‘A Lot of Projects Going On’: New Canaan Land Trust Hires New Executive Director

A New Canaan nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving natural open space in the town has hired a Connecticut native and Yale School of Forestry graduate as its new executive director. Aaron Lefland took over the New Canaan Land Trust role on Friday, officials said. As executive director, Lefland will be in charge of the Land Trust’s 70 parcels of land, covering 389 acres. The organization also is seeking accreditation now with the National Land Trust Organization. “I just love being outdoors,” Lefland told NewCanaanite.com.

New Canaan High School Hosts Annual Assembly to Recognize Accomplishments of Students

On June 2, New Canaan High School hosted its annual Recognition Assembly where a number of seniors and juniors were recognized for their achievements thus far in high school. Hundreds of parents, students, and faculty gathered in the school’s auditorium to recognize the individuals who have excelled in certain areas throughout high school. Below is a list of the awards, along with the recipients. OVERALL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

National Merit Finalist: Each year more than a million high school students participate in the National Merit Scholarship testing program. Of this group, only one-half of one percent in each state is recognized as “National Merit Finalists,” a designation that comes only as a result of a record of distinguished achievement and a high potential for continued academic accomplishment.

‘I Could Not Stop Smiling’: Emily Thompson Receives 2nd Annual ‘Kelly Devine Scholarship Award’

Kelly Devine taught English at New Canaan High School and—by all accounts—was a friend to most everyone she met. As a Norwalk teen, she excelled as an athlete as well as a scholar, and nurtured a passion for books and reading. On April 7, 2016, she passed away suddenly, sending reverberations through the public schools and wider New Canaan community. Since then, those who knew Kelly Devine have established a series of remembrances, in the form of a memorial bench out front of the school, a dual New Canaan-Norwalk swim meet, an award for a NCHS senior and a mural with pictures and letters. There’s also a Kelly Devine Scholarship Fund, created by her parents Jay and Cathy, that benefits a college-bound Norwalk High School senior each year.

‘Good Weather is Coming’: Local Businesses Hope for Warmer, More Inviting Weather

With temperatures ranging from the mid-40’s to high-70’s, this spring’s weather has kept New Canaanites guessing—perhaps no group more so than local merchants. Local businesses have been feeling the effects unusual weather patterns, and though customers are still walking around, buying clothes and eating out, merchants are hoping that consistently summer-like temps arrive soon. Despina Tsartsabalidis, manager of the New Canaan Diner on Forest Street, said that the unusual weather has slowed down business due to customers preferring to sit inside, decreasing the amount of seating available. “It has affected the outside business,” Tsartsabalidis said. “Right now, it’s cold, no one is gonna sit outside, even though we have the heaters.

‘It’s Really Good TV’: New Canaan’s Rich Riley Co-Produces Game Show ‘Beat Shazam,’ Premiering Thursday Night on FOX

New Canaan residents have accomplished a great deal, creating landmark homes, beloved books, memorable films and timeless music. This week, the town can add ‘primetime network TV game shows’ to that list. Rich Riley is the CEO of Shazam, the wildly popular music app used over 20 million times per day, and one of the executive producers of “Beat Shazam,” which will premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday on FOX. To be hosted by Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, the new and highly anticipated “Name That Tune”-type show integrates Shazam’s mobile app in unique ways, opening a new level of home viewers’ participation through technology. “I feel great,” Riley said.