Saturday, July 24, 2021

East Haven Courier Person of the Week

East Haven Courier

Kyle Miller is carrying on his family’s tradition of giving back to the community through his volunteer work with both the East Haven Chamber of Commerce and the East Haven Fall Festival. Photo courtesy of Kyle Miller

Kyle Miller Continues Family Tradition of Community Service with Fall Fest and Chamber

Published July 21, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Having been born and raised in East Haven, Kyle Miller says the Fall Festival has always been one of his favorite town traditions. As a small child, he remembers the thrill of the carnival rides.

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East Haven Courier

Pastor Mark Pilletere is looking forward to becoming further ingrained in both the church community and the Town of East Haven as COVID restrictions begin to ease more than a year after he began work with the Old Stone Church. Photo courtesy of the Old Stone Church

Rev. Mark Pilletere Installed as New Senior Pastor of Old Stone Church

Published July 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Even though Mark Pilletere has served in ministry for the past 20 years, the past 18 months have been full of firsts for both Mark and the church he now serves, First Congregational Church of East Haven, which is best known as the Old Stone Church.

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East Haven Courier

Tina Hedley enjoys combining her IT experience with her passion for helping residents of her hometown in her position as executive administrative assistant to the mayor. 

Photo courtesy of Tina Hedley

Town Hall Positions Combines Many Interests for Tina Hedley

Published July 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As a lifelong East Haven resident, Tina Hedley had never had aspirations of working at Town Hall, though when the opportunity presented itself, she decided to make a change. Since November 2019, Tina has been an executive administrative assistant to Mayor Joe Carfora at East Haven Town Hall.

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East Haven Courier

East Haven resident Maria Rivera recently published her first novel, Chasing the Wind, inspired by her experiences growing up in Washington Heights, her family, and mission trips with Hope Christian Church in North Haven. Photo courtesy of Maria Rivera

Lifetime of Experiences Come Together in Maria Rivera’s First Novel

Published June 30, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Even though Maria Rivera has always loved reading and writing—she has now been teaching English for more than 25 years—it wasn’t until this year that she finally shared her own writing with the world.

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East Haven Courier

Susan Harkins is retiring after working at East Haven High School for nearly 40 years, serving the last seven as assistant principal. Photo courtesy of Susan Harkins

Harkins Excited to End Lifelong History with EHPS in a ‘Somewhat Normal’ Way

Published June 23, 2021 08:30 a.m.

East Haven Public Schools has been a part of Susan Harkins’s life since she began her education. She attended school in East Haven, graduating in 1978 and then after graduating from college, she was hired as a teacher at East Haven High School (EHHS). She has served as assistant principal for the past seven years and recently announced her retirement.

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East Haven Courier

Ashley Lynch was named valedictorian of East Haven High School’s Class of 2021.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Lynch

Ashley Lynch Earns Valedictorian with Hard Work and Determination

Published June 16, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Ever since she was in kindergarten, Ashley Lynch pushed herself to excel when it came to academics. When she got to high school, she set a goal of graduating as one of the top 10 students in East Haven High School’s (EHHS) Class of 2021. Recently named valedictorian, Ashley says she exceeded her expectations.

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East Haven Courier

Maureen Scalia recently received the East Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year Award. Photo courtesy of Maureen Scalia

Love of Teaching Spans More Than Four Decades for Maureen Scalia

Published June 09, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Maureen Scalia always knew she wanted to be a teacher and has been working the field for the past 42 years, spending the last 26 in the East Haven school district. She was recently awarded Educator of the Year by the East Haven Chamber of Commerce.

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East Haven Courier

Carmine Riccitelli, Jr., known to some as Ricky, recently received the East Haven Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Photo courtesy of Carmine Riccitelli, Jr.

Carmine Riccitelli, Jr., Awarded Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year Award

Published June 03, 2021 12:01 a.m.

Even though Carmine Riccitelli, Jr.—who’s also known as Ricky to many in his hometown of East Haven—has been volunteering for decades, he was still surprised when he received a phone call from the East Haven Chamber of Commerce that he was nominated for Volunteer of the Year.

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The Sound

Emma Schreiber, a recent graduate of North Branford High School and former member of the East Haven High School Co-Op Marching Band, is now a volunteer instructor with the co-op band. Photo courtesy of Emma Schreiber

Emma Schreiber Brings Lifelong Love of Music as Volunteer Instructor of EHHS Co-Op Marching Band

Published May 19, 2021 08:30 a.m.

For as long as she can remember, Emma Schreiber has been interested in music.

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East Haven Courier

Wendy Bellmore, who served nearly two decades as a nurse with the U.S. Army Medical Department, will be honored as part of the Town of East Haven and East Haven Veterans Council’s Memorial Day services. Photo courtesy of Wendy Bellmore

Wendy Bellmore to Be Recognized as East Haven’s 2021 Honored Veteran on Memorial Day

Published May 12, 2021 08:30 a.m.

On May 31, the East Haven Veteran’s Council in conjunction with Mayor Joseph Carfora will honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a Memorial Day procession and ceremony.

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East Haven Courier

East Haven resident Jill Anderson Perez has found a second hometown in North Haven through her involvement with the North Haven Fair. Photo courtesy of Jill Anderson Perez

Jill Anderson Perez Prepares to Bring a Taste of Fairs to Summer

Published May 05, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Jill Anderson Perez would have never imagined that the local fair and festival scene would become a big part of her life. Now the lifelong East Haven resident is not only coordinating the Fair Food Festival on the North Haven Fairgrounds this summer, but organizing several other events as well, all while also working full-time in the healthcare industry and raising her three children—nine-year-old Stefan, six-year-old Summer, and two-year-old Grayson—with her husband Felipe.

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East Haven Courier

On Sept. 11, Lisa (Esposito) Selmquist will take part in her third Closer to Free ride as she began her own team, Pedaling for Pop Pop, in honor of her dad, Joe Esposito.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Selmquist

Lisa Selmquist to Ride in Closer to Free for Dad, Joe Esposito

Published April 28, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Though this is the third year that Lisa Selmquist, née Lisa Esposito, has participated in Closer to Free, this year’s event hits closer to home as she will ride in honor of her father, Joe Esposito, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of 2020. Her dad recently had surgery and the doctors have said that he is now cancer-free, but Lisa has seen the challenges firsthand.

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East Haven Courier

As chair of the Shoreline Greenway Trail East Haven Committee, Barbara Brow finds ways to weave the trail and responsible land stewardship throughout the town. Photo courtesy of Barbara Brow

Barbara Brow: A Picture of Patience and Perseverance

Published April 21, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Barbara Brow of East Haven has been involved with the Shoreline Greenway Trail (SGT) since the group behind it formed in 2002.

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East Haven Courier

Chris Brown loves giving back to the community as a member of the library board and principal of Tuttle School where he’s always striving to be a superhero. 

Photo courtesy of Chris Brown

Chris Brown Counts on Community to Help in Hero’s Quest

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Chris Brown dons a superhero T-shirt under his dress shirt every day as principal of Tuttle School. As someone who has always loved superheroes and considers the teaching profession as “fairly heroic,” he is constantly looking for ways to be of service to his students.

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East Haven Courier

As the administrative assistant at the East Haven’s Mayor’s Office, Regina Araujo has helped to spearhead the vaccine clinic efforts in past months.

Photo courtesy of Regina Araujo

Regina Araujo: Connecting to the Community

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

With the youngest of her four children now a senior in high school and a change of ownership at her last job, Regina Araujo was looking for a new career opportunity.

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East Haven Courier

Over the past 10 years, Cheryl Criscuolo has become more and more involved in the East Haven Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, serving as president for the past four years. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Criscuolo

Cheryl Criscuolo Serves Community as President of EHFD Ladies Auxiliary

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

For the past decade, Cheryl Criscuolo has volunteered with the East Haven Fire Department (EHFD) Co. 1 Ladies Auxiliary. She joined at the urging of her husband’s cousin, who was then serving as the president.

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East Haven Courier

With a new lodge in the works in North Haven, the Elks Lodge #25 is growing its efforts to grow the community, thanks in part to its exalted ruler, Paul Salisbury of East Haven.

Photo courtesy of Paul Salisbury

Paul Salisbury Excited to Continue Weaving Elks Into the Fabric of Community

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

While Paul Salisbury has been involved with the Elks for more than three decades, he still carries the same passion for the group as he did when he first started.

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East Haven Courier

Mariola Piecuch is using her hobby to give back locally, creating paw print keychains to benefit the East Haven Animal Shelter. Photo courtesy of Mariola Piecuch

Mariola Piecuch Combines Love of Animals and Art to Give Back to Animal Shelter

Published March 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Like many people one year ago, Mariola Piecuch temporarily lost her job and found herself with more time on her hands and looking for a way to fill it during the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. She has always enjoyed exploring different crafts and hobbies and came across resin epoxy art.

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East Haven Courier

Luke Labagnara, a lifelong East Haven resident, works at the Hagaman Library and TJ Maxx/ Home Goods and has a presence on social media.

Photo courtesy of Luke Labagnara

Luke Labagnara Enjoys Spreading Positivity Through Work and Social Media

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Luke Labagnara is a lifelong East Haven resident and there is only one way that Luke would consider living somewhere else: if he were chosen to be a houseguest on Big Brother, a Dutch reality TV show based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name where housemates, isolated from the outside world, are constantly monitored. One by one, the housemates are evicted from the house by popular vote.

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East Haven Courier

Cindy Genzano led the expansion and success of the North Branford High School (NBHS) drama program for more than 36 years, until a pandemic scene stealer brought down the curtain. Photo courtesy of Cindy Genzano

A Well-Deserved Curtain Call for Cindy Genzano

Published March 03, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Cindy Genzano led the expansion and success of the North Branford High School (NBHS) drama program for more than 36 years, until a pandemic scene stealer brought down the curtain—and dimmed the lights on the opportunity for Cindy’s fans and friends to congratulate her and send her off on her retirement with a well-deserved curtain call—and an encore of sorts in East Haven.

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East Haven Courier

Andy Perrone has volunteered at the East Haven Food Pantry since 2009, serving as treasure for the past five years. Photo courtesy of Andy Perrone

Andy Perrone Finds Fulfillment in Volunteering

Published Feb. 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When the company for which Andy Perrone worked was reorganized in 2009, he lost his job. While he looked for a new position, he found himself with extra time on his hands and wanted to give back.

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East Haven Courier

Vinnie Borzillo, known as “Mr. Vinnie” to the students at Momauguin Elementary School where he serves as custodian, loves his job and giving back to the community. 

Photo courtesy of Vinnie Borzillo

‘Mr. Vinnie’ Borzillo Loves the Community at Momauguin Elementary

Published Feb. 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Vinnie Borzillo had worked as a substitute custodian a few years back and when a full-time custodian retired from Momauguin Elementary School, he jumped at the opportunity.

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East Haven Courier

Pat Doolan started running in order to combat his diabetes, but he has found a new passion in the sport. Photo courtesy of Pat Doolan

Pat Doolan Runs Toward Healthier Lifestyle, Encouraging Others to Do the Same

Published Feb. 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As someone living with diabetes, Pat Doolan has always been aware of his health and the importance of exercise for combating the disease. In addition to trying to eat right, Pat has always focused on working out at the gym, but when COVID hit, a number of factors led to a rise in his numbers.

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East Haven Courier

Bill Richardson, a lifelong East Haven resident, participated in Pfizer’s clinical trials to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson’s Love of Science Leads Him to Vaccine Trial

Published Feb. 03, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Throughout the many years that Bill Richardson has called East Haven home, he has given back to the community in a number of ways.

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East Haven Courier

Evelyn Rossetti-Ryan, an East Haven resident and chief of outreach and access for Area Cooperative Education Services in North Haven, is honored with the Quinnipiac Chamber’s Excellence in Advocacy distinction. Photo courtesy of Evelyn Rossetti-Ryan

East Haven’s Evelyn Rossetti-Ryan of ACES Earns Excellence in Advocacy Award from Quinnipiac Chamber

Published Jan. 27, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Growing up in New Haven, Evelyn Rossetti-Ryan was always interested in the many aspects of education and communication. She loved poetry, learning new languages, connecting with people, and raising awareness for various causes.

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East Haven Courier

Joe Ciscone has served the Town of East Haven as a firefighter in different capacities for more than three decades. Photo courtesy of Joe Ciscone

Joe Ciscone Fulfills Childhood Dream of Becoming a Firefighter

Published Jan. 20, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Ever since he can remember, Joe Ciscone has been drawn to firefighting.

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East Haven Courier

Growing up in East Haven, Giana Fazzino is excited to return to her childhood alma maters as a social worker. Photo courtesy of Giana Fazzino

EHPS Social Worker Giana Fazzino Returns to Her Roots

Published Jan. 13, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Giana Fazzino has always loved school, reading, and writing. She has fond memories of her early years at Carbone Elementary School (now East Haven Academy) and East Haven Middle School.

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East Haven Courier

Eric Casner, aka DJ Cassinova, brought his love of music to others as a quarantine DJ in the early COVID days and has recently seen a return of community support in a time of need. Photo courtesy of Eric Casner

Eric Casner Sees Community Giving Come Full Circle

Published Jan. 06, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Eric Casner has always made helping others a priority and whenever he could lend a hand to those in need, he took the opportunity. Having recently had an accident that resulted in two surgeries and nerve damage throughout his leg, Eric has seen that community support come back to him and his family.

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East Haven Courier

Inspired by her mother’s cancer treatments and the other women met at the hospital, Gianna Kasynak organized a fundraiser to benefit Yale’s Breast Cancer Awareness floor. Photo courtesy of Gianna Kasynak

Gianna Kasynak Hosts Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser

Published Dec. 23, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Over the past few years, Gianna Kasynak’s family has faced a number of health challenges.

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East Haven Courier

Mayor Joe Carfora recently appointed Tom Murtagh to the East Haven Board of Education. Photo courtesy of Tom Murtagh

Tom Murtagh Looks Forward to Giving Back on BOE

Published Dec. 16, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When a seat recently opened on the East Haven Board of Education (BOE), Mayor Joe Carfora reflected on the mission of the BOE, the future of East Haven schools, and the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 as he decided who would be appointed.

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