Litchfield schools prepared for Tuesday opening
Litchfield High School nurse Theresa Simaitis sings with the faculty and staff band Howie Roll during convocation on Wednesday. Below, interim superintendent of schools Herbert Pandiscio addresses the gathering. BZ photos
The school year, as usual got off to a rocking start for Litchfield faculty and staff on Wednesday.
Convocation at the intermediate school auditorium meant a performance by Howie Roll, the faculty and staff band fronted by lead singer Theresa Simaitis. Others in the band were Litchfield High School Principal Kristen Della Volpe on lead guitar, high school music teacher Dan Porri on bass, high school social studies teacher Alex Schwartz on drums, high school music teacher Peter Perkins on keyboard, and high school guidance secretary Tammy Knox and retired teacher Mary Perreira on backup vocals.
Convocation was the time for faculty and staff to meet interim school superintendent Herbert Pandiscio, interim director of business operations Arthur Poole and new director of special services, Michele Mongeau, who had been a teacher in the district for several years.
Pandiscio was superintendent in Avon for 25 years before retiring. In retirement, he has held several interim positions, owns a superintendent search firm, and is a published author. His search firm is conducting the search for a new superintendent in Litchfield. Poole is a retired school business manager and, like Pandiscio, has enjoyed a second career filling interim positions.
"If you ask us for something, we won't say we don't know or we can't do it," Pandiscio said of himself and Poole. "Instead, we'll do our best to get it for you."
Center School Principal Sherri Turner, intermediate school Principal Jennifer Murphy and high school Principal Kristen Della Volpe introduced new faculty and staff in their schools. The schools will open on Tuesday.
First Selectman Leo Paul Jr. and Center School kindergarten teacher Lori Schneider also spoke. Paul welcomed faculty and staff and Schneider spoke as the district's teacher of the year for 2014.
"Remember to smile, because it may be just what a student or a colleague needs on a particular day," Schneider said in dispending tidbits of advice.
New teachers are:
Amanda Failla will teach health at the intermediate school. Failla has a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Ithaca College.
Nada Noujaim will teach first grade at Center School. Noujaim has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Hartford and a master's degree in educational technology from St. Joseph University.
Jane Pappas will teach French at the high school. She has a bachelor's degree in French and romance philology from Columbia University and master's degree in music from New York University.
Aryn Kavanaugh will teach English at the high school. She taught in Waterbury for 12 years and has a bachelor's degree in education and English from Ohio University and a master's degree in holistic thinking from The Graduate Institute.
Susan Duffany will teach special education at the high school after six years in the field in Waterbury schools. She has a bachelor's degree in special education from Wayne State University.
Karen Tesch (above) and Traci Wells (below) are new guidance counselors. Tesch, who will be at the intermediate school, has a bachelor's degree in social work from Southern Connecticut State University and a master's degree in school counseling from Central Connecticut State University. Wells, who worked in Waterbury schools for 12 years, will be at the high school. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University and a master's degree in school counseling from Western Connecticut State University.
Ashley Roberts is the new early intervention instructor at the high school. She taught in Hartford and West Hartford and has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Hartford and a master's degree in special education from the University of Hartford.
Teacher of the Year Lori Schneider
Dan Porri on bass
Kristen Della Volpe on lead guitar
Tammy Knox, left, and Mary Perreira on backup vocals
Alex Schwartz on drums
Peter Perkins on keyboard
The hallways at the intermediate school are shining as they await the arrival of students on Tuesday.