Looking back at 2013, part 4

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Thu., Jan. 2, 2014
John Briody was named Glastonbury's Teacher of the Year. File photos by Steve Smith.
John Briody was named Glastonbury's Teacher of the Year. File photos by Steve Smith.

Celebrations during the fall in Glastonbury included the following:

Naubuc School teacher John Briody was honored as Glastonbury's Teacher of the Year, and a reception was thrown for him by the school staff. “He is committed to not only making a difference in the lives of his students, but the school, our community, and the district as a whole,” said Naubuc Principal Michael Litke.

“This is a special, amazing place, and I feel so fortunate to come to work here every single day,” Briody said. “I feel like this celebration today is a celebration for all of us – a celebration for Naubuc School.”

"The Men of Glastonbury" were celebrated in a calendar produced by the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce. Local businessmen had the opportunity to pose for the calendar, in swimsuits and other revealing-but-summer-appropriate attire. The calendars were then sold, with proceeds going to Chamber charities. The calendar was officially launched in October at a “great reveal” event.

“I did it for the fun of it,” said John Jacobs of Jacobs Financial Partners, who posed with a classic guitar from his personal collection. “I thought it was an interesting thing to do. I'd absolutely do it again.”

The Chamber also had another highly-successful Apple Harvest Festival. The event was reconfigured due to the construction of the next phase of Riverfront Park, but the record crowds didn't seem to mind.

Republicans kept their majorities on both the Town Council and Board of Education. William Finn and Karen Boisvert replaced two GOP council members who did not run again, while the Democrats were unable to add a seat to their three. Republican Eric George was added to the BOE, as its only new member. Democrats said the lack of change may have to do with low voter turnout.

“The turnout was less than it was two years ago, when half the town was without power. I don't know where the apathy is coming from, but we've got to drill down on that,” said Glastonbury Democratic Town Committee Chair Bob Zanlungo.

Republicans said it seemed like voters were happy with the status quo and lack of any real controversy or conflicts in town. “We had no burning issues in town,” Beckett said. “We had no major investments of infrastructure for a referendum question that would draw people to the polls.”

A new tradition began at GHS just before the holidays. The first annual Thanksgiving classic basketball game pitted GHS students and staff against officers and supporters from the Glastonbury Police Department. The event was organized by student resource officer James Partee, and admission to the game was a donation to local food pantries. That was part of a food drive that took place before and after the game. “We also got a lot more food donated over the last several days, because several students couldn't make it because they have sports or different after school activities, so they donated to the cause,” Partee said. GHS beat the GPD, 41-35.

As usual, GHS sports teams excelled in the fall. The field hockey team posted an 11-3-2-0 season, but fell to rival Simsbury, 1-0 in the Class L quarterfinals. The girls' volleyball team had a 16-3 record before also going as far as the Class L quarterfinals. The GHS girls' cross-country team took home the Class L title, and came in second in the CCC meet before finishing second in the State Open.
The Tomahawks had an impressive season on the gridiron, with a 10-1 season but an unfortunate loss in the first-round of the Class LL tourney.

The girls' soccer team had been playing with heart all season, taking the field in honor of teammate Morgan Bjarno, who was undergoing treatments for leukemia. The girls had posted a record of 15-0-1 and were the #2 seed going into the Class LL tourney. The Tomahawks battled hard all the way through to the semi-finals, but couldn't get past eventual champion St. Joseph's (Trumbull).

The GHS boys soccer team celebrated a share of the state title. The Tomahawks had a 12-1-3 season and were the #4 seed in the tournament. The final game went through two overtimes (110 full minutes of play) before Glastonbury and Ridgefield were declared co-champions. “Both teams get the gold medals,” said coach Mark Landers. “Both teams get the banners, and both teams are state champs, so there’s nothing wrong with that."

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