year.

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The Source

C.J. Gladstone of Madison began her work with A Better Chance as a host parent. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

C.J. Gladstone: From Host Family to Mentor Advisor and More

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

C.J. Gladstone began her work with Madison’s A Better Chance, or ABC, as a host family, but now she works to ensure both the program’s scholars and host families maximize the benefits of participating in the program.

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The Sound

Andrea Brow helps to find new adopters for horses, like Mystery, who have been retired to Cranbury Horse Auction, in danger of being sent to slaughter through networking.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Sound

Andrea Brow: For Each Retired Horse, a Home

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Andrea Brow has been riding horses since she was two years old. Now, she helps to rescue those horses who have finished their working lives.

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North Haven Courier

Bethany Zemba is Quinnipiac’s new vice president and chief of staff. She brings 15 years of experience at Yale to the brand new position. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Bethany Zemba Takes a New Job in an Old Role at Quinnipiac University

Published Dec. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Bethany Zemba has experienced a lot of new roles in her life, including mother, coach, and educational professional. Now, after 15 years at Yale University, Bethany has another new role: vice president and chief of staff at Quinnipiac University.

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The Source

With the end of 2018, Branford resident Ted Kennedy, Jr., concludes four years as District 12 state senator. He recently met with the The Sound at Branford’s Parthenon Diner to talk about his work on behalf of the district and the state, and what’s ahead for him next. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Two Terms, Many Accomplishments: Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., Concludes District 12 Legislative Service

Published Dec. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Following a productive four years as a state senator, Ted Kennedy, Jr., says his decision to step away from Connecticut’s legislative landscape at the end of 2018 was difficult, but allows him to fully focus on helping to protect disability rights at very critical point in the nation’s history.

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Valley Courier

Kim Thomas’ 15 minutes of fame came this summer when the Lifetime Channel used her Centerbrook bakery Savour as a set for the film A Very Nutty Christmas. Even better, she says? She herself never had to go on camera. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kim Thomas: Picture This

Published Dec. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

The old song “You Oughta Be in Pictures” applies to Kim Thomas—sort of. It’s not Kim who actually was in a movie; it was her bakery, Savour in Centerbrook, that was a central location for A Very Nutty Christmas, a Lifetime Channel Christmas movie.

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East Haven Courier

Kirsten Dudley joined the local Shoreline Greenway Trail team shortly after moving to town. Now, she runs the group’s Facebook page and helps to maintain the trails and take residents on guided walks. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

With the Shoreline Greenway Trail, Kirsten Dudley is Clearing a Way Forward

Published Dec. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

For Kirsten Dudley and the Shoreline Greenway Trail, it’s all about moving forward and making connections. The group is clearing trails from New Haven to Madison to make the shoreline area a more walkable place.

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Harbor News

The last of her line: Where other shoreline first selectmen begin the new year considering campaign for re-election, that’s one worry Clinton First Selectman Christine Goupil doesn’t have. With town government transitioning to a town manager/town council format at the end of her term, she’s staying focused on a few priorities as the town’s last first selectman. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Christine Goupil: The Last First Selectman

Published Dec. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

A few days ago while in her office in Town Hall, an acquaintance pointed out to First Selectman Christine Goupil the pictures of the former First Selectmen that hang in Town Hall, and the fact that Christine could very well be the last person to hold that title in Clinton.

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Guilford Courier

Colleen Wall’s nurses office at Melissa Jones School is filled with heartfelt notes from students, all signs of gratitude for a much-appreciated school nurse. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Colleen Wall: Caring for Kids at MJS

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

It’s not even halfway through the school year, but Colleen Wall’s office at Melissa Jones School (MJS) is already displaying plenty of heartfelt notes from students and classroom posters decorated with adjectives like “loving, caring, kind, compassionate”—all signs of gratitude for a much-appreciated school nurse.

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North Haven Courier

Nick Giordano’s gingerbread house was featured in the Magical Elf House on Dec. 8 and 9. His gingerbread making started as a holiday tradition and grew into an intricate puzzle. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Nick Giordano: Cracking the Gingerbread Code

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

What do gingerbread, baseball, and murder mysteries have in common? Nick Giordano might say it’s the puzzle involved.

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Valley Courier

“Nature never stops,” according to Suzanne Burns, which is likely why this new director of education at the Connecticut River Museum has a busy winter season ahead of her. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Suzanne Burns: Telling the River’s Story

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

What links Pittsburg, New Hampshire, a town with a population of 813 at the Canadian border, and the valley shore area of Connecticut? Even if the New Hampshire town is not a familiar name, there is a powerful connection: the Connecticut River. Pittsburg is where the river rises and some 406 miles later it runs into Long Island Sound not far from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex where Suzanne Burns is the new director of education.

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East Haven Courier

Jan Lougal—and her dog, Pepper—are prepared for the holiday season at the East Haven senior center. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Jan Lougal: Staying Vital Amid Changes

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Jan Lougal carries the title of director of East Haven’s senior center, but she and her dog Pepper are both longtime professional caregivers.

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The Source

While studying painting in Perugia, Italy, Mark Segal came across an unexpected style, courtesy of his fellow students: Chinese brush paintings. He’ll exhibit some of his works in the show Distinct Realms at Madison Art Cinemas through Feb. 6, 2019. 

Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Mark Segal: Traveling West to Discover the East

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Distinct Realms, a solo art exhibit with works by Connecticut artist Mark Segal, opens on Thursday, Dec. 13 and runs through Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Madison Art Cinemas. The exhibit features Chinese brush paintings in a collection that’s as global as the artist himself.

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The Sound

Katie Trainer, music teacher at the North Branford High School, is the winds instructor for the East Haven/North Branford Co-Op Marching Band. The marching band recently took home a second win in the state-wide and New England championships.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Sound

Taking Playing Together to the Next Level

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

As an educator and a musician, Katie Trainer always strives to find new ways to bring people and music together. She started with music at a young age and soon decided to make a career of it.

Read More