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Obituary: Carla Appel, 59, Beloved Wife, Mother, Friend, Dog Lover

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Aug 032020
 

Carla Nastri Appel, 59, of Orange, CT passed away on August 2, 2020, after a short illness. She is survived by her husband Ken, and her four sons Ken Jr., David, Michael, and Tyler.

She was the daughter of Dolores Nastri and the late Anthony Nastri. She also leaves behind brothers James Nastri (Nancy) and Mark Nastri (Violet) as well as her cherished nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Carla was a graduate of Gateway Community College where she earned a degree in Dietetic Science. She worked as a dietician and personal trainer and was passionate about her work. Her optimism and energy were contagious.

In her youth, Carla was an outstanding athlete competing in gymnastics, track and field, and bodybuilding, winning numerous contests throughout New England.  The joy of her life, however, was her family. She took such great pride in all of her son’s athletic activities especially, baseball.  She was always their biggest fan and along with her husband, seldom missed a game. She loved bringing her dog Brinley to her son’s games.

Carla was a compassionate and positive woman, a dedicated mother and wife, and a devoted friend. We will forever remember her big heart and beautiful smile. She will be dearly missed.

Services will be private at the West Haven Funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Martin DePorres Academy, 208 Columbus Ave., New Haven, CT 06519.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carla (Nastri) Appel, please visit the floral store.

In Spite Of Woodbridge Residents’ Efforts Amity Will Get Its Turf Field

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Jul 142020
 

During the various Amity High School Graduation events, I heard of a grassroots effort in Woodbridge to overturn the tri-town referendum decision to pass a turf field at the High School.

Parents, teachers, and athletes (most outgoing seniors) voiced a common concern. “What makes them think they have the right to do that?”

The last-ditch effort to block the approved turf field amid a pandemic went forward at two Woodbridge Planning and Zoning meetings this month.

History

After many years of trying to improve playing conditions for its athletic teams, and one failed referendum for an all-weather field in September 2013, Amity administrators worked tirelessly in 2019 to come up with a plan for a new sports complex at the high school.

A referendum was scheduled for December 4, 2019, which included two projects. The first project addressed improvements to the building and grounds facilities at all three schools. 

The second project aimed for improvements to the Amity Regional High School outdoor athletic facilities.  This project includes a complete upgrade of the athletic stadium, as well as upgrades to the competition field.  The athletic stadium was last improved 30 years ago, and almost all aspects of the stadium are at end-of-life. 

The asphalt track, constructed in 1999, would be replaced with a post-tensioned concrete track with an expected lifespan of 50 years or more.  The metal halide lights and wooden poles, installed in 1988, would be replaced with energy-efficient LED lights on metal poles.

An all-weather field would be installed, replacing the current sod field.  Installation of an all-weather field would increase the use of the stadium from its current single sport, football, to all six-field sports by adding competition space for girls’ field hockey, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and girls’ and boys’ lacrosse.

The proposal also included the installation of an LED scoreboard, which would allow the scoreboard to be adjusted to the sport or competition being played in the stadium.  Lastly, the proposal included enhancements to the current Amity competition field. This field, originally designed as a practice field, would be upgraded with permanent spectator bleachers and an ADA compliant walkway, and an LED scoreboard.

Preparations

Public hearings were held to give tri-town residents opportunities to share their thoughts and any concerns about the projects.

Endless hours debating the safety of sod fields vs astroturf fields with health experts clarifying all the misinformation regarding alleged cancer-causing agents in the materials that would be used at Amity.

Hundreds of school athletic fields across the state and country have these fields with no documented health issues. Amity athletes play on these fields at away games all the time and no one ever complained of illness or injury from the field material.

The Referendum took place as scheduled with the following results

Recently, Woodbridge residents decided to fight back in order to get their way.

A small, but organized group of gadflies came together and spread the word that turf fields are deadly in many ways. •runoff would contaminate the underground water sources, •the shredded rubber causes cancer, etc, etc, etc, all arguments that were disproven during the public hearings last year.

They flooded the Town Planning and Zoning Commission with letters demanding that the project be rejected for those reasons and more.

On July 6, the Woodbridge TP&Z met online due to the COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings and spent the evening reading the letters one after another until the chairman lost his voice. The meeting was continued until Monday evening, July 13.

Last night the Commissioners met online again and read letters from Woodbridge residents who opposed the plan and even some Orange residents who are in favor of it.

In the end, the facts won out over rumors and all other objections, and the original results of the December Referendum held strong.

Amity WILL have a new sports complex with a turf field. A groundbreaking will take place in the near future.

 

Amity’s 9-Minute Outdoor July Graduation Ceremony

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Jul 082020
 

Yes, that’s right, the 2020 Amity Graduation ceremony that took place on the football field on Tuesday morning was admittedly different than any other, but, it was well-planned and ran like clockwork.

About 34 students had signed up, but some did not attend for one reason or another.

Masks and social distancing were top priorities and each graduate and his or her parents were seated in their own little areas around the field.

To open it, School Principal Anna Mahon announced that the students had met all the requirements to receive their diplomas and then read off the names of the 28 students who chose to take advantage of this option (rather than last month’s drive-thru graduation event).

As their name was read, the student walked up to a table to retrieve his or her diploma. There was no presentation or hand-shaking, just grab and go.

The grads walked up the aisle to a waiting photographer to have their official portrait taken, then returned to their seats. No backflips victoriously raised hands or mad dashes to the fence to hug mom and dad. Just simply walking back to their seats.

(I apologize to one young man whose photo I did not get, you moved too fast and you were blurry)

Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Byars instructed the grads to move their tassels from the right to left and their graduation was official.

The entire ceremony took 9 minutes.

For health reasons, amid the pandemic, the traditional cap tossing was not permitted — what if someone picked up the wrong one? To add to how somber the ceremony was, there wasn’t one beach ball in sight. No bubbles either. Just well-behaved seniors sitting near their parents.

Congratulations to the Amity Administration for coming up with different options to make the final moments of the seniors’ final year special and as memorable as they could.

Finally, congratulations to the Class of 2020 for making the most of your most unusual senior year. Good Luck in all of your future endeavors.

 

Sign Up Now For Amity Adult And Continuing Education Virtual Classes

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Jul 062020
 

Amity Adult and Continuing education will be holding summer 2020 courses ONLINE!!  We have many courses available including SAT Prep Courses, Health, and Wellness Courses, Finance Courses, Fitness Courses, Crafting Courses, and many others!
Register today as some courses are starting this week!!  Take a summer course with us online right from your own home!!  This is a great way to stay active while we are home during this unprecedented time!
We have great instructors who are very excited to offer courses to you VIRTUALLY!
Register today!!
Click HERE to view the new catalog!  

Enjoy exploring this catalog. If you have any questions, please call 203-397-4188.

Questions?  E-mail us:  philip.dolan@amityregion5.org OR kim.doran@amityregion5.org

Scholarships Awarded In Unusual Location Today

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Jun 132020
 

Orange Scholarship Fund Association presented their scholarships on Saturday, June 13 at a socially distanced ceremony on the Orange Town Green.
Scholarships were awarded to Mitchell Bronson, Gina Driscoll, and Mason Shepard. The Orange Lions also presented their scholarship at this time. Mitchell Bronson will attend UConn to study Computer Science, Gina Driscoll will attend Middlebury College and has not yet chosen a major.
There were each awarded $2000 scholarships. Mason Shepard will attend Lehigh University to study Molecular Biology. He received a $3,000 scholarship from the Ashlie Krakowski Memorial Fund of the Orange Scholarship Fund. Mason also received a $1000 scholarship from the Orange Lions.

Experience The Amity Graduation Right Now

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Jun 122020
 

On Wednesday, June 10, the Amity Class of 2020 was honored with a mix of the live and a virtual commencement ceremony.

The first portion of this video shows the usual congratulatory speech from the school principal and superintendent, then a variety of surprise guests, some Amity Alum: Connor Deane and Scott Feinberg for example as well as unexpected celebrities who wish the graduates well. The Class speakers, followed by Jill LaPlante presenting the Amity Award of Distinction to Yale-bound Danielle Lee. 

Then it’s time to see the graduates receive their diplomas in groups of four — this took place in shifts between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. that day.

It’s worth a mention to give credit to the chorus teacher who contacted her students and asked them to sing their parts of the National Anthem individually from their homes, then quickly spliced the whole thing together. It came out beautifully.

There are still about 40 Amity seniors who haven’t gotten their diplomas. They chose to graduate on the Football Field in small groups on July 7. We will provide more information on that event when it becomes available.

Jun 112020
 

Amity Principal Anna Mahon

The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed many people’s livelihoods, hopes, and dreams, but it couldn’t stop the Amity High School administration from giving students a meaningful commencement ceremony.

It was hard for high schools to plan their ceremonies because the virus kept changing everything. First, the question was, “Will we be returning to school?”  then “Will we be able to get the entire class on the football field at once while keeping them at a safe distance?” and of course, “Will we be able to invite families and keep everyone at a safe distance?”

So many questions, so many rules and so little time. But somehow Amity did it. With many teachers all-in to make it a special day for the graduating seniors, the 2020 Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, June 10, ran like clockwork.

On Tuesday, a virtual ceremony was taped and streamed live at http://video.amityregion5.org/show?video=d293e7a41123

The virtual portion of the ceremony includes the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Junior Class President Isabella Pfannenbecker, followed by addresses from Mrs. Anna Mahon, Principal of ARHS, Dr. Jennifer Byars, Superintendent of School for Amity Regional School District #5, Mr. John Belfonti, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Jayson Hutchinson, Senior Class President, Martin Gnidula, chosen to address the class for outstanding extra-curricular achievement, Sophia Wang, chosen to address the class for outstanding academic achievement and Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, to present the Amity Award of Excellence.

The ceremony found at http://video.amityregion5.org/show?video=d8807aa23a6f was available for everyone to see and It was seamless. 

We encourage the entire community to take the time to watch the ceremony and begin the commencement exercises of 2020 to honor this outstanding senior class.

The students and their families first arrived at the staging area at the Church-Our Lady of Assumption parking lot on Center Road at a designated time for their waves with car placards displayed on the passenger-side dashboard.

Cars were assembled upon entering the front parking lot of the church and exited out the back parking lot exit (to Rice Road) at the appointed time. Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, as well as Amity Regional High School security and Woodbridge Police Dept. were on-hand at the church parking lot to help organize and send each wave.

After exiting the church parking lot, the caravan of students/families proceeded to the back gate of the high school campus. At the entry point, each car was given a program and one faculty message booklet per graduate. Cars will process through campus to the first station at the tennis court where teachers were waiting to cheer on the graduates.

The cars stopped at the top of the hill and Associate Principal Miguel Pickering took the names of the graduates then Groups of 4 graduates (up to 8 cars) were “released” from the first station and proceeded down the hill to the stop sign at the corner outside of the district offices.

Seth Davis, senior class advisor, Director of Athletics Ernie Goodwin, athletic trainer Kim Pearce, and Athletic Department Administrative Assistant Lori Bonney were stationed here, and if a student received an award or lettered in a sport, he or she would receive it here.

Davis took the graduates’ names and radioed ahead which place he or she would take in the lineup. Cars were held at station 2 to allow for the front of the building to clear. Then they would drive around to the bus loop in front of the school. 

There were 4 designated locations for diploma distribution. At the designated location, each graduate exited exit his/her car while wearing a mask and waited for Mrs. Mahon to announce his/her name.

After hearing his/her name, the graduate walked to the carpet, removed the mask, and posed for an official picture holding a diploma jacket. After the picture, the graduate returned the diploma jacket to a bin and the graduate picked up his/her diploma folder with the official documentation inside.

Graduates then listened for Supt. Byars’ turn of the tassel announcement and, after turning their tassels, returned to their vehicles and exited campus through the Newton Road front entrance.

Although unconventional, parents should appreciate the fact that for the first time ever they were allowed to be close enough to their children to actually see their faces when they graduated. Usually, they are seated in the stands packed like sardines hundreds of feet away.

Congratulations to all of the Amity Graduates, I’m so happy that you were able to have some kind of ceremony, to see your teachers again, and to share it intimately with your parents.

Great Job Amity Administration and teachers. I’ll see you next year.

The 2020 graduation ceremony concludes on July 7 with the final group of students receiving their diplomas(about 40 students chose this option). Orange Live will post more information on this event when it becomes available.

 

 

 

Amity Seniors WILL Get Their Graduation Ceremony

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Jun 092020
 

Sadly, we won’t see this moment in 2020, but the seniors will get their graduation ceremony.

The year 2020 is one of uncertainty and disappointment, especially for anyone with a loved one in the hospital or nursing home, business owners, Athletes of all ages, and High School Seniors.

Across the state, high school administrators have been struggling for months to find a way of honoring their graduates in a meaningful way so this once in a lifetime event will leave them with happy lasting memories.

Here’s what Amity Principal Anna Mahon, Amity Superintendent  Dr. Jennifer Byars and the rest of the administrators have planned:

Dear Amity Regional High School Community,

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10, is our official date of graduation for the 2019-2020 school year. Due to the circumstances, the commencement exercises will begin this evening with a virtual ceremony, continue tomorrow with the majority of the senior class receiving their diplomas, continue to a radio recap of graduation on WPLR, 99.1 FM starting at 5:00 p.m. and conclude on July 7 with the final group of students receiving their diplomas.

The virtual portion of the ceremony will include the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Junior Class President Isabella Pfannenbecker, addresses from Mrs. Anna Mahon, Principal of ARHS, Dr. Jennifer Byars, Superintendent of School for Amity Regional School District #5, Mr. John Belfonti, Chairperson of the Board of Education, Jayson Hutchinson, Senior Class President, Martin Gnidula, chosen to address the class for outstanding extra-curricular achievement, Sophia Wang, chosen to address the class for outstanding academic achievement and Mrs. Jill LaPlante, Director of Counseling Services, to present the Amity Award of Excellence.

The ceremony can be found below and the livestream for tomorrow’s event also will be available. We encourage the entire community to take the time to watch the ceremony and begin the commencement exercises of 2020 to honor this outstanding senior class.

Goodwin Hosts the 64th Amity Block A Awards

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Jun 082020
 

It is with great pride and a sense of sadness that I present to you this year’s winners of the 64th Annual Amity Block A Awards.

This is Amity’s big night to honor its most amazing athletes, a night that some of the boys and girls have looked forward to for four years. But due to the COVID-19 restrictions the ceremony, for which I have been the photographer for the past 8 years or so, was canceled.

But a pandemic wouldn’t stop Amity Athletic Director Ernie Goodwin from honoring the athletes and involving all of their coaches for the Virtual 64th annual Block A Awards (without the dinner)

It wasn’t as long as usual, and the athletes weren’t able to accept their awards in front of their peers and parents, but hopefully hearing what their coaches had to say about them and why they were chosen as the team MVP, a specialized scholarship recipient, scholar-athlete or the coveted player of the year, gave each one some comfort, especially the seniors for which this has been a really trying year.

That said, here are the 2019-2020 Block A Award-Winning Athletes:

Most Valuable Players

Boys Basketball – Joe DiGello

Girls Basketball –  Jillian Martin

Cheerleading – Isabel Cavanagh

Boys Cross Country – John Dill

Girls Cross Country – Ariana Garay

Dance Team –  Sydney Reiner

Field Hockey – Tess Csejka

Football – Joe DiGello

Boys Ice Hockey – Justin Miller

Girls Ice Hockey – Tess Csejka

Boys Indoor Track – Ariel Gordon

Girls Indoor Track – Audrey Marin

Boys Ski Racing – James Fortin

Girls Ski Racing – Natalie Prinz

Boys Soccer – Ali Bobi

Girls Soccer –  Jenna Ciola

Boys Swimming – Tyler Roy

Girls Swimming – Katie O’Connor

Girls Volleyball – Zoey DiZenzo

Wrestling – Simon Flaherty

 

Unified Sports

Unified Sportsmanship Award – Andrew Serrano

 

Coach’s Association Awards

Coach of the Year Award – Todd Patterson (Wrestling — Amity’s best year)

Assistant Coach of the Year Award – Mike Brady (Boys Basketball)

Coaches Association Outstanding Service Award – Beth Young (Booster Club)

 

Special Awards and Scholarships

Steven J Zeider Award (swimming) – Casey Donovan

James Dunleavy Award (hockey) – Caleb Marcin

Thomas G Laugeni Award – Tyler Roy

Thomas G Laugeni Award – Alexandra Plaza

Mark E Greco Award – (hockey) Sai Neelam

Jeremy Saxe Award – Zach Young

Athletic Director’s Award – Ethan Kaempffer

Albert J. Seymour Award – Will Rotko

Albert J. Seymour Award – Dana Della-Giustina

 

Scholar-Athletes

Scholar-Athlete – Zach Young

Scholar-Athlete – Ella Marin

 

Paul Mengold Award

Paul Mengold Award – Haley Cable

 

Versatility

Versatility Award – Simon Flaherty

Versatility Award – Ana Carney

Sportsmanship

Sportsmanship Award – Nico Semonella

Sportsmanship Award – Payton Papa

 

And Finally Top Honors Go To

The 2020 Athletes of The Year

Athlete of the Year – Joe DiGello

Athlete of the Year – Tess Csejka

 

See the entire Block A Award Presentation below:

https://youtu.be/yaRbTFVk8oA

Orange Foundation Announces Scholarship Awards

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Jun 082020
 

Last week the Orange Foundation made its selections for 2020 scholarships.

Since it’s inception, the Orange Foundation has now granted $494,686 in scholarships. The following students are this year’s recipients.

Elizabeth Cohen, who is graduating from Amity Senior High School, received a total of $2,000 from the following funds: the William Knight Fund, the Susan Lewin Fund, and the Downey Fund.

Sophia Cuozzo, currently at the University of Mississippi, and who previously graduated from Amity Senior High School, received a total of $1,400 from the following funds: the Downey Fund, the Vaughn Family Fund, the Elizabeth C. and John W. Povilaitis Fund, and the Vincent Timmins Fund.

Veronica Pisano, currently at the University of New Hampshire, and who previously graduated from Amity Senior High School, received a total of $2,000 from the following funds: the Charles L. Flynn Fund, and the Povilaitis Fund.

Mason Shepard, who is graduating from Amity Senior High School, received a total of $1,500 from the following funds: the Thomas Birmingham Jr.  Fund, the Harry Haynes Fund, and the Vaughn Fund.

Spencer Shepard, who is currently attending Lehigh University, and who previously graduated from Amity High School, received a total of $1,500 from the Charles L. Flynn Fund.