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Kyle Walker to Compete in National Championship Snowboarding Events

March 28, 2016 Community, Schools, Sports No Comments
Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker is a Canton High School junior, who has been attending Mount Snow Academy since November for snowboarding.

During the season he competed in a total of 13 USASA (United States of America Snowboard and Free Ski Association) events in the Southern Vermont Series, as well as trips to neighboring series events and Tahoe.  Kyle landed on the podium 10 out of those 13 events.

Based on his national rankings, he has qualified to compete in three events (slopestyle, rail jam, and bordercross) at the USASA National Championships at Copper Mountain, Colorado, in April.

Recently he was also named MSA Student Athlete of the year at MSA’s final recognition dinner.

Flatbread, Ben & Jerry’s Team up to Benefit Canton Connections 

March 28, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments
The Casey Sisters. Submitted Photo

The Casey Sisters.
Submitted Photo

Submitted Release 

Canton Connections, a long-standing, not-for-profit, after school program for Canton children, invites you to Flatbread of Canton and Ben and Jerry’s, both located at the Shoppes of Farmington Valley on Tuesday, April 5 beginning at 4 p.m. at Ben & Jerry’s and from 5 to 9 p.m. at Flatbread.

A of portion of all pizza and ice cream sales will be kindly donated back to Canton Connections, a fun place for children to learn and grow.

This will be an evening filled with friends from the community, music and silent auction gift baskets. Performing at Flatbread will be the Casey Sisters, five sisters ages 12-18 who have an explosive sound. Charles Paul, an up and coming singer/songwriter, will also play. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Parents Urge Board of Finance to Leave Proposed Education Budget Intact

At the recent Board of Finance public hearing, several parents add their support for the education budget. Photo by John Fitts

At the recent Board of Finance public hearing, several parents add their support for the education budget.
Photo by John Fitts

CANTON – A group of parents did their best last week to send a message as the Board of Finance prepares to deliberate on proposed 2016-2017 spending levels.

“I’m here tonight to ask the Board of Finance to accept the Board of Education budget with no further cuts,” Canton parent Andrea Barber said at a budget hearing last week. It was a sentiment echoed by many.

The Board of Finance hearing was to gather input on the proposed 2016-2017 budgets, especially the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen spending plans.

The Board of Education has proposed a budget of $25,266,699, a $364,903 or 1.47 percent increase over the 2015-2016 approved budget of $24,901,796.

The Board of Selectmen has proposed a 2016-2017 budget of $10,350,064, which would represent an increase of 3.68 percent over the 2015-2016 approved spending levels of $9,982,815.

While there was some support for the Board of Selectmen plan, education dominated the discussion, particularly in the area of class size. It’s been an issue for some time now.

In his proposed 2016-2017 budget, Superintendent Kevin D. Case recommended the district fund 5 third-grade teachers (There are currently 6). While the current second graders are spread throughout 5 “sections,” several parents advocated for six, stating that 18 and 19 in a room is actually dramatically different from 22 and 23 when it comes to space, social needs, individual attention and more. Soon, the Board of Education will consider Case’s proposal to fund that the position be funded from the Open Choice grant, monies the district receives for integrating Hartford students into its classrooms.

While that position is not in the budget plan before the Board of Finance, school officials have shown that further reductions would likely mean the elimination of a fourth-grade teacher, potentially putting that grade in a similar position. The Board of Education’s policy allows for as many as 26 in a classroom but parents remain passionate about the lower sizes. (The Board of Education has also agreed to revisit that policy).

At the hearing Thursday, approximately 30 parents came out to support the education budget and several spoke. … Continue Reading

Canton Budget Hearing Set for Thursday

March 23, 2016 Government, Schools No Comments

On Thursday night, the public will have the chance to weigh in on the proposed 2016-2017 budgets for general government and education.

The meeting, hosted by the Board of Finance, takes place at 7 p.m., March 24, at the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave.

The Board of Selectmen has proposed a 2016-2017 budget of $10,350,064, which would represent an increase of 3.68 percent over the 2015-2016 approved spending levels of $9,982,815.

The Board of Education has proposed a budget of $25,266,699, a $364,903 or 1.47 percent increase over the 2015-2016 approved budget of $24,901,796.

The Board of Finance budget, prepared by town staff, is proposed at $2,082,436. Much of that is debt service, money the town owes for bonding larger projects.

… Continue Reading

Canton Resident Wins 5 Arts Connecticut Youth Logo Design Contest

Edgar and Cie Peterson from 5 Arts Connecticut.

Edgar and Cie Peterson from 5 Arts Connecticut.

Submitted Release 

Edgar Schafer, a freshman at CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and a Canton resident, recently won the 5 Arts Connecticut Youth Logo Design Contest. His winning design will become the 5 Arts Connecticut official logo and will be prominently featured in promotional materials.

Newman’s Own Donates $7,500 to Canton Schools

March 23, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments
From left are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jordan Grossman, Carolyn Woodard of Newman's Own and BOE chair Julie Auseré. Photo by John Fitts

From left are Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jordan Grossman, Carolyn Woodard of Newman’s Own and BOE chair Julie Auseré.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

Newman’s Own Foundation has donated $7,500 to the Canton Public Schools to boost the district’s STEM initiatives.

STEM stands for integrated Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics initiatives. It’s sometimes denoted as STEAM to incorporate the arts as well.

Carolyn Woodard, a Canton resident and administrator for the organization, said staff members are able to choose a grant recipient, a way she saw to give back to the community.

“I like to give back to my community and the school system,” she said at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jordan Grossman said the district is looking at the possibility of building a STEM lab at Canton Intermediate School, but with resources that can be used at other schools, such as Cherry Brook and Canton Middle.

“(STEM Coordinator) Jon Bishop has this plan to build a lab but all the materials will be able to go from school to school to school,” Grossman said following the meeting.

During the meeting, Superintendent Kevin D. Case told Woodard that he “couldn’t thank her enough.”

“Your organization has been so generous with us in the past and we’re extremely grateful you have chosen us as one of the recipients,” he said.

Canton Superintendent Recommends Using Choice Funds to Retain Third-Grade Staffing Levels for 2016-2017

Superintendent Kevin D. Case has recommended using the district’s 2016-2017 Open Choice grant to cover the cost of additional third-grade section that had been trimmed out of the school district’s proposed budget for next year.

At a Board of Education Tuesday, Case recommended using the Open Choice grant – funds the district receives for participating in state integration efforts – to pay for the position, which is approximately $52,000. The board will vote on the recommendation at its next meeting on April 5. Case also cautioned that the recommendation was based on current enrollment projections of 115 and could change if the numbers do.

“My recommendation to you tonight add a third-grade section next year and that we use (Choice) program dollars to do so,” Case said.

Earlier this year, Case had proposed reducing the number of third grade classrooms from 6 to 5. While the current second graders in five sections, with class sizes of 22 and 23, parents of those students objected strongly to the idea of cutting a third-grade section. Many stated they had assumed that their students would have the smaller sizes of 18 and 19 once they reached third grade. … Continue Reading

Canton Community Health Fund Offers Grants, Scholarships

March 21, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments

Canton Nonprofits, Community Groups and Students Invited to Apply for Scholarships by April 1 and Grants by April, 30, 2016

 Submitted Release 

CANTON  — The Canton Community Health Fund (CCHF) has money available to any nonprofit or community agency whose efforts contribute to the health and well-being of Canton. The organization also offers a scholarship to any Canton resident pursuing an education in a health-related field. CCHF seeks applicants for both the grants and scholarships.

Applications from community groups are due by April 30, and may be completed online at cantoncommunityhealthfund.org. The application is simple to complete. … Continue Reading

Canton Lady Warriors Win Class S State Championship

March 19, 2016 Schools, Sports No Comments

Expenses related to the this story, including a lens rental, were graciously sponsored by Stoneworks, Canton Barn and GeminEye Images. Please see their business cards at the end of this story. Clicking on the images will bring you to their web sites. 

Photos by John Fitts 

Story by Kasey Charron

Video footage courtesy of Noah O’Leary

The Canton Girls High School basketball experienced a feeling of deja vu Saturday morning as the team once again competed in the Class S Girls Basketball State Championship game against Thomaston High School. Last year, Thomaston beat Canton by a score of 52-50 to secure the title. However, this year the Canton Warriors took home the plaque as they toppled the defending state champions, 64-51.

In the first half, it was a narrow match. The teams traded baskets as the score throughout the first quarter never deviated by more than three points. Both teams played aggressively, with plenty of fouls on both sides. At the end of the first half, Canton lead with a score of 22-19.

Canton surged in the second half, never leading by less than three points. Several late game baskets by Maggie Treacy and Emily Briggs secured the victory for the Warriors. In a post-game interview, Canton High School junior Abigail Briggs, twin sister of player Emily Briggs, said, “Towards the end, when we had a 10-point lead, I got excited. Then they (Thomaston) started to come back so I got really nervous. But then, with about a minute to go, I felt really confident that we were going to win.”

Senior Carly Atkinson has one explanation for their success this time around.

“At the beginning of the game there were definitely some nerves, but at the same time it was comforting knowing that we had been in this position before,” she said. “At the end of the game, I was so happy. It is one of the best moments I’ve ever experienced in my whole life especially since I was able to do it with my team. We are all so close and everyone, no matter the time they got in the game, played awesome. Each individual stepped up and did their part to make this a team win.” … Continue Reading

While Thomaston is Tough Opponent, Lady Warriors Would Have it No Other Way

March 18, 2016 Schools, Sports No Comments

By John Fitts 

SOUTHINGTON — At the beginning of the season, the Varsity Girls Basketball team had one goal in mind – returning to Mohegan Sun to take on Thomaston, the very team that defeated Canton by two points in the Class S Championship game last year.

“We wanted to play Thomaston,” coach Brian Medeiros said at a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference press conference and luncheon at the Aqua Turf on Wednesday. “To them if they had a shot at it, it was going to be Thomaston.”

“Hearts were broken and spirits were crushed,” senior Emma Charron said of last year during her speech at the event. “However, as it is often said, never let a loss define who you are.”

At the beginning of the season, the girls were intent on that very goal of getting back to Mohegan for this year’s championship. In the middle of the season, their faith perhaps wavered a little, especially after back-to-back loses to Bolton and Avon on Jan. 29 and Feb. 4.

“There was a lot of talk about this happening in the beginning of the year and then we dealt with some lows and got into a little bit of a slump and I think that talk kind of went away,” Medeiros said.

But following those defeats, Canton turned things around, players re-focused and the coach tried a few new strategies.

“The talk started back up again and you saw a different side of this team, and a different demeanor,” he said. “The hard work paid off and we’re back. It’s a very cool thing.” … Continue Reading

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