Looking back at 2013: Part 1

By Corey AmEnde - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Dec. 26, 2013
Mayor Leo Diana waiting for Chuckles’ VIII big announcement on Groundhog Day.  Photo by Jennifer Coe.
Mayor Leo Diana waiting for Chuckles’ VIII big announcement on Groundhog Day. Photo by Jennifer Coe.

As we dip our toes into the year 2014, we thought you might like to take a last glance back at some of the highlights from 2013 in the town of East Hartford:

John Busque, from Manchester, won the annual Brian A. Aselton Memorial Snow Dash on Jan. 6, with a time of 15:46.  The 5k race attracted more than 300 runners on the chilly winter day. Proceeds from the race go to a scholarship fund in Aselton’s name and to the East Hartford Police Child Safety and Crime Prevention Program.

Superintendent Nathan Quesnel updated the Board of Education during its meeting on Jan. 22 about the newly-formed school security task force.  The task force consists of members of the BOE, East Hartford police, emergency response teams and school representatives. The task force was charged with examining the existing school security procedures and recommending any changes, in response to the recent tragic school shootings in Newtown. “When an event like Newtown happens, we double- and triple-check our procedures,” said Quesnel. 

The Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy (CIBA) received the Guild of IB schools award. CIBA was one of the first two recipients of the award which recognizes the school’s performance and standing in national rankings.

Friends and family of "American Idol" contestant Ashlee Feliciano gathered at Marco Polo for a viewing party on Feb. 13.  Feliciano took a year off from Southeastern University in Florida to audition for the show.  She was eliminated from the competition on Feb. 14. 

There was somber news in March, as the East Hartford Police Department mourned the loss of officer Paul Buchanan. The 51-year-old South Windsor resident shot himself at the police department’s public safety complex on Tuesday, March 12.  Buchanan was a 24-year veteran of the department. “He was highly decorated and highly respected,” said Sgt. Michael DeMaine, public information officer for the EHPD.

In April, parents of incoming kindergarten children were invited to a Kindergarten Orientation Evening. This was the first time a parent orientation for kindergarten was held, and it gave parents the chance to learn what to expect and what is expected of them when their child enters kindergarten in the fall.

Students in the East Hartford ninth-grade STEM team took first place at the Student Innovation Expo on May 2.  The students won for their invention called the “Water Hornet,” which is designed to help control the mosquito population by stirring standing water with a small propeller. The students also won best proposal for their project earlier in the year.

“We have worked so hard and so long, and it was good to show the students if you work hard, it pays off,” said Christine Lawlor-King, a science teacher at EHHS.

On Thursday, May 16, students from East Hartford were honored at a reception for their participation in the Art at the Capitol program.  Students were selected by their art teacher to have their work hung in the Legislative Office Building for the entire month of April. 

The East Hartford Rotary Club presented a new Bookmobile to the Town of East Hartford on May 22.  The Bookmobile will bring books and other media to sites around town and is a welcome resource during the renovation of Raymond Library.

The first half of the year was capped off with the inaugural graduation of the Connecticut River Academy at Goodwin College.  The historic night saw 27 Connecticut River Academy students receive their high school diplomas from the inter-district magnet school.   The school is scheduled to move into its new building on Jan. 7.


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