Looking back at 2012, part 2

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Wed., Dec. 19, 2012
Mason, 10, contemplates his next move at the district-wide chess tournament. Photos by Steve Smith.
Mason, 10, contemplates his next move at the district-wide chess tournament. Photos by Steve Smith.

Spring enhanced excitement about reading in Glastonbury schools, including the annual Guest Reader Day at Eastbury School featuring several volunteer readers, including town officials and business leaders. “This is one of our favorite days of the year,” said the school's librarian, Monica Gardner. “The kids love it, and I love that they get to see older people reading, especially in light of all the current technology that we have. There's nothing like opening a book and showing a child the love of reading a book.”

Many local families also took part in the "Empowering Families" event on April 2. Much of the event was focused on improving communication between pre-teens and adults. Social worker Barbara Chamberlin led one of the workshops.

“[For example], you may find yourself feeling frustrated that your middle-schooler's binder is unorganized, or they forgot their homework again,” she said. “They'll get there. They get a little bit better by eighth grade, and a little better in ninth grade. Not totally there, because their brains are still developing.”

Volunteers who have helped the town's Human Services Department were honored at a special luncheon at the Riverfront Community Center. Human Services Director Pat Schneider explained that volunteers had to serve at least 10 hours in the past year to be invited, but most have gone far beyond that. “I think it's my favorite day of the year,” Schneider said. “A lot of them volunteer in multiple roles for us, in all the areas – Senior Services, Youth and Family Services, and prevention.”

Hundreds of pooches (and their owners) turned out for the weather-postponed Easter Egg Hunt for Dogs on April 14 at Riverfront Park, hosted by the Glastonbury Parks and Recreation Department. Chris, 8, said he likes visiting the dog park with his Australian shepherd, “Cole,” and was glad to come out for a fun event. “I love dogs, and my dog is my best friend, and I thought it would be fun,” Chris said, adding that he and his brother collected about 40 eggs.

Glastonbury Little League kicked off its 48th season with opening ceremonies at Ross Field that included the use of the field's first webcam (so families can watch games from home) and dirt from the new Miami Marlins' park in Florida.

Little League soccer players from all over Connecticut flocked to Glastonbury for Hartwell Soccer's Spring Warm-up Tournament. More than 200 teams were serviced by more than 400 volunteers, which made for quite an undertaking. “We're extremely lucky to have some of the supporters we have,” said Mary Kay Brophy, Hartwell president.

The Town Council took a look at what should be done with the property at the former Academy School building, adjacent to town hall, after the building was demolished. One idea was a municipal “one stop” center, with Board of Education offices and others located in the same complex as the town offices.

Council Chair Chip Beckett said he thought the council should not move too hastily, and that he would like to see a more-detailed analysis of the long-term costs, but he liked the idea. “I've never thought it made sense for the town to have all different offices on all different roads so that you couldn't find them without a map,” Beckett said.

GHS spring sports teams again fared well. The boys' lacrosse team finished the regular season with a 12-4 record before making it as far as the Class L quarterfinals. The girls' lacrosse team was 10-6, and also made it to the quarters. The baseball team finished 11-9 and met with an unfortunate end in the tournament’s first round, while the softball team went 13-7 and also dropped a first-round match.

Glastonbury girls' track finished second at the Class LL meet, and fourth at the state open. The boys' volleyball team topped a 13-5 season with a trip all the way to the Class LL semifinals.

Glastonbury High School also unleashed 488 graduates into the world in June.

“Now, we find ourselves on the entrance ramp to the highway,” said 2012 Class President Jonathan Ma. “Funny thing about the entrance ramp – you can't go backwards, so now it's time to really drive. Before we step on that pedal, we should glance in that rear-view mirror. When we look back into our past, we will notice that a lot has happened. It's time to enjoy the ride.”

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