NCHS Senior Interns Continue in Town Hall Positions After Graduation

Before starting his New Canaan High School Senior Internship in the Department of Public Works, Kevin O’Brien Brunner said he never thought about how the town ran. “I just assumed that things happened,” Brunner said on a sunny afternoon last week. “Being able to actually work here, I not only get to see what’s behind the curtain—how it actually runs—but I also get to meet the real people with real lives who are making it run,” he said. The NCHS Senior Internship Program has grown in its nine years that nearly all seniors participate in it. What’s more rare is for those college-bound teens to work the summer after graduating NCHS at their internship sites.

‘Create Something You Truly Believe In’: NCHS Grad Founds Spirits Company

While visiting his father last year, James Mauk was struck with inspiration for a business of his own. Son of the man who founded popular New Canaan restaurant Tequila Mockingbird, Mauk noticed a sign behind the kitchen sink at his dad’s Pound Ridge, N.Y. home that said ‘The Golden Rule’—a reference to the age-old maxim that you should do unto others as you would have others do unto you. 

Mauk, who graduated from New Canaan High School in 2006—playing lacrosse for the Rams all four years—and then Colorado College, had been feeling disillusioned with the food and beverage industry after working in it for several years in Colorado and California. On seeing the sign, Mauk recalled, he began to wonder what it would mean “if all industries approached business in this way—you did something that you really believed in and thought was the right way to do something.”

From that idea, Mauk’s new venture, Golden Rule Spirits, was born. That was 18 months ago. Since then, Mauk and his business partner—cousin and New Canaan native Hunter Sprole—developed their first product, a canned margarita cocktail based on a recipe developed by his father, Paul Mauk, for Tequila Mockingbird. 

“I didn’t understand why there weren’t options for true cocktails in a can,” Mauk said.

‘A Safe Place To Nest’: Local Teen’s Project Aims To Help New Canaan Bats

A local teen’s Girl Scout Gold Award project has seen the creation and installation of nesting habitats in three New Canaan parks for a largely misunderstood and threatened mammal. Celia Sokolowski, a 2019 graduate from New Canaan High School has hung five bat houses in trees at Kiwanis, Mead and Waveny Parks. 

A Girl Scout since the first grade, Sokolowski completed the project for her Gold Award, the highest achievement possible in the organization. To receive a Gold Award, candidates must complete 80 hours of service, Sokolowski said. She added that the project must be sustainable, and it must educate the public on an issue the candidate is passionate about. Sokolowski, who is headed to Indiana University in the fall to study business, had the idea to hang the bat houses after taking an AP environmental science class during her senior year at NCHS.