Litchfield News





Northwestern Connecticut Community College
Northwestern Connecticut Community College’s 51st Commencement was held on Thursday, May 25, 2017, at the Warner Theatre in Torrington. NCCC honored 223 students receiving 253 degrees and/or certificates.
The Commencement Address was delivered by David G. Oyanadel, a graduate of NCCC, who is also Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Innovative Diffusion LLC, a company involved in installing solar panels in remote areas of Africa, and ARsome Technology Group, that is developing augmented reality technology, which could have significant value for the medical field, as well as other fields.
Name Degree Major Town
Briana Brown CERT HOME CHILD CARE Litchfield
Dara L. Wallinger AS Nursing - CT - CCNP Northfield
Donald Curtiss AS ENGINEERING SCIENCE Northfield
Erika R. Spino AS GENERAL STUDIES Goshen
Gretchen Donnelly AS Nursing - CT - CCNP Litchfield
Gunnar William Schuster AS CRIMINAL JUSTICE Goshen
Jenna Sue O'Dell AS BUS & MGMT: MARKETING & SALES Morris
Jeremy Gleeson Marchand AA LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCE Goshen
Jessica Lynn Varley AS LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCE Warren
Kelsey Elizabeth Morris AS GENERAL STUDIES Morris
Kelsey Elizabeth Morris CERT GRAPHIC DESIGN Morris
Marcus R. Sanford AS LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCE Northfield
Nicholas Daniel Killmer AS GENERAL STUDIES Goshen
Nicole Catherine Koenig AS Environ Sci: Natural Res Opt Goshen
Rebecca Louise Kowalski AS GENERAL STUDIES Goshen
For more information, please go to the college’s website:, or call (860) 738-6300. 
Road to Recovery Leads to NCCC
for Student of the Year
and Commencement Speaker
Jeremy Marchand (Goshen) modestly refers to his last two successful years at Northwestern Connecticut Community College as “a pathway that has led to many new opportunities.” But the story of how he got to NCCC involves a very long, rough road back.
Jeremy Marchand ~ contributed
After graduating from high school more than 15 years ago with competitive swimming record including two all-American titles, three all-state titles, and several state and league records, the talented Marchand was prepared to attend college at the University of Rhode Island and continue his swimming career and his studies. But a severe car accident and traumatic brain injury with residual complications prematurely cut short his studies, his competitive swimming career, and almost his life.
Resolve and determination, along with abundant family support, sustained him through a lengthy 15 year recovery, which included numerous set-backs. Throughout this time, he still made several attempts to return to college, never letting go of his goal of continuing his education.
In the spring of 2015, with recovery finally behind him, Marchand returned to NCCC on the Fresh Start Program, which allows students who have been away from the college for two or more years and have a low grade point average the opportunity to return to college and be successful. Marchand received an ‘A’ on his entrance exam, tentatively took two courses that first spring and then kept going, fully confident he could continue and succeed.
Marchand, 35, will graduate this May with an Associate in Science degree. During the past year he served as vice-president of leadership for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honor society for two year institutions. He also served as president of the History Association, and president and treasurer of the NCCC Journalism Club, as well as serving as an active member with a local Toastmaster’s Club.
He has been awarded several scholarships including the prestigious PTK Bronze Scholar award for the All USA Team, finishing in the top 150 out of 1,700 applicants nationwide. He has also been voted Student of The Year by NCCC faculty and staff and will deliver the 2017 student commencement speech at NCCC’s Commencement ceremonies on May 25, at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT.
“NCCC was the greatest thing after my recovery,” says Marchand. “NCCC leveled me and became my life. It offered me an opportunity and now I see everything as an opportunity.”
Marchand, who could always be seen around campus dressed in traditional business attire of khaki pants and button down shirts, has made a large impact on campus with students, faculty and staff, as well as with the community. Always willing to engage fellow students in discussion or activities, Marchand feels strongly that whether as a club member or leader, it is important to foster participation and get other students involved. “NCCC is not just about academics but also about meeting people and getting involved,” he says. “I love the community that NCCC provides. It is a mutual relationship.”
Although very modest about his swim records, recovery challenges, and academic success, Marchand’s tenacity and perseverance is apparent in everything he is passionate about. He says he learned that from his parents and grandparents who taught him two very important values which he continues to adhere to: If you are going to do something; do it right, and, leave something better than how you found it.
Part of Marchand’s legacy for NCCC is his extensive leadership and work with his fellow PTK members to start a food pantry on campus for students. “First and foremost, it will help alleviate food insecurity on NCCC's campus,” says Marchand, “that idea alone is a heartwarming feeling; knowing that something is being done to help people who are in need of assistance is gratifying and rewarding.”
The goal is to have the food bank open on campus by the fall 2017 semester. Several community college campuses in Connecticut already have food pantries including Tunxis Community College in Bristol, and Norwalk Community College. “It's important to have a food bank on this campus,” Marchand says, “especially after doing the research and finding that there is a prevalence of students nationwide, and at NCCC, with food insecurity.” 
Besides academics and community involvement, Marchand says he is also very passionate about being outdoors in all seasons and continues to find refuge in swimming. “The pool has been a home and a way of life, a sanctuary and a pathway,” he says,  “even after so many years removed from the accident and all that has transpired, I feel surrounded by a familiarity, a comfort that comes immediately upon entering the water. I feel at home in the water. I always have.”
After making NCCC his academic home for the last two years, Marchand says he is ready to take on the next academic challenge. “I am very thankful for the amount of energy NCCC has for its students. The academics are tough and you come out of NCCC well prepared to continue with your education. Professors take the time to prepare you for the next level, to be ready for the next level.”
The next level for Marchand will be Trinity College, where he plans to attend in the fall. “I may go on for a master’s degree after I earn my bachelor’s but I am leaving that open for now,” he says, adding that he would like to find a role in public speaking, perhaps as a speech writer in a public relations capacity. “The story has a happy ending,” he says, “but - it has not nearly ended.”
White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center
Awards Wamogo Agricultural Science and Technology Students
for Extraordinary Volunteer Support
Wamogo Agriculture Science and Technology Department Staff and Students attending White Memorial’s Annual Dinner and 2017 recipient of White Memorial Foundation’s Conservation Award L-R: Christopher Brittain (teacher), Ireland Kennedy, Amber Andrews, Rachelle Talbot, and Charles Rowland (Department Coordinator). ~ photos contributed
White Memorial Board Members and Staff invited several Wamogo students and teachers to their annual dinner to award them the White Memorial Foundation’s Conservation Award on May 5th.  Students from Wamogo’s Agricultural Science Education program have volunteered at least 10,000 hours over the past 10 years to White Memorial. The museum’s live-animal exhibits receive care from students every day of the week.
“I learned how to manage my time”, says Amber Andrews, a Wamogo 12th grade student, who assists with animal care and teaches students in educational programs offered throughout the calendar. Students assist White Memorial’s Research and Conservation staff throughout the entire year.  Where they learn about a variety of natural resources, including how to identify and monitor critical wildlife species, recognize and manage invasive species, and learn how White Memorial’s lands provides ecosystem services which sustain clean air, water, and healthy soils for future generations. 
Ireland Kennedy, a Wamogo 12th grade student, stated, “I learned how to identify different types of species like birds of prey by the shape of their wings.”  Currently, over 50 students graduate from the program annually. Students are taught by 6 professionals who impart an agricultural-based curriculum that includes: Natural Resources, Ag. Mechanics, Livestock Veterinary, Food, Plant, and Animal Sciences. 
Many of Wamogo’s students who have volunteered at White Memorial have attended college and are pursuing careers as natural resource professionals. “Volunteering at White Memorial helped me realize what I wanted to do for my future career, the time invested and hands on experience truly did help me feel comfortable in this field and become more confident in my work,” stated Rachelle Talbot, a Wamogo 12th grade student. 
Board President Arthur Diedrick (left) awards the White Memorial Foundation’s Conservation Award to Christopher Brittain, Wamogo Agriculture Science and Technology Teacher.  
The White Memorial Foundation Conservation Award was established in 1964 to honor an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the environment. To date, 19 organizations and 28 individuals have received this recognition. The award is a bronze rendering of a beaver, White Memorial’s symbol, designed by the late artist Peggy Reventlow.  The award is presented at White Memorial’s annual dinner.
This year’s award was presented by White Memorial’s Board President, Arthur Diedrick, who remarked, “The students are the heart of our volunteer corps. Their daily service is the primary reason why White Memorial has built upon and expanded it’s programming over the past decade.” 
Wamogo Agriculture Science and Technology Teacher, Christopher Brittain received the award on behalf of the department and acknowledged, “The students have benefited by this collaboration and we appreciate such a wonderful place across the street from the school where they can learn about the environment.” ~ contributed
Teach with Foothills Adult & Continuing Education
Do you have a skill, expertise, or talent to share? EdAdvance's Foothills Adult & Continuing Education seeks enrichment teachers for the Fall 2017 semester. Whether your skills are in the area of health and wellness, technology, science, or the arts, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about joining our team of instructors.
We offer evening classes at the following locations: Torrington High School, Terryville High School, Pomperaug High School, Woodbury Middle School, Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Northwestern Regional High School, and EdAdvance's Litchfield campus. We also offer daytime classes at EdAdvance's Litchfield and Danbury campuses.
The Foothills Adult & Continuing Education course brochure is distributed each fall and spring to over 75,000 residences across northwest CT. Contact us today at 1.800.300.4781 to learn more about joining our team of instructors. To learn more about Foothills Adult & Continuing Education, please visit
EdAdvance Programs
Registration is now open for EdAdvance School Age Programs’ 2017-18 BASES School Year and 2017 Summer Adventure Programs
Registration for the 2017 - 2018 BASES (Before and After School Enrichment Services) is now open. EdAdvance’s School Age Programs provide safe, healthy, and enriching before and after school programs for elementary and middle school students within their own school district during the school year. Parents can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their child is receiving quality, affordable care that is tailored to their developmental needs and seamlessly integrated with diverse academic and social enrichment experiences.
BASES before and after school programs are conveniently located in school buildings and are available to students in Barkhamsted, Brookfield, Region 10/Harwinton, Litchfield, New Hartford, Newtown, Torrington, and Region 14/Woodbury.
EdAdvance’s School Age Programs is once again offering full day Summer Adventure Programs for children ages 5-12, currently attending Kindergarten to grade 6. Summer Adventure Programs are provided Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., during the summer months. Each week is devoted to a different theme that will peak each child’s curiosity and creativity through hands on, engaging enrichment activities. There is also an exciting field trip each week, as well as swimming twice per week. Our Summer Adventure Programs are located in Newtown and Torrington this year.
Registration is now open. Please visit to register for these programs. For more information, please contact the School Age Programs Administrative Team at: or 860.567.0863 ext. 167.
EdAdvance Announces Student Scholarship Winners
For twenty years, EdAdvance has awarded annual scholarships to high school seniors and GED students in our service area based on their responses to an essay.  This year, respondents were asked to describe an instance when they used their time and talents to serve their own school or community as a volunteer or leader.  
EdAdvance received 48 scholarship applications; 24 from the southern region, and 24 from the northern region. Essays were judged based on clarity, example of talent, motivation, future plans, grammar, and were limited to 500 words. Winning essays made a strong connection between each student’s contribution and the positive impact his or her actions had on people or institutions in their community.  
The southern region winners are:
- Sonia Barrios, Danbury High school, who will be attending Northeastern University, majoring in biology.
- Arielle Rosenthal,  Bethel High School, who will be attending McGill University, majoring in political science/international development.
The northern region winners are: 
- Erica Morrison, Torrington High School, who will be attending Syracuse University, majoring in business/communications.
- Shelby Luminati, Housatonic Valley Regional High School, who will be attending the University of Maine at Machias, majoring in marine biology.
In 2017, EdAdvance increased the amount of each scholarship award to $1,500. The 2018 scholarship application will be available in January 2018 and all area students are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact EdAdvance at
In accordance with Connecticut State Law (34 CFR §300.573), Litchfield Public Schools will destroy all special education records of any former student with a birthdate of 1992 or earlier. Former students and/or parents who have guardianship/conservatorship interested in obtaining these records must contact the Department of Special Services at the Litchfield Board of Education at 860-567-7505 by May 15, 2017. Records will be destroyed after June 1, 2017.
The Litchfield Board of Education will destroy the confidential special education records of former students who have either graduated or were dismissed from special education services with birthdates of 1992 or earlier.  Written notification will be mailed to the students’ last known address.
This destruction is permitted by Connecticut State Law (34 CFR §300.573). Confidential records include referral to special education, PPT/IEP records, psychoeducational evaluations, speech/language evaluations, psychological testing and reports, and correspondence with other agencies related to special education or special services. These records may be needed in the future for Social Security benefits or other purposes. Anyone wishing to obtain his/her confidential records must call the Litchfield Board of Education, Special Services Department at 860-567-7505, before May 15, 2017. 
LEF brings Minds in Motion program to Litchfield (04-24-17)
Litchfield Education Foundation Treasurer Kathleen Reidy, left, and LEF President Michele Saunders review the schedule for the Minds in Motion program held at Litchfield High School on Saturday.
Below, Bantam Bread Co. owner Niles Golovin and his daughter, Amanda, demonstrated bread-making during the program. BZ photos
The Litchfield Education Foundation brought the popular Minds in Motion workshop series to Litchfield on Saturday.
The event at the high school drew 183 children between kindergarten and the eighth grade for an afternoon of interesting programs designed to educate. Minds in Motion is a program of the Connecticut Association for the Gifted offering hands-on workshops for children.
The event was designed to enrich and encourage curious students and featured 26 workshops led by mostly local volunteers.
LEF Treasurer Kathleen Reidy organized the second annual fundraiser for the organization.
“Last year, my children participated in Minds in Motion workshops in Fairfield County and I was so impressed with the event and its positive impact on my two daughters,” Reidy said. “It inspired me to help bring Minds in Motion to Litchfield.”
There were also workshops for parents and teachers well as a keynote address, “Mindfulness in Parenting,” presented by Amanda Votto, a mindfulness-based stress reduction teacher.
Denis Williamson of Morris led a workshop in astronomy.
Marlow Shami of Goshen leads an art workshop.
Eager students learned about surgery.
Ron and Lorin Celella led a workshop in veterinary science.
Orthopedic physician's assistant Steve Saunders demonstrates his sewing skills on a pig's heart.
Parents attend a workshop on mindful parenting.