‘Tireless Caring, Devotion and Love’: Friends Remember Steve Benko; Town Renames Waveny Pool in His Honor

Bea Watkins got to know Steve Benko at New Canaan High School in the late-1960s, and for the last 11 years has worked for him as office manager of the town’s Recreation Department. There at the Rec offices in Waveny House, they often reminisced about mutual friends, parties and weddings, as well as Watkins’s brother, Lem, who’d worked for Benko one summer years ago. “I have always been in awe of Steve’s work ethic and proud to be on his team,” Watkins told NewCanaanite.com in an email when asked for her thoughts on Benko. “He always took such pride in everything he and our crew has had to accomplish for the residents in terms of activities, programs, and facilities. With the recent influx of new residents who continue to voice how astonished they are with all that the Recreation Department and the town has to offer, I know that it is largely due to the hard work and effort of Steve.”

Calling Benko “Mr. New Canaan,” Watkins remembered her friend as singularly passionate about the town and what it offers. “I always enjoyed sharing thoughts and ideas with Steve and a good argument was exciting as well,” she said.

‘Committed and Compassionate’: Diane Murphy-Kivell To Retire After 39 Years as NCHS Athletic Trainer

New Canaan High School senior Callum Wood, co-captain of the varsity boys’ lacrosse team, had already dislocated his knee once when the injury re-occurred the day before a game versus St. Joe’s during his sophomore year, in 2019. After Wood popped the knee back into place, NCHS Athletic Trainer Diane Murphy-Kivell helped him ice it and “deal with everything, gave me pointers on what to do and where to go for physical therapy,” he recalled. “Every single day she would let me go in, even though she technically didn’t have to help me,” Wood told NewCanaanite.com. “There are a lot of other kids with other injuries that would be playing, so she kind of has to take care of them, too.”

Wood is one of thousands of NCHS athletes that Murphy-Kivell has helped through nearly four decades of service in a job that demands skill, care, commitment and passion.

Nine NCHS Student-Athletes Sign Letters of Intent To Play Sports in College

Nine New Canaan High School seniors on Monday signed early Letters of Intent to play sports in college starting next year. The photos below are from socially distanced signing ceremonies overseen by NCHS Athletic Director Jay Egan, held throughout the morning and early afternoon at Waveny House. 

“When I attend these ceremonies I am always struck by how emotional this moment in time is for our athletes and their families,” Egan said. “In many instances these college commitments represent the  culmination of many years of sacrifice and dedication. It is very gratifying to watch our athletes realize their lifelong dreams.”

We asked the student-athletes why they chose their future schools, and put their responses next to photos where provided. 

Henry Benton

University of Wisconsin
Crew (coxswain)
NCHS coach: Sharon Kriz
Also recruited by: Bucknell, Cornell
“I chose Wisconsin because of the academic prestige of the university, partnered with the supportive alumni community, it provides a great launch pad for a career. In addition the university provides extensive resources and support for its student athletes.