What a week to celebrate the success of our students!
Thursday evening was one of celebration and recognition when parents, friends, and community members gathered at our annual Awards Ceremony to honor the diverse accomplishments of our graduating seniors, as well as the many achievements of students from the three other classes. Students at all levels received accolades from each department for their individual success and achievement and many were recognized for their service and leadership to both school and community. Our seniors received countless well-deserved special awards and scholarships for their hard work, leadership, and perseverance from both long-established school and community-based organizations. The evening’s events concluded when I personally recognized our distinguished top 10 scholars who, throughout their 4-year tenure at PHS, have distinguished themselves as conscientious and committed learners. Finally, I was thrilled to name the Class of 2019 Valedictorian, Rebecca Tripp, and Salutatorian, Glenda Black, two uniquely talented seniors, who have unmatched passion for learning.
Passion for learning would also describe junior, Olivia Runte, who organized and skillfully facilitated a civil discourse conference at the school with students from both East Hampton High School and Portland High School. Students gathered for the morning to discuss three prominent topics facing our country: gun control/gun violence, immigration/acceptance of refugees, and reform movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. This Capstone event was a testament to Olivia’s desire to bring awareness of issues and most importantly, the importance of respectful discussion and dialogue around prominent topics that engender strong feelings and emotion. Steven Armstrong, renowned Connecticut educator and Past President of the National Council for the Social Studies served as one of Olivia’s advisors. He came to the event and commended Olivia for creating a “model program” that engaged students in “excellent and exiting conversations.” It is my own strong belief that this multifaceted exhibition of Olivia’s skills and talents served as a model for our students’ culminating academic and intellectual capstone experience as a Portland High School student.
This week, we also received notification that senior, Hannah Sroka, was named for submitting one of two runner-up entries in the very distinguished Nineteenth Annual Statewide James W. Cooper Fellows Quintin Johnstone Essay Contest. Hannah’s entry, "Jumping the Gun - Preventing School Violence", was evaluated by a panel that included Connecticut Supreme Court Justices, judges from the Federal District, Connecticut Appellate and Superior Courts, law school deans and professors, and practicing attorneys. She will be honored at an Essay Contest Award Ceremony at the Connecticut Supreme Court in early June and Portland High School will receive a plaque commemorating this honor. A big thanks to our Social Studies department for supporting Hannah in this endeavor!
Friday night was another awe-inspiring moment for our Highlanders, as they completed their regional playoff bid to become the 2019 Shoreline League Champions with another extra inning thriller! Congratulations to Shoreline Coach of the Year, Rick Borg, Shoreline Pitcher of the Year, Bryan Dinnis, and Shoreline Player of the Year, Cole Peterson, who led this entire team of amazingly and talented baseball players!
TOWN OF PORTLAND REFERENDUM
WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019
POLLS OPEN@ PORTLAND MIDDLE SCHOOL 6:00 AM-8:00 PM