NCHS Students Awarded at Annual Senior Recognition Assembly

Friday marked New Canaan High School’s annual Senior Recognition Ceremony, where emcee Assistant Principal Ari Rothman awarded outstanding Juniors and seniors for their various achievements. Congratulations to all— what follows is a brief description of awards and their corresponding recipients:

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. CAROLINE CALLAHAN

National Hispanic Scholar

The National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP) identifies academically outstanding Hispanic/Latino high school students. Each year, the NHRP honors nearly 5,000 of the highest-scoring students from the approximately 235,000 Hispanic/Latino juniors who take the PSAT/NMSQT


Fairfield County Association of Secondary Schools Principal’s Scholar Leader Awards


Connecticut Association of Boards of Education Student Leadership Award
An ability to recognize the needs of others, a willingness to take on difficult challenges and a capacity for making difficult decisions, ability to work with and direct others, and the ability to honor commitments – these are the attributes for which this award was established.

Record-High 94 Percent of NCHS Seniors To Enter Internship Program

This spring, 289 New Canaan High School seniors will participate in an increasingly popular internship program that sends the students to work for the last month of the academic year at local and area businesses and organizations. The figure represents about 94 percent of the Class of 2018—marking a high point in the history of a program that launched with just a dozen NCHS seniors in 2011. Heather Bianco, coordinator of the Senior Internship Program, attributed the rise in popularity of ‘SIP’ its many benefits for students. “It just gives them experience out of school in a work environment that they don’t get in school and a lot of them have not had a job before, so it just gives a professional environment where they can get a real-life work experience,” Bianco, who is in her second full year of overseeing the program, told Here’s a look at its growth (article continues below):


Bianco took the reins from Sue Carroll, who as coordinator of the College and Career Center at NCHS had overseen the development and first several years of SIP with help from a volunteer steering committee.

New Canaan High School Recognizes Accomplishments of Students at Annual Assembly

Hundreds of New Canaan High School parents, students and faculty members on Wednesday morning gathered in the auditorium to honor more than 130 seniors and juniors at the annual Recognition Assembly. A day to recognize the achievements of NCHS students—and to recall members of the school and wider community, some deceased, as several awards are named for them—the event marks “one of those days where these kids make us look very, very good,” said Vice Principal Ari Rothman, who emceed the ceremony. “We are all very proud of their accomplishments,” he said. This year marked the first-ever award named for beloved New Canaan Public Schools teacher Kelly Devine, who died suddenly April 7 at age 36. In a moment that earned a standing ovation from many of those in the crowd, her parents, Jay and Cathy, and two of her siblings, Kevin and Kim (she also is survived by brothers Robert and Daniel) handed out the award to recognize Kelly’s “work, her infectious spirit and her passion for literature and reading.”

What follows is a list of all awards, with descriptions where available, and recipients:


National Merit Finalist: Each year more than a million high school students participate in the National Merit Scholarship testing program.

Administrators Formalize New NCHS Student Requirements for Popular ‘Ramstock’ Music Festival

The New Canaan High School Student Coalition and administrators this year formalized a rule requiring that at least one-half of the players in bands participating in an annual music festival be current NCHS students. The rule, now appearing on flyers and informational emails for Ramstock, existed on an ad hoc basis for years. It has opened a rift between some students and teachers, according to NCHS Student Coalition leader Priscilla Schulz. “The participants should go to New Canaan High School,” Schulz said. “I’m sure that those students that are in bands with others not going to the high school don’t like the rule, but I definitely understand why the rule was put in place.”

Advocates for the policy say that Ramstock is meant to showcase the talents and passions of NCHS students only.

New Canaan Marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month [VIDEO]

Dede Bartlett-New Canaan Marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month
For a sweeping view of domestic violence’s prevalence here, our town may not need the 1,000 purple pinwheels now stuck into the knoll outside Vine Cottage, each representing a resident who called New Canaan Police in the past decade because of violence in their homes, according to one local expert. To know just what domestic violence looks like, New Canaan also doesn’t need to recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Dede Bartlett, co-chair of the New Canaan Domestic Violence Partnership, said Wednesday morning. “I think Ray Rice has done that for us,” Bartlett told dozens of New Canaan High School students who gathered in the main lobby with teachers, faculty, administrators, SROs and town officials for a proclamation reading. “How many of you saw the video clip of the Baltimore Ravens football player punch his girlfriend, knock her out and drag her by the hair out of the elevator?” Bartlett said, prompting everyone to raise a hand. “Yes, you, me and about 50 million other Americans saw that tape, and maybe for a whole lot of folks, it was the first time that they saw what domestic violence looked like.