Updated: SPS Shout Outs

Week of June 1, 2020
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What is an SPS Shout Out?
An SPS Shout Out is a special recognition that acknowledges school communities, staff members or students who have inspired us with a unique project, an outstanding job or a special effort that had a positive impact on our students or community.  Each week we will celebrate a few by sharing with all SPS staff and posting on the district website. Please share any or all of these with your friends and families.   
SPS Shout Outs from the Week of June 1
APPLES Teacher Brie O'Bryan Named Outstanding Special Education Preschool Teacher
Congratulations to APPLES Teacher Brie O’Bryan for being named an Outstanding Special Education Preschool Teacher by the Connecticut Parent Teacher Association.  Brie was nominated for this award by the APPLES parent community.  Brie works tirelessly on behalf of all the students, staff and families of APPLES. During distance learning, Brie has supported the school with technology assistance, her colleagues with lesson planning ideas and her students with daily lessons both in email and through Zoom. She also stays connected with them through weekly "goodie" bags she delivers to student homes on Sundays.  Congratulations Brie and thank you for inspiring us all with your dedication to our SPS students!
KT Murphy Students Read with the Police
Assistant Principal, Jaimie Fisco helped launch a new read-aloud program for Kindergarteners at KT Murphy Elementary School.  Stamford Police Officer Frambiel Rodriguez approached the school about supporting the youngest students.  Office Rodriguez read to students, while a member of the bomb squad introduced students to his Canine partner.  Students are enjoying the Zoom meetings, and SPS is excited to recognize this unique partnership with the police department. 
Northeast Celebrates “Show Us Your Mask”
Each week, Northeast Elementary School students have the opportunity to show their school spirit and share a moment with their fellow students during Mr. Bianco’s morning announcements on YouTube.  Students submit photos of themselves and family members wearing hand-decorated and creative facemasks.  Thank you for you adhering to safety guidelines and showing us all how Northeast students Rise and Shine.  As the song on the video exclaims … we are all in this together!
Stillmeadow Students Dance at Virtual Field Day
Last Friday, Stillmeadow ElementarySchool Staff organized a virtual Field Day to provide students with an opportunity to engage and interact while enjoying games, dancing and other activities.  Events were posted online, and students were able to complete them anytime during the day.  The school hosted a google meets picnic lunch, followed by a dance party from 12:00-1:00pm. Thank you to Mrs. Anker and Ms. Paolino for explaining the process and to Fano and Decarlo for helping to make the video!  It was a great day for all!
Rogers Community Supports Families in Need
The Rogers PTO has generously provided over $5,000 in ShopRite gift cards to 25 Rogers families struggling during this challenging time.  Support for these families has been ongoing throughout the pandemic.  Roger's Paraprofessional Alicia Hernandez has helped coordinate the effort by acting as a liaison between the PTO and the Rogers families in need.  The RIS PTO has truly embraced the IB Mission of developing "inquiring, knowledgeable and caring individuals who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
HS Debaters Finish the Year Strong
This past Saturday, 27 students from AITE, Stamford High and Westhill participated in the final Connecticut Debate Association tournament for the year, along with 140 students from high schools across the state.  The tournament is the culmination of an extremely successful year for our SPS debate teams. In a show of Stamford strength and pride, SPS students swept the top five speaker awards in the Varsity division for the State of Connecticut. Winning debaters included:
  • 1st Place Speaker, Gaurov Bansal, WHS         
  • 2nd Place Speaker, Ryan Shoztic, SHS
  • 3rd Place Speaker, Aron Ravin, SHS    
  • 4th Place Speaker, Lexi Boccuzzi, WHS           
  • 5th Place Speaker, Anissa Jahaj, WHS
Stamford students represented nine of the top 20 varsity debaters, and Emmy Sigtryggsson (SHS) took first speaker award in the Novice division. Stamford students won four of the six previous CDA tournaments in which our schools participated; winning teams included:
  • Westhill Seniors Lexi Boccuzzi and Gaurov Bansal were awarded Tournament Champion in March, as well as last December. 
  • There was no final round at the January tournament due to the system problems, but the first place team in Varsity was the AITE team of Cieniawa and Lichtenberg, followed by the SHS team of Ravin and Gewali.
  • Stamford High Seniors Aron Ravin and Ed Zelikman were also awarded Tournament Champion last November.                                
Congratulations to all Stamford Debate participants and a special shout out to our coaches, Mr. Morest at AITE, Mr. White at Stamford High, Mr. Petrone at Westhill and our middle school debate coach, Mr. Dalton. Thank you for your skills and dedication!
SHS Celebrates National Decision Day
The Stamford High School Counseling Department helped their graduates share their excitement and share their plans for next year.  Counselors asked students to send photos or videos of themselves in clothing that represented their plans – military, community college, university, trade school, work force and more! SHS celebrated National Decision Day virtually on Monday, June 1, 2020. See the complete list of announcements on Twitter @StamfordHigh2020!
AITE Students Re-create Supreme Court
The 5th Annual AITE Moot Supreme Court was held this week via Zoom.  Students acted as attorneys for the petitioners and respondents in the court case Urso v. Lamont, which challenges the constitutionality of Connecticut Governor Lamont’s executive order requiring the wearing of masks in public during the COVID-19 crisis. The nine justices of the Supreme Court, also played by students, listened to the attorneys’ arguments and asked difficult questions. The format was virtually identical to that used recently by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Westhill Coaches Welcome New Athletes Virtually
On June 4, Westhill High School held its annual "Meet the Coaches" night.  Due to restrictions, the event was held online. During this meeting, incoming 9th grade students, who are  interested in the athletic programs, and their parents/guardians learned about the different sports and levels offered, academic eligibility policies, sports registration and facilities.  Thank you to Mr. Cerone for answering questions and supporting our future athletes.     
These are a just a sample of the types of programs, activities and initiatives that are happening across our community.  We appreciate everyone’s efforts and encourage all to continue to do what you can to support our students in mind, body and heart.  To submit a student, staff member or program to be considered for a SPS Shout Out, please email your building administrator.