NCHS Senior Shawna Ferraro Breaks School Record in 1600

Shawna Ferraro knew that the New Canaan High School record in the 1600 meter run was 5:14.40, and that she’d missed it by five one-hundredths of a second during a Feb. 19 qualifier for the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships. “I was incredibly disappointed and upset, because it’s been a goal of mine for so long to break the record, and to be that close was frustrating,” the NCHS senior recalled Monday. 

Immediately after finishing the race, Ferraro said, she thought to herself, “There is no way I’m walking away from my senior season coming that close to breaking it and not breaking it.”

But there was a problem: Finding a sanctioned track-and-field meet where she’d have another chance. Ferraro and NCHS Girls Track and Field Coach Jeffrey Brentson searched for one, and eventually she found a meet to be held Sunday, Feb. 26 at Boston University.

‘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 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 “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.