LH Swim and Dive Team Win CIAC 2015 Class M State Championship


The LH Swim & Dive team had a 10-1 record going into the Championship season and with a talented group of swimmers there was a good chance they could once again become State Champions.  First was the SCC Championship where the Crusaders finished 2nd with the following “All Conference” swimmers: Kaitlin Joy, Dakota Meyer, Elizabeth Sargent, Madyson Barnick, Kay Begg & Shannon Buttling.  Elizabeth Sargent was also named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the SCC Championship. They then went on to win the CIAC Class M State Championship for the 2nd year in a row and the third Championship in 4 years. “All-State” swimmers include: Kaitlyn Joy, Dakota Meyer, Elizabeth Sargent, Madyson Barnick, Kay Begg, Shannon Buttling, Rory Woods and Caroline Sargent.  The “All State” swimmers above continued on to the State Open qualifying in all 3 relays and the following swimmers also qualified in their individual events: Kay Begg, Brenna McLaughlin, Elizabeth Sargent, Dakota Meyer and Kaitlin Joy.

The Spirit of Lauralton Hall

Lauralton Hall was asked to participate in “A Celebration of Trees” presented by the Milford Hospital Auxiliary.  Danielle Evanko Carrano, an alumna of Lauralton reached out to us and we did not hesitate to participate in this community-wide event.

Local businesses, organizations and local donors were approached to decorate a tree with a theme. Our tree is, the Spirit of Lauralton Hall and is decorated in blue and white, as well as with Lauralton Hall brass ornaments that depict the Chapel and the Mansion door.  Graceful white bows adorn the tree made by Corrine Chace, a French teacher at Lauralton Hall.  Peggy Hutchinson, Amanda Slesinski, Christ Russo, Cristina Ludwig, Bella Secchiaroli, Sydney O’Neill, Theresa Piscitelli and Maddi Marrone are the students who helped  Jean Santopatre, Campus Minister decorate the tree which is displayed on the mezzanine overlooking the lobby.

The “Celebration of Trees” will be open to the public daily beginning November 28 until December 7th in the Milford Hospital lobby.  Raffle tickets may be bought daily from 11 am-5 pm. All proceeds from this event will help the hospital purchase equipment.



History Students Visit the Tenement Museum

In November, the history students visited the Tenement Museum located at 97 Orchard Street in New York City. This historic museum allows its visitors to get a  glimpse into the life of an urban immigrant from overseas in the early 20th century. They offered many variations of activities and tours for students and teachers to embark on, with an impressive amount of information. 

The tour themes our students were able to visit were Hard TimesVictoria Confio and Sweatshops. They discovered how immigrants survived economic depressions at 97 Orchard Street between 1863 and 1935. The students visited restored homes of the German-Jewish Gumpertz family, whose patriarch disappeared during the Panic of 1873, and the Italian-Catholic Baldizzi family, who lived through the Great Depression.

They also met the character of Victoria Confino, a 14-year old Italian immigrant who lived in the tenement in 1916, and heard about the immigrant experience. This included a tour of her apartment, and they were able to ask her questions about her life to gain a unique perspective on adjusting to living on the Lower East Side. The Sweatshops were base on the Levine Family Garment Workshops. This tour discussed the working conditions in sweatshops. They visited the Rogarshevskys' Sabbath table at the turn of the 20th century, when the Lower East Side was the most densely populated place in the world. They explored how immigrants balanced work, family and religion at a time of great change.

Lauralton junior Colleen McCarthy thought the field trip was a fun and informational day in which she got to see an actual example of what she was learning in class. “It was crazy to see the difference of how we live today compared to how the immigrants used to live in the 1890’s. I can say that I am grateful to have experienced this trip and I recommend it to others because they can also learn about the Tenements and how the sweat shops worked.”

“The Tenement was a great field trip opportunity that allowed me to gain a better understanding of the events and lifestyles of the people that lived in New York during the early 20th century. As a student who is doing a term paper on sweat shops it helped me put a visual aspect to what I am writing about which is very helpful, states junior Sasha Somuah.

Elizabeth Sargent Commits to Seton Hall for Swim

By Trumbull Times on November 5, 2015

Elizabeth Sargent, the defending Class M state champion in the 200 intermediate relay. has given her verbal commitment to attend Seton Hall next fall.

She resides in Trumbull and competes for The Academy of Our Lady of Mercy Lauralton Hall, coached by Fran Pfeiffer, and the Westport-Weston Family YMCA Water Rat swim team, where she is coached by Ellen Johnston.

While at Lauralton Hall, the team won the Class S state title in her freshman year and a Class M state title in her junior year, with Sargent placing in both individual and relay events.

She is a two-time All-Conference swimmer, two-time All Area swimmer, two-time competitor at the State Open meet and a four-time YMCA Nationals finalist.

Sargent recently placed sixth in the 400 IM at the 2015 YMCA National Long Course Championships. A very versatile swimmer, Sargent most often races the 400 IM, 200 IM, 200 butterfly, 100 fly and 200 backstroke.

A member of the National Honor Society, Sargent is also a two-time Connecticut Swimming Scholar Athlete and a 2014-15 USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.

World Language Department Festvidades

On October 22, the Mariachi band Son de mi Tierra played for the Lauralton students in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Organized by the World Language Department, the four piece ensemble consisted of two violins, a guitar, and guitarrón - a larger guitar with a deeper sound. As the mariachi serenaded students with traditional songs from Mexico, dancer Julieta Rodriguez showcased the lively dancing style and vibrant traditional costumes of the country. The audience reaction was immediately apparent with students excitedly clapping and cheering along. Additionally, the band took the time to explain and feature each instrument, as well as give the background history of each song. Their joyful, passionate performance beautifully illustrated pride they took in their cultural heritage. Faculty and students alike thoroughly enjoyed the energetic assembly and look forward to more performances like these in the future. ¡Ole!


Tough Loss

The Lauralton Hall Swim and Dive team had their first loss of the season last night against undefeated Cheshire HS.  Both teams were undefeated going into the Meet  and both were nervous about the outcome.  The Meet was tied after the 7thevent but the loss of the 200 and 400 Free relays gave Cheshire the win. Lauralton took first in multiple events including, the 200 Medley Relay (Joy, Meyer, E. Sargent & M. Barnick, 50 Free (Kaitlyn Joy), 100 Fly (Elizabeth Sargent), 100 Back (Rory Woods) and the 100 Breast (Dakota Meyer).  Many Lauralton swimmers contributed in keeping the score close  and many achieved best times of the season.  The qualifiers will head to the SCC Championship Tuesday, 11/3 (Diving) at Hamden HS and Wednesday 11/4 (Swimming) at SCSU where they hope to have one more chance to overcome Cheshire.  The Class M State Championships will be held on Thursday 11/12 (Diving) at Buckley HS and Wednesday 11/18 (Swimming) at SCSU where the Crusaders hope to once again win the Class M title.  


Students go on French Impressionism Field Trip

The Lauralton Hall Art and French departments took 30 students to Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT on Tuesday, October 20th as a collaborative field trip. The girls learned about French Impressionism on a guided tour of the facility's impressive art collection, including works by Monet, Degas, and Cassatt. Because of the gorgeous weather and fall foliage, the trip was fun and enjoyable as well as educational!

Click here to learn about the Hill-Stead Museum 



Students Participate in Environmental Assay Survey

On October 15th, Advance Placement Environmental Science/ ECE UConn Environmental Science teacher April Kelley accompanied her students to Milford’s Mondo Pond for an environmental assay survey. The students spent two hours surveying the environmental conditions of the pond and its surrounding habitat.

After a guided nature walk around the pond led by Mrs. Kelley, the students settled into their assigned roles in the environmental assay survey. Some aspects studied were dissolved oxygen levels, fecal bacterial counts, water quality (pH, nitrate and phosphate levels), dissolved carbon dioxide levels, and species diversity.

After completing the field studies, the students spent time analyzing their data. After comparing the results of all the individual tests, the students determined that the overall health of the pond system was good in terms of species diversity and acceptable pollution levels. Their survey results will remain on file in the AP Environmental Science classroom so that future Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes can compare their results with survey results from previous years.  This will allow the science department to monitor the long-term health of this local ecosystem and note any changes occurring over time. In addition, results will be posted on the Global Water Project database so students can compare the health of this local pond with the health of ponds in similar regions.  In comparing this year's assay results to previous years, students found that the health of the pond had rebounded after two years of declining conditions.  Students attributed this rebound to good health to the moderate drought Connecticut is currently experiencing.  Since drought conditions mean no significant rainfall, there has been no influx of storm and sewage water into the pond and thus, no influx of contaminants.


LH Junior Katherine Canavan Selected as Finalist for USSYP

Katherine Canavan '17 has been selected as a Finalist for the 2016 United States Senate Youth Program.
The finalist interviews will take place on Friday, October 16, 2015 at the CREC Central building in Hartford. 
Selection will be based on the student’s outstanding abilities and demonstrated qualities of leadership in an elected or appointed high school student office for the 2015-2016 school year.
Congratulations Katherine and best of luck to you.

The United States Senate Youth Program, established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, is a unique educational experience for outstanding high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. The 54th annual program will be held in Washington, D.C., from March 5 – 12, 2016. Two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity will spend a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Student delegates will hear major policy addresses by Senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of other federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. All transportation, hotel and meal expenses will be provided by The Hearst Foundations. In addition, each delegate will also be awarded a $5,000 College Scholarship for undergraduate studies, with encouragement to pursue coursework in history and political science. http://ussenateyouth.org


Cross Country Team Wins Park City Invitational!
Our XC ladies WON THE PARK CITY INVITATIONAL Beardsley Park on Saturday, October 3, 2015.  A great performance by all 15 runners while dealing with the cold, the wind and the rain. Yet, they overcame and took home a fine trophy with 3 medal-winners.  
Bronze - Margaret Telling '18; Silver - Hannah Haynes '17; GOLD - Abby Baisley '19. 
Congratulations Ladies. That's the Lauralton spirit at its best. 


LH Freshman Arianna Perez and Her Family Didn't See the Pope in Philadelphia but Felt His Presence

ARTICLE TAKEN FROM THE HARTFORD COURANT: September 27, 2015 Story by Alaine Griffin

Carlos Perez, his wife, Lisa, and their two children boarded one of four buses that left a Trumbull church just after sunrise for the 160-mile trek to join others in prayer in one of the country's most historic cities.

But their trip was about more than just attending a once-in-a-lifetime event. It came with a mission, too. They needed a miracle. And since the pope, the person Catholics believe is the closest to God, was just three hours from Connecticut, they had to try to get to him. If they could somehow get even one of the rosaries, crosses or Mass cards they brought on the trip to Pope Francis for a blessing, perhaps the consecrated item could bring hope to 3-year-old Joseph Moretti Jr. of Monroe, who has Angelman syndrome, a rare congenital disorder. "Everyone who's here today is here for different reasons," Perez, 48, said while slinging four folding chairs with "The Fighting Angels Foundation" logo over his shoulder. "And Joey's been our inspiration for this."

But it wouldn't be easy.

Along the way, the Perez family and thousands of other Connecticut residents who boarded dozens of buses at churches across the state Sunday morning went up against huge crowds and tight security in a city that seemed unprepared for the onslaught. Those with tickets even struggled to get close to the Mass. So for the Perez family and their friends, including Megan Albright of Milford and her children, their own personal quests to see Pope Francis, at times, seemed less important than helping the others jammed into that city reach that goal. Like when an elderly man walking with the crowd toward Benjamin Franklin Parkway fell and cut his head, the Perez family and the Albrights rushed to his aid while others kept walking. Albright used tissues to stop the gash on his head from bleeding while Perez's children, Giancarlo, 12, and his sister Arianna, 14, ran to get help. They knew stopping to help the man would put them further behind in the lines. But they couldn't just walk by him, they said. "Part of this day was also about compassion for one another," Albright said. "We are all here for the same reason." And there would still be time, time to see the pontiff at a Mass for the people, a fitting end to a whirlwind trip in the United States for the beloved and controversial Pope Francis.

The security checkpoint line and the massive crowds pushed up against each other was moving, a passer-by said. The wait wouldn't be long. Once in the line, Perez and his family and friends were needed again, assisting children and elderly women over jersey barriers to keep moving through the line. The assistance didn't seem to move them any closer to the checkpoint though, and by 2:30 p.m., about 90 minutes before the Mass, the group started to pray aloud, keeping faith that their pilgrimage would take them to their popular leader. But then a priest walking against the crowd emerged with some bad news. The thousands in the long lines would probably never reach the checkpoint and soon access would be blocked. The priest said he had a ticket and couldn't even get in to the outdoor Mass. So Perez decided to pull his family and the others out of the restless crowd. They headed toward John F. Kennedy Boulevard where crowds had gathered on the street lining the barricades. The crowd was buzzing with excitement that soon Pope Francis would pass.

So maybe there would be no Mass but perhaps still a chance for a blessing from Francis and hope for Joey. So with his Ziploc bag full of rosaries, crosses and Mass cards and the children poised at the barricade, they waited. There were cheers signaling that perhaps the pontiff's car was about to turn the corner. People started to dance and sing "Alleluia," drowning out the man on the loudspeaker with a sign that said, "The Pope Is The Anti-Christ." But then a woman walking past the crowd said the Mass had started. Pope Francis would not be driving by. Their best chance at seeing the pope was on the downtown Jumbotron. Hearing the news, a quiet Perez stowed away his Ziploc bag and fired up his cellphone. He held up the screen so those around him on the street could also see the live stream of the Mass.

Perez, who was raised a Protestant, stunned his Cuban-born mother when he converted to Catholicism after being married for about a decade. For years, he went to church with his family as a non-Catholic. He sent his children to parochial schools. And though he admitted he "had a hard time getting" his head around certain aspects of Catholicism, an emotional trip to Italy moved Perez toward the religion until he could call it his own. Francis, the first pope from Latin America, is the right pope for these times, Perez said.  "All the things he talks about are things the world needs," Perez said.

And though his wish to reach out to Pope Francis on behalf of a sick child was unrealized, Perez said the day and all of its happenings had a way of strengthening his family. "We had the expectation of seeing him but even though it didn't happen, we still were in the presence of something great. It didn't take anything away from the day."

Copyright © 2015, Hartford Courant

Pope Francis Departs Philadelphia, Heads Back To Rome After 10-Day Trip To U.S., Cuba


LH Hosts Science Olympics

Teams of middle grade girls from schools throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties spent Saturday, September 26th going for the gold at Lauralton Hall’s annual Science Olympics.  With the help of Lauralton faculty and students, participants competed in fun, problem solving events.

They experimented with volume and spatial orientation by placing a series of random objects in a box; determine Spongebob’s heritage and what his potential children would look like; created and built a roller coaster out of straws, popsicle sticks, index cards and tape for a marble—longest distance wins; and the girls had to design a way to stop a car from rolling down a ramp and off the table – but get it as close to the edge of the table as possible.

Lauralton science teacher Dr. Cavar feels the Science Olympics are extremely valuable for middle grade girls. “Studies show that girls have negative attitudes towards math and science,” said Dr. Cavar. “This translates into reduced involvement in these fields in high school, college and career choice. Although performing better than middle school boys, they participate less, have high levels of anxiety, and little confidence in their abilities. The Science Olympics is the perfect opportunity for girls to shine, increase their confidence, and be around others that share their love of science.”

One of the highlights of the day was the “Bringing Life to Education Animal Show”presented by Animal Embassy, a company specializing in providing hands-on, interactive, and entertaining, educational experiences. From peacocks, to giant rabbits, turtles and snakes, the captive audience was able to get the full experience by petting or holding the species while learning about that particular animal. Even Lauralton student Yunling (Hermione) Wang '17 was brave enough to wrestle with a snake.

Following is a list of the Olympian champion teams: 

6th grade
1st: The Benzenes- Isabelle Giaquinto, Isabella Zambory, Amelia Lopez, Juliana Mascia- St. Rita
2nd: The Velocities- Akira, Hippolyte, Trinity Bullock, Michelle Chaco, Elisa Cruz – St. Rita
3rd: The Caalysts- Lily Koerner, Katherine Mintchev, Katie Cota, Sara Rohan – St. Aloysuis

7th grade
1st: The Nuclei- Siobhan Reidy, Rosie Simms, Kathleen Tokar –St. Rose and Susan Socci – Newtown MS
2nd: The Molecules- Elisabeth D’Albero, Johanna Wethly, Ava Raymond, Sofia Votto –North Branford Intermediate School
3rd: The Botanists- Francesca Maldonado, Lauren Mirando, Shauna Cronin, Sophia Waldron- Greenwich Catholic

8th grade
1st: The Torques- Claire Brigantic, Meganlyn Debiney, Michelle Rhodes, Brisa Mendoza, Sonia Peterkin – St. Stephen
2nd: The Ribonucleases- Isabella Mazzucco, Kristina Crowell – St. Rita and Shahela Kabir, Angela Ramirez – Turn of River School
3rd: The Newtonians- Chloe Sweitzer, Hope Cheever, Talia Tarling, Katie Mahoney – St. Aloysuis

1st: The Darwinians- Katherine, Klemme, Taylor Kamienski, Isabelle Fortier, Allison Wang- North Braford Intermediate School

Anti-Idle Awareness Week at Lauralton Hall

Students of all ages and faculty are getting on board with anti-idling week. It’s clear that people really care about the environment and become excited when they see an opportunity to help. A long- time friend of the environment, English teacher Catherine Gallagher said, “Turning off your car is an unbelievably simple way to save the environment, and I am happy to do it." Students, as well, care about the cause. "Spreading awareness of anti-idling is really important because it saves not only gas, but the environment" states club moderator Donna DiMassa. The Enviromental Club feels that this week respresents a small step towards a cleaner environment.

Though anti-idling week is just Sept. 27 to Oct 2 at Lauralton Hall, the efforts of the Environmental Club will be successful only if the school community continues to say no to idling in the parking lot, or wherever they may be. Saving the environment is saving the future and anti-idling is one way we can do that.

See the Top 5 Reasons Not to Idle:

1. It's against the law! In the state of Connecticut, if you idle your car, truck, or motorcycle for more than 3 minutes, you are actually breaking the law!

2. Idling wastes gas! Idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine. By idling less, you can save between $70-$650 a year in wasted fuel.

3. Protect your car and engine! Idling actually increases overall ENGINE WEAR and stress on the BATTERY by causing the car to operate for longer than necessary

4. Cars warm up faster when moving, not idling! The best way to warm your engine and your car interior is to ease into your drive. The engine warms up twice as quickly when driven.

5. When you idle, you breathe in dirty exhaust that leaks into the cabin of the car. If parked and waiting, it's healthier to step outside of the car and go inside a store or building.



Lauralton Welcomes Director of Campus Ministry/Campus Minister

Jean Santopatre is the new Director of Campus Ministry/Campus Minister here at Lauralton Hall.  She completed a Master of Arts in Theology from Yale Divinity School in May 2015 and a certificate in Education, Leadership and Ministry from the Berkeley Divinity School.

Previously, Jean worked as an intern in Campus Ministry at St. Thomas More, Yale Catholic chaplaincy with assistant chaplain Katie Byrnes and Fr. Bob Beloin before joining the staff at Lauralton Hall. At St. Thomas More, she created a workbook on the contemplative prayer of St. Ignatius called the Examen and co-led a Mission Immersion trip to El Salvador for Yale Catholic undergraduate students.

As a volunteer Jean led Mission Immersion trips to the Passamaquoddy Reservation in Maine, Los Ninos in Mexico and Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. These were rewarding experiences for the students she accompanied and for the residents as well. Jean is planning a Mission Immersion trip back to the Passamaquoddy Reservation in Maine with the help of the Sisters of Mercy from Portland. Sr. Dale Jarvis has committed to re-establishing this site for our Lauralton Hall students so they also may participate in this Mission Immersion experience.

Jean lives in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport with her husband, Michael who is a merchant mariner and their son Dylan who is a freshman at Fairfield University. She is energized by the Lauralton Hall students, faculty and staff and is looking forward to carrying on the Mercy tradition of Catherine McAuley.


Discovery to Cure Beverly Levy Walk at Yale University
Our LH students participated in the annual walk at Yale University in support of research for reproductive cancers. Discovery to Cure, an internationally recognized program of the Yale School of Medicine, was launched in 2003 and is dedicated to advancing new methods of prevention, early detection and treatment of women’s reproductive cancers in order to lead to a cure. 
"As a survivor of ovarian cancer, whose life was saved by early detection, I know how important it is to fund research of this terrible disease….I was diagnosed by luck, but nobody should have to survive by luck." — Rosa DeLauro, Congresswoman and 30 Year Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Students from left to right are: Sara Simovitz '17, Maddie Peloso '16-co-capt., Margaret Telling '18, Hannah Haynes '17
LH Student Named Scholastic All-American by USA Swimming

Lauralton Hall is pleased to announce that Trumbull resident, Elizabeth Sargent ’16 has recently been named as a Scholastic All-American by USA Swimming. USA Swimming recognizes those athletes who excel in both the pool and the classroom through its Scholastic All-America program. The Scholastic All-America Team is made up of high school student-athletes who have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and who have achieved the required time standard in a single event.

Sargent had an impressive record last season as she helped lead Lauralton Hall to their Class M State Swimming Championship Title during the 2014 season. 

Lauralton Hall Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Class of 2019!

One hundred and fifteen Lauralton Hall students of the Class of 2019 were celebrated in Hollywood style as they entered the doors of the Lauralton Hall Athletic Center on August 31, 2015. This year, the Admissions team went all out to make sure the Class of 2019 felt like VIPs. Upon arrival, the stars were greeted by cheering fans, celebrating, and asking for their autographs while the paparazzi was on hand to snap their poses on the red carpet. Next, they were whisked off to the gymnasium where pop music was playing and the students were singing, dancing and getting to know one another.

That was only the beginning of their 4-day long celebration. Once the stardust settled, there were many events planned to help new students conquer their first day jitters. “These days were designed to help the freshmen students become acclimated to the school and meet their new friends,” said Kathy Shine, Director of Enrollment Management. “The goals of the events were for the students to have a great time participating in fun activities while learning about the school they'll be attending on September 8th.”

The first day was the VIP Freshman Fun Day, which was aimed at giving the Class of 2019 some special first memories of Lauralton Hall. Our newest members had the campus entirely to themselves to enjoy a fun day of social activities and team bonding. A campus-wide scavenger hunt, poster making and a pizza party were just some of the events that took place throughout the day. 

The freshman returned the next day to participate in the Adam Kreiger Adventure Program.  This program provides groups with a series of sequenced team-based challenges in a safe environment. The goal of the program is to build the skill set for participants to: become effective leaders; find productive conflict resolution approaches; be confident members of high-performance teams; appreciate and take ownership of the group process; understand responsibility to themselves, others, and the community; encourage conscientious risk-taking beyond perceived limitations; and excel at their endeavors. With all of this team bonding, the LH Class of 2019 was off to a great start. 

On day three, Lauralton Hall hosted the matriculation ceremony. This event formally inducted the Class of 2019 into the Lauralton Hall community. Parents, relatives and friends joined faculty, staff, alumnae and trustees in welcoming the new students to the Lauralton family. In keeping with the unique Lauralton tradition, the new students marched in to the ceremony accompanied by the bagpipes and drums of the Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band; the same band that will accompany them as they leave the school after their commencement ceremony.

English teacher Pam Boynton said, “I know as both a Lauralton Hall parent and educator that life is full of many firsts—a baby’s first tooth or a preschooler’s first day of kindergarten. Our matriculation ceremony is a special “freshman first.” It marks the first time the freshman class formally gathers as Lauralton Ladies. They understand that they are poised at the start of their academic journeys with us here and—most importantly—that we as faculty, stand with them. They are not alone. They are a new part of our world now, a place dedicated to nurturing and empowering them.”

As the week came to a close, the freshmen were back at Lauralton one last time, excited to finally meet their teachers. It was the first day the students really began to settle into their new community. It was their first chance to meet with their fabulous teachers and find out what will be expected of them for the upcoming year so they begin their academic journey on the right track.

Here’s a snapshot of their reaction to this exciting week of friendship, formation, and team building:

“This is so amazing I cannot wait to start LH!” -Rachel ‘19

“Everyone is so welcoming. I feel like I am a part of the Lauralton family already!” Lauren ‘19

“I have made more friends in one hour that I feel like I have known all my life!”  Faith ‘19

“I was very nervous coming in today but now I cannot wait for the first day of school!” Julia ‘19

“I loved the decorations so much I wanted to take them home!”  Alanna ‘19 

Classes for all students officially began at Lauralton Hall on Tuesday, September 8. The Class of 2019 was now geared up and ready for the next four years of their lives. See more pictures of these festive events on our Flickr Page.



Two LH Students Honored to Speak at the Informed & Strong SUMMIT

Lauralton Hall is incredibly proud of our students Adaeze Dikko '16 and Jamiah Bennett '16. Not only are both young ladies speakers at the Informed & Strong Summit, they are Steering Committee Members, and have been a much-appreciated voice in determining the direction and content of this informative and important day-and-a-half-long Summit for 13-18-year old girls and their mothers or female significant role models. The world is going to be in great hands with young ladies like Adaeze and Jamiah steering its course! We hope to see many Lauralton Hall students on October 24-25 at our Summit!  —Mary Ann Wasil 

Meet Informed & Strong SUMMIT Speakers Adaeze and Jamiah:

Adaeze Dikko is a senior at Lauralton Hall in Milford, Connecticut. A proud feminist, Adaeze has found herself very empowered to educate herself and others aboutpeople who are often misinterpreted in the media and general society. Words, whether they choose to be positive or not, have presented themselves to hold so much power and potential; and after recently reestablishing her love for writing and blogging, Adaeze hopes to be able to enlighten not only herself, but others on some of the struggles that all oppressed groups face in America. A firm believer that education is the solution to ignorance, Adaeze often finds herself researching different people and having deep, thought-provoking conversations with friends. Also a part of The Summit’s Steering Committee, Adaeze is so excited to take part in this amazing event and reach out to other women about issues that interest her so much. 

“I am so excited to join you all at The Get In Touch Summit because educating girls and their mother figures is so important to understanding ourselves and each other. We should feel an obligation to recognize and appreciate the countless types of women there are, and I think The Summit is an amazing way to open discussions that can sometimes be difficult to have.” —Adaeze Dikko

Adaeze Dikko               Jamiah Bennett 

Jamiah Bennett has been called a leader for her ability to aid and guide others in times of need. At only14-years old, Jamiah started the Connecticut chapter of the Curvy Girls Scoliosis Support Group, commonly known as Curvy Girls, after being diagnosed with Scoliosis herself. Shortly after being involved with Curvy Girls, she gained a greater understanding of the importance of peer-support and guidance. Now a 17-year-old student at Lauralton Hall, Jamiah makes it a priority to make sure she takes every opportunity to educate others about Scoliosis and peer-support. In an effort to do so, she does presentations about Scoliosis to middle-school girls and she is a actively involved with peer mentors at her school. 

“Making the decision to join everyone at The Summit was very easy. Mary Ann has been a huge inspiration to me ever since watching her Get In Touch video in sixth grade. The strength and motivation that she exhibits is powerful. She and her team have a very important goal of empowering females, which is something I am very passionate about. I truly believe this Summit will be life changing for girls. Many girls experience similar situations and do not realize there are others out there who are just like them. By participating in The Summit, I hope that I am able to show the participants how strong each and every one of them are. I hope I am able to inspire girls in a way that Mary Ann has inspired me.”  —Jamiah Bennett

Register today for the
The 2015 International Intergenerational “INFORMED & STRONG SUMMIT” for Women and Girls


Thank You...We Couldn't Have Done it Without You!

Lauralton Fund 2014-2015 surpassed our $310,000 goal, raising $314,400 for financial aid, classroom technology, faculty professional development and more.

Thank you to our entire Lauralton community for your generosity to our students and support of our mission.






CT Security Grant Improves Safety on Campus

A competitive matching grant from the State of Connecticut’s School Security Grant Program for $70,025 enabled the school to implement critical security features to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.  From security cameras, to a secure entry system, to the installation of ballistic glass, to emergency “Blue” call boxes throughout the campus, and other features, our campus provides a safe haven for all. 

LH Junior Earns Science and Mathematics award

Susan Hitchcock, director of community relations for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., presented the 2015 Fairfield University/Sikorsky Aircraft Excellence in Science and Mathematics to Tara Boyd, a junior at Lauralton Hall in Milford.

Ms. Boyd, a Bridgeport resident, was honored at a ceremony earlier this month for her outstanding achievements in the fields of mathematics and science.

The Stratford-based company, Sikorsky Aircraft and the Fairfield University’s School of Engineering teamed up to recognized several high school students from Fairfield and New Haven counties. Their annual Excellence in Mathematics and Science Awards ceremony honoring these students was held at the Fairfield University campus. Their principals and teachers nominated the award recipients.

Dean Bruce Berdanier, PhD, said, “This is an excellent event on campus because it provides us the opportunity to recognize the leading high school scholars in the areas of math and science while giving them a brief glimpse of possible career paths in science, engineering and Math with a great company like Sikorsky.”

The award recognition is intended to promote the study of mathematics and science as an essential building block for further STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) study and careers.

Ms. Hitchcock is a 1980 graduate of Lauralton.

Dreams do Come True for our LH Tennis Team!


MILFORD -- In the world of sports, an undefeated season is the stuff dreams are made of. For the Lauralton Hall girls tennis team that dream came true Friday as the Crusaders defeated Guilford 6-1 to win the Class M state championship.

"It is the most unbelievable thing," second-year coach Maureen Ferguson said. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think that being in our first year in the SCC that we would be able to be 24-0 and in the Class M state finals. It's a dream come true."

After falling in the first round of the Class M state playoffs a year ago, the Crusaders dominated their opponents this season en route to the first tennis state championship in school history.

Junior Shelby Vertula, who won her match at No. 1 singles against Emily Etter 6-0, 6-1, said that the team had an added emphasis on practices this season that helped get them to this point.

"We put in so much work," she said. "Every day we were practicing and if it was raining we were in the gym working out. We really put our whole effort into it. Everyone gave it their all whether it was in a match or during practice."

Ferguson said that it was the closeness of the team that makes this title even sweeter.

"They have the heart of winners and they have compassion to go along with it," she said.

"They are a one in a million, these girls. I just feel very fortunate to be able to coach them."

Class M final

Lauralton Hall 6, Guilford 1 (at Eisenhower Park, Milford): Singles: Shelby Vertula (LH) def. Emily Fetter 6-0, 6-1; Juluna Gonzalez (LH) def. Claire Dinauer 6-0, 6-2; Faren Roth (G) def. Margaret Landry 6-0, 6-3; Caitlin Lynch (LH) def. Charlotte Babbin 6-1, 6-4; Doubles: Tara Boyd/Michaela (LH) def. Genevieve Wilson/Maddie Montenegro 6-0, 6-0; Megan Hurley/Allison Devine (LH) def. Sam Stofflet/Molly Babbin 6-3, 2-6, 6-0; Madison Kustom/Kara Duggan (LH) def. Kate Dinauer/Ritikia Maknijani 6-0, 6-0. Records: Lauralton Hall 24-0.

BREAKING NEWS: The LH tennis team never had anyone make All-State (EVER) and this year we had 3 make it. Congratulations to Shelby Vertula, Tara Boyd and Michaela O’Donnell. All three also made the New Haven Register All-Star Team!!! Our coach Maureen Ferguson was also named New Haven Register Coach of the Year for Tennis. She sincerely shares the with Denise Sousa her co-coach and wishes that Denise gets the credit also.  

Colleen Bradley '16 was Awarded the Friends of Milford Library High School Book Award

Lauralton Hall is proud to announce that Colleen Bradley ’16 of West Haven was the recipient of a new program that the Milford Library has instituted called the High School Book Award program. Led by FOML committee members Peggy Bolger, Carrie Bryant, and Judy Salemme, and working with school personnel in all five of Milford’s high schools, the Friends will recognized one student per school who has exhibited outstanding personal character, made a positive impact on their school or community, and demonstrated a strong and consistent love of reading. Each award winner received a book and a duplicate copy of that book will be given to the student’s school library with a bookplate commemorating the student’s achievement. The Friends held a reception for all five students, their families, friends and school officials on Monday, June 8 at 6 p.m.

The Friends of the Milford Library is a non-profit, 501(c)3 volunteer organization. The focus of the group is to foster relations between the Milford Library and the community, to focus attention on library services, and to encourage and support fund raising activities.  All proceeds are used to fund children and adult programs, museum passes and expenses not covered by the City budget.

Amanda Acampora - Coach of the Year

Amanda Acampora was selected as Class L Softball Coach of Year.  Coach Acampora is in her 2nd season as Head Coach, after being the assistant coach for Coach Napolitano since 2010.  The Crusaders were ranked in the top 10 throughout the season, competed in the SCC League Tournament Championship Game and reached the quarterfinal round in the state tournament, finishing with a record of 20-5 on the season. 

Coach Acampora is a 2003 graduate of Amity High School, where she played for Coach Napolitano winning 3 softball state championships and earning softball honors including All State, All Area and Co-MVP of the State Championship game 2001.  She was recruited to play Division I softball at University of Massachusetts.

Commencement Held for Class of 2015

Commencement held for Class of 2015

And now I would like to close with a quote from Dr. Seuss’s book…the same book I shared at your matriculation four years ago, “Oh, the places you will go.”

You’re off to great places, today is your day

Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way.

And will you succeed?

Yes, you will indeed!

God Bless You! 

- Dr. Toni Iadarola, President

“The mass and acceleration are our core values and the breadth and depth of our academic knowledge,” Emily said during her commencement address. “The more we learned as we progressed in Lauralton’s classrooms and on the sports fields, the more academic acceleration and moral momentum we gained. We, the Class of 2015, are now a force, a force of good to change the world.”

–Emily Discepola, Valedictorian

“Here, we embrace our quirks and here, we are not afraid to veer from societal norms. Here, we have combined our talents and skills to mold Lauralton Hall into a truly thought-provoking and inspiring place. Here, we have realized a unique home. Here, we have become our best selves.”

–Olivia Maffei, Salutatorian

On May 30, Lauralton Hall presented diplomas to 113 young women from several towns across Connecticut. President Antoinette Iadarola, Ph.D., gave the opening and closing remarks and, along with Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael Amato and Principal Cynthia Gallant, presented the graduates with their diplomas. Michael Amato also presented the Catherine McAuley Award.

The Catherine McAuley Award, Lauralton’s highest honor, is named for the Sisters of Mercy’s foundress and is given to a student for her commitment to Lauralton’s mission; her sound academic performance, her spirit of volunteerism and a value system that responds to others with compassion, courage and genuine graciousness. This year the award went to Jaclyn Brewster of Bridgeport.

The ceremony also included speeches from Valedictorian Emily Discepola and Salutatorian Olivia Maffei. These young women, along with Catherine McAuley recipient Jaclyn Brewster, topped a list of accomplished and service-minded graduates who will pursue higher education at some of the most competitive colleges and universities in the country, including Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, University of Notre Dame, Wesleyan, New York University and Villanova.

In her opening remarks President Iadarola spoke of how impressed she is with this year’s graduating class. “We are so proud of all of our graduates,” she said. “They have been accepted at over 300 colleges and universities and they have received over $21 million in merit based scholarships! We are also proud that they have used their Mercy education to formulate a vision of a just global society, demonstrating their compassion for others by performing more than 5,000 hours of service this year. Our graduates have traveled to Guatemala to work side by side with villagers to help build schools and playgrounds, they ahve partnered with our sister school in Gambia to learn about life in the third world, they went to Guyana, the Dominican republic and Nicaragua to work with Builders Beyond Borders while others went on mission trips in Africa to free the children. In short, they have learned well, the dictum of our foundress, Catherine McAuley when she said: “the poor need help today……not next week!”

Valedictorian Emily Discepoladaughter of Marilyn and Kevin Discepola of Shelton. Emily is a classic leader by example garnering many academic awards through the years. An award-winning student, she received President Obama’s Recognition of Educational Excellence Award; the Office of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Hartford Medal; and the William J. Moffett American Legion Post 34 Award. Emily received department medals in Science and Religion for demonstrating excellence, commitment, and interest in the study of these subjects. Emily was highly involved in many school clubs and activities such as National Honor Society of which she was Secretary for two years; Peer Tutor; Peer Mentor; French Club and the French Honor Society, Speed Puzzling, Historical Club, Environmental Club and Instrument Ensemble.  Emily is also a Girl Scout, competitive dancer, and a member of the high school league Nutmeg Curling Club. Emily has volunteered both at school and at numerous organizations such as the following:  Griffin Hospital, St. Joseph’s PNCC, Lauralton Hall Science Olympics, and regularly volunteers at Lauralton events. In addition to volunteering, Emily has participated in the UCONN Explore Engineering Program. Among her peers, Emily is friendly, positive, respectful and extremely respected.  Her teachers hail her as a fantastic and highly motivated student.   

Emily will be attending UCONN in the fall and is proud to be the recipient of the UCONN Presidential Scholars Award.

Salutatorian Olivia Maffei, daughter of Concetta and Douglas Maffei of Norwalk. Olivia has received many accolades such as high honors consistently. Through the years she has achieved awards for excellence in the study of Latin. She was a member of the National Honors Society, the National Latin Honors Society and the Latin Club.  Olivia was a recipient of the President Obama’s Recognition of Educational Excellence Award, the Office of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Hartford Medal and the Academic Award of Excellence. In addition, she has attended the Brown University Summer Class on Economics. Emily upholds the tenets of excellence in scholarship, leadership and commitment to service.  She is responsible, trustworthy and respectful.   She truly leads by example and she is dedicated to all she does from her academics to community service. Olivia is a committed and caring young woman, who has volunteered at numerous events both in and out of school over the past four years. She was a member of the Key Club, Environmental Club, Youth and Government Team, Student Council, Choir and was the Junior Class Treasurer and Freshman Host. When not in school, Olivia has been very active playing violin and performing with the St. Matthew Youth Choir. She also co-directs the St. Mathew Bible Camp.

Olivia plans to further her academics next year at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Catherine McAuley Award recipient Jaclyn Brewsterdaughter of Mary Ann and James Brewster of Bridgeport, Jaclyn will attend College of the Holy Cross in the fall to major in Math and Physics. While at Lauralton, she participated in the National Honor Society elected as Vice President, the French National Honor Society and Co-President of the Engineering Club. She was also a member of Peer Tutors, Peer Mentors, French Club and the Choir. Jaclyn was a leader on the field as well as off. She was involved in various sports including captain of the field hockey team and captain of the softball team.  She has won numerous athletic awards such as CIAC Scholar Athlete, CT High School Scholar Athlete Award, News 12 Scholar Athlete of the Week and several All-State First Team accolades. She was very involved in community services at school such as helping with the Science Olympics, volunteering at the Lauralton Hall Summer Program and was a Freshman Host. She also enjoyed volunteering at Smilow Burroughs Boys and Girls Club, Wakeman Boys and Girls Club and was an Altar Server at St. Ann Church. A high honors student, Jaclyn’s awards have included Excellence in French, Excellence in Science, College of Holy Cross Book Prize, Sikorsky Aircraft/Fairfield University Math/Science Award, Citizenship Award, Frances Warde Service Award, Black Rock Community Civic Award and the President Obama’s Recognition of Educational Excellence Award. Described as “a leader who rises to the challenges she sets,” Jaclyn is “serious about learning and willing to take on any project or task,” President Antoinette Iadarola    said. “Many of our younger students have looked to her as the ideal of what they can achieve. She represents the very best of our student body.”

Jaclyn and her amily are members of St. Ann Church in Bridgeport.

Class of 1965 Recognized
Representatives of the Class of 1965 celebrated their 50th jubilee and were recognized by members of the graduating class who presented each jubilarian with a single rose. President Iadarola handed them golden diplomas and gifts.

Walking the Golden Staircase 
Adding a historic touch, the class of 2013 continued the school tradition “Walking the Golden Staircase.” After the graduation ceremony concluded, the graduates elegantly descended the carved spiral staircase that is part of the original Lauralton mansion where the alumnae community welcomed them as their newest members.  

Liturgy and Lauralton Legacy 
In celebration of the Class of 2015, a Graduation Liturgy, presided over by Reverend Charles Allen, S.J. was held on May 27. Opening and Offertory songs were sung by Lauralton’s Advanced Vocal Ensemble. As the Liturgy drew to a close, several members of the Class of 2015 who are the daughters and granddaughters of Lauralton alumnae were recognized.


—Photo of Dr. Iadarola: Arnold Gold/New Haven Register 

Lauralton Hall Tennis Looks for Undefeated Season

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Rain hasn’t spoiled Lauralton Hall’s run to a Class M state championship in tennis. The Crusaders started their title run with a pair of indoor wins Monday and Tuesday. The program has potential to be a state power year in and year out.
Every match this season has ended the same way for the Lauralton Hall tennis team, added up to an undefeated 22-love record.

“Never, ever dreamed that we would have an undefeated season,” said Ferguson.

“I knew since the first week of tryouts and I met everyone, I said ‘this is going to be our year.'”

After Tuesday’s win over New Fairfield, the Crusaders are two team wins away from a perfect season and a Class M state championship.

“They want to do this,” said Ferguson. “They want this and they’ve worked really hard to get here.

It’s been a special kind of year for Maureen Ferguson’s team. Lauralton Hall was expected to be competitive, but there was a little uncertainty after changing conferences. A regular season and conference tournament title later, they’ve made the move from the SWC to the ultra-competitive SCC look easy.

“It’s definitely not easy, never, ever did we think we would be as successful as we are,” said Ferguson.

Depth, commitment, coaching, and talent are big reasons why this group has become the number one team in the state. They’re enjoying the moment, even when things don’t go right.

“Last week I volleyed one into the back of her head.”

“That part of it and the fun aspect of it is one of the most important things to us,” said the coach.

“We smile through everything.”

The Crusaders now have to wait for everyone else to catch up. Their semi-final opponent, who still is to be determined, hasn’t even played its first round match yet.


Watch the video from SportsEdge/Channel8News

By John Pierson — New Haven Register — Published: June 2, 2015


Former Tennis Pro Gigi Fernandez visits LH Tennis Team

Former Tennis Pro GIGI FERNANDEZ pays a visit to the LH Tennis team! Gigi was on the Pro Tours from 1983-1997 and won 69 WTA Doubles Titles and 2 WTA Singles Titles. She came to visit our girls at our Senior Night match against Sheehan HS. They were honored to have her bring her tennis expertise to our players!

This is a picture of Gigi (middle) and our LH Tennis team with coaches Maureen Ferguson and Denise Sousa.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian are Announced

The 2015 Valedictorian is Emily Discepola of Shelton and the Salutatorian is Olivia Maffei of NorwalkEmily and Olivia leave Lauralton with impressive resumes that show academic excellence, dedication to their school and communities, and service to others. 

Emily Discepola will be attending UCONN and is proud to be the recipient of the UCONN Presidential Scholars Award and Olivia Maffei will be attending Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

The Lauralton class of 2015 has an impressive list of ivy league college acceptances this year as well, including University of Pennsylvania, Marissa Favano and Elizabeth Martinez; Columbia University, Nadine Wagner; and Cornell University, Jessica Vanam.

Congratulations to everyone and we wish them the best of luck in their furture endeavors.


Catherine and Claire Notarfrancesco '18 Rowed their way to Victory

Catherine and Claire Notarfrancesco '18 rowed their way to a second place victory at the Northeast Regional Championships in Lowell Mass last week

USRowing is the national governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing selects, trains and manages the teams that represent the U.S. in international competition including the world championships, Pan American Games and Olympics.
USRowing hosts the Northeast Regional Championships in Lowell Mass every May. Over 250 boats are entered in the completion.  Catherine and Claire rowed in the 2V quad for Saugatuck Rowing Club of Westport. After 2 days of qualifying races semifinals the girls boat ultimately finished 2nd place in its division.
Lauralton Hall is hoping to establish its first LH crew team this fall. 



Lauralton Hall Students Traveled to London and Ireland

Twenty-two Lauralton Hall students and 2 chaperones led by Mrs. Cummings traveled to London and Ireland during spring break. 

As participants arrived in London with a full itinerary, they toured Westminster Abby, St. Paul’s Cathedral where Prince Charles and Diana exchanged vows, and the Globe Theater where students were enthralled by a young actor/guide who engaged everyone in a discussion of Shakespearean stage, plays  and actors.

The group traveled to Windsor Castle and toured the grounds and residence of Queen Elizabeth II.  Next they spent the day in London to shop at the famous Harrods Department store; then onto Madame Tussauds Wax Museum to take photos with the royal family and various celebrities.  Students attended a West End production of Les Miserables, and they explored Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar. They attended Mass at St. Giles in the Fields, visited the British Museum to see the ancient artifacts of Egypt and Assyria and artwork of the Masters.  The Tower of London was next on the itinerary where the group filed past the Crown Jewels and climbed the steps of the Bloody Tower where Anne Boleyn was held prior to her demise.  That evening ended with a gruesome walk in the path of Jack the Ripper whereby the guide detailed the monstrous acts as the group moved from one location to the next.

After spending a few days in London, the students departed on a flight to Shannon Airport in Ireland. The first stop in this beautiful country was the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher then on to Bunratty Castle where students explored the dungeon and the Great Hall. Next they travelled to the Ring of Kerry, visited Muckross House and hiked to the infamous “Torc Falls” and the “Ladies View.”

As the journey continued to Dublin they stopped at the Rock of Cashel, then Dublin City. They took a tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and spent the day exploring St. Steven’s Green and the Grafton Street shops. 

One of the highlights of their trip was visiting Mercy International Center on Baggot Street where Catherine McAuley first began the Sisters of Mercy in response to the needs of the poor of Dublin. It is home to the Mercy family from all over the world. Here, Catherine made her mark on the future lives of generations of women who found themselves growing and blossoming under her tutelage. Lauralton Hall continues to fulfill the promise to educate young women in the Mercy tradition of Catherine McAuley. The Promise: Lauralton Hall is the Catholic, college-preparatory school that empowers a young woman to excel in any endeavor, to find her own voice, and to be a bearer of mercy to those in need.


The "Drive for the Gambia" was a Success

Thank you to everyone who supported our "Drive for the Gambia" last week.  On Thursday, Yassin, from The Gambia and Starfish International stopped by to be presented with a check in the amount of $640 which was donated by the LH community. While here, Yassin was brought to the room where all of the other donations were being prepared, packed and labeled to be shipped to the Gambia and the girls at Starfish, our sister school there. She was clearly overwhelmed and moved by the outpouring of support from Lauralton Hall. 

A Starfish student, Madeline, was planning to shadow a Freshman student here this week, but was unable to attend; she did, however, send a video of herself thanking us for all of our help and love.  Our hope is to continue with this wonderful friendship and sisterhood with the girls of Starfish through our efforts with the Starfish Club, which will be active in the Fall of next year. 

About Mam-Yassin Sarr: Yassin is from The Gambia, West Africa.  She lives in Brewerton, New York with her husband and two children, but spends most of the year in The Gambia educating girls.  She is the director of Starfish International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance humanity through girls’ education and provides international service-learning opportunities in The Gambia, West Africa.  Mam-Yassin earned her Bachelor’s in French and Sociology at Berea College, her Master’s in TESOL at Murray State University, and is currently finishing a Certificate in Advanced Studies in Teaching and Curriculum at Syracuse University.  She enjoys travelling, service projects, reading, and fundraising to build an academy for girls in her home country.



Marine Biology Class Travels to CT Audubon Coastal Center in MIlford

This week the marine biology class travelled to the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center in Milford. While at the center, students worked with naturalist Frank Gallo to measure distance between wrack lines.  Wrack lines are the lines of broken reed grasses and seaweeds washed up by the tides.  By measuring these distances, students can track tidal motion and infer the impact of changing tides on beach structure.  This is the first year students are involved in taking these measurements.  The Audubon Society will be able to incorporate these measurements into a yearly data log to track the changing beach structure rather than relying on antidotal observations. 

In addition, students also took temperature and salinity readings of tide pool water and deeper Sound water.  The immediate effect is that students can visualize the changing and harsh nature of the tide pools and understand the various adaptations organisms have evolved to survive in these habitats.  The long term impact is that the Audubon Society will have a record of temperature and salinity levels of the Sound over time.  This will allow them to monitor changing conditions of Long Island Sound – changing conditions which can impact the species that currently make Long Island Sound their home. 

Students ended their morning with a beach ‘scavenger hunt” in which they scoured the beach for examples of animal and plant adaptations to better understand our dynamic shoreline communities. The weather couldn't have been more perfect.

To see the album, visit the LH Facebook Page.


Students Visit Fordham University

This week four Lauralton Hall seniors and two counselors had the pleasure of attending a private tour of Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus and lunch on the famous Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

Admitted seniors Margaret Gallagher, Uma Moyse, Tara Brunner, and Farrell Graneth and guidance counselors Sue Fracker and Erin Chamberlain were the guests of Mr. Roger Milici, Vice President, for a tour of the campus which included a private viewing of antiquities in the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art, housed in the Fordham student library.

In addition, the students were delighted to view the Fordham Chapel, which is considered a “jewel in the crown” of many architecturally significant buildings on this beautiful campus oasis. The tour was led by a current student and accompanying the group to answer questions and provide insight was a Lauralton alum who is in her freshman year at Fordham.  The grounds were in full spring bloom, which only added to an already enchanting tour.

A huge highlight of the day occurred when Mr. Milici introduced the students and counselors to Father Joseph McShane, S.J., the 32nd president of Fordham University, serving since 2003. In his beautifully appointed spacious office, Father McShane regaled the students with the history of the University. He was very interested in each girl’s personal journey to university acceptance and spent a lot of time learning about them, while sharing what Fordham would have to offer our students, academically, socially and spiritually. 

The tour culminated on Arthur Avenue, known for its authentic cultural eateries and experiences. The students were treated to a pizza luncheon at Michelangelo’s where they also were pleased to meet the University’s athletic director, Mr. David Roach, who joined the ladies for lunch. Thank you Mr. Milici, Father McShane and Fordham students for a very special day.


Alumnae Association Inducts Class of 2015

The annual Alumnae Induction and Class Tree Planting Ceremony took place on April 28. The Class of 2015 gathered in the chapel to take part in this timeless tradition. Kathleen Spencer Sargent, ’58 opened the ceremony with a talk on “Transition from Student to Alumna,” encouraging the students to always stay connected to their alma mater. as the symbols of the ceremony were explained, Mary Lou Conforte Castracane, ’63, displayed each item on a lace-adorned table in front of the altar. Catherine McAuley’s words, “we should be as shining lamps, giving light to all around us” were represented by candles lighted by the Class of 2015 officers: Victoria Stapleton, President; Olivia Maffei; Vice President; Alexandra Grabler; Treasurer; and Diamanté McKay, Secretary. 

Jessica Vigliotti, ’05 read the official roll call, asking each student to come forward to receive her symbols of the ceremony—a pink carnation signifying I will remember you, an Alumnae Association membership card, and a copy of Centum, a chronicle of Lauralton’s first one hundred years. Alumna mothers of several graduating students presented their daughters with these symbols. Alumnae Board President Penny Obuhanick Denos, ’80 gave the official induction statement, followed by a rousing rendition of the Alma Mater led by members of the school choral groups. Finally, the chapel bell tolled proclaiming the Class of 2013 as official members of the Alumnae Association.    

The Class Agents, a vital link between the Class of 2015 and Lauralton Hall, were presented. They are: Kathryn Adriani, Theresa Bravo, Rachel Campbell, Olivia DeFeo, Yvonne Nguyen, Anne Prusak, Tierney Riccitelli and Victoria Stapleton.

When the cheering ended, the seniors proceeded to the Claven Auditorium for a bountiful luncheon. They placed their pink carnations in vases set on the tables creating centerpieces of friendship. A gift for each senior, a class mug, was given by the junior class. The Alumnae Association presented each senior with a Laundry Bag — a perfect gift to take to college! Class officers presented the class history that took them through their four years at Lauralton.  

The festivities ended with the traditional planting of the class tree. Students spoke about the importance of planting a tree on campus to leave a lasting impact on the community and the environment. The Lauralton class tree plaque which hangs in the foyer was unveiled to show the new gold left representing the Class of 2015. Class members planted their tree—a stellar weeping Cherry tree.

One more step toward the exciting culmination for the Class of 2015 is the Carousel Countdown on the last day of classes. Graduation is May 30, 2015.


Prom Week is a Busy Week for SADD Members.

The  members of SADD has one mission in mond. It is to raisie awareness in our community to be safe, to be healthy and happy and make great memories.  The girls made treat bags for every Jr/Sr student letting them know that SADD is thinking of them and that "Life is Too Sweet to Throw Away".  They also did their annual "SADDWALK", writing messages to the students as they came up the lane.  Harborside Middle School 6th & 7th graders did "caring cards" for all prom-goers, which were put on all place settings at the prom venue, MADD ribbons were put on all of the Jr/Sr cars and a SADD message was written on all white/blackboards in all Jr/Sr homerooms as the treat bags were delivered.  Two assemblies were also presented during the week; one for Jr/Sr class from MADD about drinking/testing and driving and the other for Freshmen/Sophomores, which included a young speaker who was dealing with alcoholism in high school.  Thanks to SADD and our Lauralton community for supporting this worthy cause; the prom was a huge, safe and MEMORABLE success!  


Game Changers Day...Inspiring Women to Follow Their Dreams

Female leaders from a broad spectrum of careers converged on the Lauralton Hall campus for its inspirational program called Game Changers Day.This program introduces students to successful career women in leadership positions who have made a difference in their professions and communities. The presenters shared their experiences and offered insight into future career paths. 

The keynote speaker was Senator Gayle Slossberg, Assistant President Pro Tempore. First elected in 2004, Senator Slossberg was reelected in 2014 for her sixth term as the State Senator representing Milford, Orange, the southern half of West Haven, and part of Woodbridge. She is currently the Senate Chair of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and Vice Chair of the Human Services Committee.

“Do your homework, do your research, work hard and you could do anything you put your mind to,” stated Senator Slossberg. "Opportunity is not handed out so young women have to go out there and get it.” This was the common theme heard throughout the day from all of the participants.

In addition to Senator Slossberg, the students had the opportunity to meet with an impressive panel of 20 women who shared their experiences and offered insight into the career paths they chose including law, athletics, politics, journalism, education, sciences, finance and engineering. All of the presenters were highly accomplished women from throughout Connecticut, including Denise D’Acenzo, Broadcast Journalist: WFSB, Elizabeth Higgins Gladfelter, Ph.D '64: Marine Science, Published Author and Deirdre Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to name a few.

Click here to see the article from the Milford Mirror.


                                                                                                                View the inspiring video on YouTube.

Students inducted into the Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish World Language Honor Societies.

On three separate evenings, 51 students were inducted into the Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish World Language Honor Societies. The new inductees earned membership into their respective honor societies by maintaining a 91 weighted average over the three semesters preceding the induction and displayed an interest in the culture of the languages. Lauralton’s principal, Ms Gallant, and Academic Dean, Ms Powers, presided over the various ceremonies presenting the new inductees certificates and current seniors with honor cords, which they will proudly wear at graduation.  

The newly inducted members of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools are: Jeanne Ilano, Susannah LaPointe and Caroline Sarda.

The Société Honoraire de Français members are: Sara Abbazia, Cameron Britt, Mackenzie Britt, Kathryn Fama, Mary Rose Finnigan, Sarah Kulaga, Hannah Kehoe, Kaitlyn Mingione, Bridget Moore, and Isabelle Smith.  

The Latin Honor Society members are: Emma Bieling, Kaleigh Calvao, Kayla Ciardiello, Liliana Delmonico, Catherine Dobensky, Isabella Fusco, Ava Gustafson, Payton Kiel, Mary McMullen, Dakota Meyer, Stephanie Pasqualini, Jane Pollard, Julia Spillane, and Felicia Tanu. 

The Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica new inductees are: Katharine Arsenault, Gabriela Baghdady, Jamiah Bennett, Luciana Borrelli, Colleen Bradley, Laura Brea, Shannon Buttling, Grace Cogguillo, Devin Connelly, Kaeli DeCesare, Lily DiDomenico, Kristen Dowling, Breanne Ellis, Ashley Evans, Kiley Forrest, Amanda Gerstenfeld, Elizabeth Khalil, Fatimah Khan, Sydney King,  Danielle Koterbay, Sarah Leatherwood, Madelyn Monahan, Sophie Murray, Michaela ODonnell, Kellianne Pengue, Clarice Pennock, Amanda Pepler, Alexandria Peruzzi, Veronica Piscitelli, Christy Russo, Alexandra Sciallo, Yashaswini Soleti, Madeline Tein, Melissa Ulbrick, Kerry Ullman, Jennifer Veith, Dominika Wojciechowski, and Ellie Ziedman.

Following the ceremonies, refreshments and conversations were shared along with a breathtaking slide presentation of last year’s cultural experience in France by several Lauralton students, an impressive video of Chinese III students in the classroom and musical entertainment by the Mariachi Academy of Wallingford.

Congratulations to all!


Here are some of the exciting activities that took place throughout the year in our World Languages — Chinese Program and Club. 


YAG Students Had Their Bills Passed and Signed by the Governor

Congratulations to all the members of Youth & Government for their performance this year at the state conference. The following students had their bills passed and signed by the Governor: Sarah Kulaga and Kate Canavan (Tax breaks for firms that provide day care), Adaeze Dikko and Alicia Hudak (student sensitivity training), Maya Zaleski and Sarah Vaccarelli (Mandatory Drama Classes), and Olivia Maffei and Tori Stapleton (Psychological screening of students), Faye DiBella and Briana Marcinauskis (Public preschools), Marissa Favano and Allie Devine (Gluten free menus in restaurants), Luciana Borrelli (E-Cigarettes ban). In addition, Rachelle Ambroise and Maddie Dragone, and Deanna East and Elizabeth Alfiero won for Best Overall Bills.

Several students were further recognized for their individual contributions and achievements. Marissa Browne and Marissa Favano won the Youth in Law competition for the THIRD year in a row! Only one other team has accomplished this feat and they were also from Lauralton Hall. Tori Stapleton also won Best Debater.

Two of our students won election to state office. Rachelle Ambroise won Speaker of the House and Maya Zaleski won Secretary of State.

This summer, several of our students will be traveling out of state to participate in two national conferences with student from over 35 states. Some will travel to North Carolina for the Conference on National Affairs and some will travel to Chicago for the National Judicial Conference.


Softball Team Played Ball at the Boys & Girls Club in Bridgeport

The Junior and Senior members of the Lauralton Softball team spent their afternoon at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Bridgeport, working with 3rd-8th graders. The  team decided to volunteer at the organization this year as a result of senior captain Jackie Brewster, who volunteers at the location throughout the year. She presented the idea to the team who quickly agreed that it would be a fun way to give back to the community. Although it was not mandatory, all Juniors and Seniors spent their Friday afternoon and early evening to make the event a success. The LH team members organized and planned games to play to enhance the students understanding and skills towards the sport of softball. They took pride in their teams throughout the day during relay races and wiffle ball games and each session ended with a giant game of Pickle. At the end the girls noted how happy and involved all the students were in their activities, many coming up to thank the LH girls for their dedication and donation. It was nice to see them so involved in the community and to be giving back!

Art Club Students Make Their Mark

The mural being created by Art Club is their own interpretation and expression. They combined elements of Van Gogh's Starry Night, Edvard Munch's The Scream, and their own original paintings of a Lauralton student at the Mansion. The students wanted the wall to be unique to the Lauralton experience, something only Lauralton girls would relate to and understand. It is in the area where they meet and socialize during free time and lunch and will be completed in acrylics over the next few weeks. 

Students include Vivien Cheng, Chrissy Heisler, Sophie Corbett, Cheyenne Hedley, Stephanie Pasqualini, Maddie Tein, Sophia D'Amico, Sally Boynton, Katie Hazzard, and others.


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Honors Lauralton

Lauralton Hall has been recognized by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for its commitment and dedication to those most in need around the world. The school is one of only twelve Catholic High Schools throughout the nation to be invited to serve as Platinum CRS Global High Schools through the CRS iNeighbor High School Program. The mission of the program is to deepen the schools’ understanding of global issues and the impact the Catholic Church can make. Our outstanding dedication to Catholic social teaching, global solidarity, and service to the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters throughout the world has set our school apart from others.  

Accepting the plaque on behalf of the school community was President Toni Iadarola, Ph.D.
Lauralton Hall will be officially recognized during the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) conference in April.

Presenters from L to R: Soha Menassa, CRS Lebanon, Peggy Jean Craig, CRS Northeast, Dr. Idorola, and Mari Barboza, CRS Northeast
Click here to view a video piece on Soha Menassa’s visit to Lauralton Hall that the Office of Radio and Television featured on their March 22, 2015 episode.

Students Volunteer in Guatemala

In February, twenty-eight students went to Guatemala with a non-profit organization called School the World, which works with communities in Guatemala and Honduras to help bring education to those in need. School the World is a unique organization as they work closely with the community and its members to help provide education to these small towns. 

‪For several students, this was a return trip. Last year they went to Guatemala to build a school. This year they built a playground equipped with seesaws, tunnels, swings, checkerboards, a basketball court and more to encourage the community to continue to grow and pursue education.

The students were impressed with how much had been accomplished within the year. School the World provided extensive training for the teachers and parents. Students were still in school and learning at a much higher rate than ever before. Teachers were motivated by their students’ success and continued to push them to achieve at their highest possible level and the students were taking pride in their learning and what they had accomplished. The expansion of the town was significant as new families were continually moving in, and it was obvious that every adult and child was on board to embrace the change. This was a direct result of the Lauralton students who brought a school to a community in need the year before.

‪Nelson Mandela states it best, that "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." The introduction of the school in El Durazno not only encouraged the people in the community to continue to grow and develop, but it also opened up doors and opportunities that had previously been closed. The experience overall was truly empowering and life changing for all who participated, young and old alike.



Dr. Clem in the Land of Chocolate and Lace



Dr. Clem Kuehn presented a keynote paper at the International Conference “Light on Creation” held at the Katholieke Unversiteit Lueven in Belgium this past winter.

The sessions were spread out over three days and nights and included papers about creation as described by ancient pagan and Hellenistic philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Proclus) and early Christian theologians, including: Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Basil the Great, and Anastasius of Sinai. The speakers were well-known specialists from Italy, Germany, Belgium, the United States, etc. From New England and the East Coast, the speakers were Dr. Gregory Sterling, Dean of the Divinity School (Yale) and Dr. Kuehn. Kuehn spoke about the first three chapters of Genesis as interpreted by the seventh-century monk, Anastasius of Sinai. Kuehn has written extensively about early Christian accounts of creation. The conference gave these scholars from various disciplines and countries an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas in a collegial and academic setting. Through this exchange they were able to gain new and broader perspectives.

Kuehn’s seniors in AP Latin followed the progress of his paper for the entire academic year. He followed the same steps in preparing his paper as his students use in preparing their analyses of ancient texts. This included reading a near-final version to the students and responding to their questions and suggestions. The Leuven paper included subjects they were familiar with: ancient philosophers, Genesis, and the Odyssey by Homer. Thus the students were able to experience the academic process of preparing scholarly papers.

While in Leuven, Kuehn visited the admissions office of KU Leuven and spoke with their head admissions officer. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is the oldest active Catholic university in the world, founded in 1425. It is an internationally oriented university, which offers over 50,000 students an academic education based on high-level research. KU Leuven strives to be a center for reflection and open discussion of social, philosophical, and ethical topics important for the Catholic community. Its courses are taught in Dutch and English, and its undergraduate English programs include Philosophy, Theology, Business, and Engineering. It has many graduate programs in the English language. Last year, KU Leuven ranked among the top 25 universities in the world.*




Lauralton Hall Turns Trash to Fashion

Now in its tenth year, the Lauralton Hall Environmental Club put on its “Trash the Runway” Eco-Fashion Show aimed at promoting sustainable living and good stewardship of the earth. Turning trash into fashion was the predominant theme as students showcased their innovative outfits made out of recycled goods.

As models strolled the down the runway in dresses, gowns and skirts created out of water bottles, broken CDs, used dryer sheets, corks, feathers, old magazines, newspapers and even train ticket stubs, the commentator revealed useful facts about the importance of recycling. Other outfits were made of clothing found in LH’s Lost and Found as well as from local Salvation Armies and Goodwill stores. New this year was a showing from Pemberley Designer Consignments in Monroe. Leslie Troy, owner, put together outfits that had a retail value of well over $500 but could be purchased at her boutique for a fraction of that price. “I’m surprised every day what people bring in, and how much of it is brand new, with the tags still on,” says Ms. Troy.

I believe there should be no such thing as trash,” states Donna DiMassa, the Environmental Club moderator and English teacher at Lauralton Hall. “There’s always something you could make out of it.”

The students were put to the test and succeeded with flying colors. The designers had to follow three crucial steps for the show:  first, they must think of a design, second, they must be able to make that design wearable and third, they must use what many people unthinkingly toss into the trash to bring their idea to life. This project forces them to look at trash in a completely different way then ever before. “The models and designers want us not only to reduce, reuse and recycle; they want us to think twice about what we consider to be trash.” explains DiMassa. “With a little thought and ingenuity, someone else’s trash could be reworked into something completely unique and beautiful.”

The show was narrated by club officers who not only explained details of the outfits and materials used, but also presented each model’s “eco-fact.” For example, senior, Emma Sanfilippo’s dress was made out of plastic grocery bags and informed the audience that if you choose to replace your plastic shopping bags with reusable ones, some stores like Trader Joe’s or Stop and Shop will actually discount your purchase. A colorful dress composed of 100s of pieces of junk mail designed by Meghan Dougherty ’15 and Emily Discepola ’15 and modeled by Marissa Browne ’15 transformed the annoyance of junk mail into an extraordinary environmental statement. They also wanted to let the audience know that over 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce junk mail, and the average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year.

Another stunning dress that made everyone cheer was worn by Adaeze Dikko ’16 who won Best Junior Outfit. The mermaid style dress was made out of corks, newspaper and a recycled choir dress. Adaeze wanted everyone to know that Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year — enough to build a 12-foot high wall of paper from New York to California.

“The fashion show is such a fun time and a great experience especially being able to see everyone's creativity in the outfits and how they are made. It makes you realize how everyday objects can be transformed and how we can transform to do good things for the environment,” commented Olivia Kaufman, president of the Environmental Club. Olivia modeled a dress, headband and bag all made from old scarves. “My favorite part of the event demonstrates this club’s mission of presenting facts in a way that communicates effectively,” Olivia said.

Faculty members judged the fashion show and gave various awards in several categories. Below is the list of winners. For additional information please contact Sue Bonaventura, Director of Marketing and Communications: 203-877-2786 x154 or marketing@lauraltonhall.org


Best Freshman Outfit: Mackenzie Llewellyn – dress is made out of old polo shirts and train tickets

Best Sophomore Outfit: Sasha Samuah (model) and Sydney King ’17 (designer) – dress designed from an old choir dress, while accessories were created using an old skirt as a belt and appliqué beading was from broken jewelry

Best Junior Outfit: Adaeze Dikko – gown designed from corks, newspapers and a recycled choir dress (See image 1 below)

Best Senior Outfit: Laura Shafer – dress created from cardboard boxes cut into strips, and fabric scraps and used dryer sheets used as flower embellishments


Most Avant Garde: Shannon Hargitt ’15 – dress is made from used t-shirts and skirts

Best presence: Emma Sanfilippo’15 (model) and Vivian Cheng ’15 (designer)  – gown made of plastic grocery bags

Most wearable: Shannon Buttling ’17 and Lauren Merganthaler  ’17 – outfits made out of old flannels (See image 3 below)

Most creative: Sarah Haselkamp = ’15 – dress is handmade completely out of recycled Poland Spring water bottles and bubble wrap

Most interesting material: Remi Smith ’15 – outfit is made entirely of balloons


First Place Overall: Marissa Browne’15 (model) and Meghan Dougherty ’15 and Emily Discepola ’15 (designers) –  dress is made from little pieces of cut-up junk mail (See image 2 below)

Second Place Overall: Vivian Cheng ’15 – gown is chopped up CDs and kraft paper

Third Place Overall: Angela Provenzano ’15 (model) – cocktail dress is made from down feathers, plastic bags and an old bed sheet

To see more images, visit our LH Facebook Page



Chinese Club Creates Authentic Chinese Paintings

The Chinese Club has been hard at work creating authentic Chinese paintings. Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. This traditional painting involves the same techniques as calligraphy and is done with a brush dipped in black or colored ink. They learned to draw chrysanthemumIn Chinese culture, chrysanthemum symbolizes nobility and elegance. Its ability to withstand the colder temperature as the season is turning to winter had long become the inspiration to the ancient scholars. According to them, the flower showed the virtues of a man who could endure temptations and maintain its graces against the hardship brought by the surroundings. Beautiful job ladies.


LH Junior, Kelly Aarons Receives President’s Volunteer Service Award

Kelly Aarons, LH Class of ’16 has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

This award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama.

Ms. Aarons has spent over 300 hours teaching and mentoring elementary level students. Kelly loves working with children and wanted to make an impact on the students at the school. She had a knack in bonding with the children to bring out the best in them as she helped them with their schoolwork, improved their writing skills through fun activities and even took them on nature walks to teach the young students about the world around them.

“I was motivated to do this volunteer work because I love children and they are our future,” states Kelly, “there was never a day without a hug and seeing them thrive, partly because of the work that I had done work them is amazing and truly rewarding.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.

“The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial. “By recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates. These schools and officially designated local organizations nominated local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth. Congratulations Kelly.


See what our Women's Studies Class has Done to..."Make it Happen"

In recognition of International Women's Day on March 8, our Lauralton seniors from Women's Studies and staff have been hard at work creating a video to encompass the 2015 theme "Make it Happen"

Make It Happen:
For more women in science, engineering and technology
For fairer recognition of women in sport
For equal recognition of women in the arts
For greater awareness of women’s equality
For more women in senior leadership roles
For growth of women owned businesses 
For increased financial independence of women

Many thanks to all of you for your help!

Click here to watch the video.

To learn more about International Women's Day vistit www.internationalwomensday.org.   #MakeItHappen

World War II Bomber Pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Pete Rembetsy speaks to U.S. Government Students
Lauralton Hall U.S. Government students had a rare glimpse inside the life a World War II Bomber Pilot when Lieutenant Colonel Pete Rembetsy spoke with several classes on Friday February 13th.
Lieutenant Colonel Pete Rembetsy was a World War II bomber pilot, having signed up for the military right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The U.S. Army Air Force was so desperate for pilots that he only trained for eight hours before he was instructed to fly solo. Once he was trained to fly, he and his crew set sail for Britain where they would be stationed for the duration of the war.  
Lt. Col. Rembetsy served in the European Theater and flew across the England Channel from Britain in 30 bombing raids over Europe during WWII. Most of the missions were over Germany and he flew as the lead pilot in formation which was the most successful way to conduct bombing raids. 
Lt. Col. Rembetsy sadly recalled his second mission in which his plane was shot at by German fighter pilots who killed his gunner "Shorty." In each mission, Lt. Col. Rembetsy dropped 8,000 pounds of bombs on his targets in Germany, which were military targets such as munitions factories and fuel plants, that were part of Hitler's war effort.  He also bombed German bridges and damns. He said that when he released the weight of 8,000 pounds of bombs, his plane would pop up like a cork in a bottle. He emphasized to the students that during World War II there was no GPS system, so the only way the pilots knew where they were was to actually see the landmarks and targets. Smoke bombs, dropped by one of the lead planes, would alert the Allied pilots when to drop their bombs.
While flying during the Battle of the Bulge his mission was to drop supplies to the Allied Troops on the ground which was critical to the Allies winning the war in Europe. Hitler had been working to cut off supplies to the Allies through the major port at Antwerp in Belgium so the air drops of supplies became that much more important. However, the air drops at the Battle of the Bulge were nearly impossible at first due to heavy cloud cover. If the pilots couldn't see where they were flying, they couldn't see where they were dropping bombs, or supplies. Once the clouds cleared Lt. Col. Rembetsy and other Allied pilots were able to continue their mission to drop the desperately needed supplies for the Allied Troops. The Allied Troops won the Battle of the Bulge, and ultimately beat Hitler and the Third Reich, winning World War II in the European Theater.
Lt. Col. Rembetsy also shared some amusing stories about how as a Lieutenant Colonel, he was put in first class accommodations with first class dining and his crew was put below deck with only their mess kits from which to eat.  He thought that if they knew what was going on above deck, they might have a mutiny right then and there.  He also said that if their ship was attacked by the Germans from the air, then everyone was to rush below deck and if they were attacked by a submarine, then everyone below was to head for the main deck of the ship so they could jump overboard if necessary.  Fortunately, their ship was never attacked.
Lt. Col. Rembetsy earned the Air Medal for Meritorious Service with Distinction after a number of missions he flew under heavy ground fire and hostile enemy air fighter attacks.  
Lt. Col. Rembetsy was very lucky, because even though he did need to make some emergency landings due to damage from being fired upon by German aircraft, and being grazed by a bullet on his leg while in flight, he was never severly wounded in World War II and he was able to safely return to his beloved wife back in the United States.
Lt. Colonel Rembetsy, who came to Lauralton Hall dressed in his World War II uniform, not only shared numerous stories with the girls, but he also shared a variety of pictures that he had of the planes that he flew in the war.
He also shared some stories with the girls about the role of women pilots who flew non-combat missions during World War II to free up the male pilots such as Lt. Col. Pete Rembetsy to fly in combat missions.  
The Lauralton Hall students were thrilled and honored to meet Lt. Col. Rembetsy and to hear him talk about his experiences during World War II.  
Lt. Col. Rembetsy turns 96 years old on April 8, 2015.


LH Student Named Presidential Scholar Candidate

Congratulations to Marissa L. Favano '15 who has been named a 2015 Presidential Scholar Candidate by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the United States Department of Education. The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas such as academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts.  All Scholars are invited to Washington, DC in June for a ceremony at the White House. Detailed information about this prestigious program can be found by visiting, http://www.ed.gov/psp.

Students to Represent LH at the GET IN TOUCH FOUNDATION SUMMIT

Two LH junior students, Jamiah Bennett and Adaeze Dikko have been chosen to serve on the steering committee for the GET IN TOUCH FOUNDATION SUMMIT. They are honored to attend the 1st International Intergenerational “Informed & Strong” Summit for Women & Girls, which will be held at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale on October 24-25, 2015.

The duties of the steering committee are to brainstorm the following topics: Keynote speakers, Performances, Designating speakers / sessions / panel discussions to match vision, Takeaway, Call to action

The mission of the Get In Touch Foundation is to provide breast health initiatives that educate gals and guys of all ages how to "get in touch" with their bodies, information, and each other in our crusade against breast cancer.

Distinct Winners in the Green Cup Recycling Challenge!

It was Lauralton Hall's first year competing in the Green Cup Recycling Challenge and they scored a “heroes ranking” which is the highest ranking for the Green Schools Alliance. The GSA is a global Peer-to-Peer Network of pre-K to grade 12 schools represented by sustainability coordinators, faculty, staff and students working together to solve climate and conservation challenges.  Since its inception in 2007, the Alliance has grown to include more than 4,000 schools in 43+ U.S. states and 40+ countries.

“It is wonderful for our school to be part of such a large, global, and influential group. We were all thrilled to come in fifth in the very top ranking, which is the “Recycling Heroes” ranking; since it was our first year, I would have been glad if we had made it even to the lowest ranking. We surpassed my wildest hopes,” said Donna DiMassa, Environmental Club Moderator.

The purpose of the Green Cup Recycling Challenge is to raise awareness about recycling and waste reduction. The goal of the Challenge is to teach good recycling habits that last a lifetime, long after the Challenge ends. "Recycle Right, Reduce Waste, and Rethink Consumption" is the motto for the Challenge.

According to DiMassa, The Green Cup Recycling Challenge is “simple but brilliant.” The GCRC is arranged for a four-week time period during November and December. First, the faculty, staff, administration and students were made aware of the challenge. Secondly, they were asked to follow two simple rules:  Keep trash out of recycle bins.  Keep recyclables of trash bins. These bins were closely monitored and evaluated and a weekly report was sent to the Alliance.

Participating schools compete for Bin Points by “recycling right” which means improving recycling compliance rates and decreasing contamination. Bonus points were earned for additional waste reduction efforts. The bonus points were tallied for extra tasks which included recycling the school's corrugated cardboard, obsolete computers, installing LED lights in the gym, installing refillable water bottle stations; moreover, science classes participated in the Cornell Bird Watch, while the library recycles books through Better World Books; all these efforts earned bonus points.

The Environmental Club earned additional points by recycling batteries and other e-waste, planting a butterfly garden and building blue-bird houses; sponsoring a yearly Trash-Free-Lunch marathon in which students win raffle prizes for being “trash-free,” as well as a  “Trash-the-Runway” Fashion Show. The Club has also sponsored an Eco-jewelry sale in order to donate the proceeds to local charities. 

Raising awareness about recycling and waste production helps the student, the school, and the community to engage the next generation of environmental leaders. At Lauralton Hall, a diverse environmental committee is comprised of faculty, students, administrators and staff, who work together to identify and promote system-wide green initiatives and collaborate with outside partners to attain its goals. Lauralton Hall is honored to be partnered with the Green Schools Alliance.

National Letter of Intent Signing at Lauralton Hall.

We are pleased to announce that senior athlete Sarah Haselkamp signed her National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, February 4, 2015. Sarah is a remarkable young woman on and off the field.  Not only does the 2014 All State player excel on the soccer field, she also is very successful for the Lauralton Hall Indoor and Outdoor track teams.  despite being involved in three sports at Lauralton Hall, club soccer, and numerous clubs and activities at the school, her work does not suffer.  Sarah has maintained a high GPA in her four years at the school.  She is truly a role model for young women of all ages, and a student athlete that the University of New Hampshire is lucky to get.

A Journey to The Gambia, via Starfish International School

Our Freshmen class has embarked on a journey to The Gambia, via Starfish International School.  Lauralton Alum Signe Hawley has spearheaded the effort to form a sisterhood with Lauralton Hall and the girls who are students at Starfish International School in The Gambia, which is a small country located in the northwest section of Africa.  The girls there are in great need and education is one of those needs.

This week, a founder of the school, Mam-Yassin Sarr, raised in The Gambia, came to the Freshmen Health classes to present information and educate our students about where The Gambia is, the culture of the country and the school itself, as well as what it is like to live a day in the life of a Gambian girl.

Afterwards, one of the classes was able to set up a time to skype with our sister school for about a half an hour.  

We hope to form a Starfish Club here at LH, join in on a group facebook page with Starfish international School and donate items of need to the girls and their school.  There are many plans ahead – the ultimate goal is to have an exchange program with The Gambia.



Spanish Club Reaches Out to Hispanic Community

For the second year in a row, Lauralton Spanish Club members traveled to Caroline House in Bridgeport to reach out to the Hispanic community in our area. Officers Tara Boyd, ’16, Maddie Tein, ’16, Kiley Forrest, ‘17, Lily DiDomenico, ’17, Micheala O’Donnell '17, brought with them Christmas goody bags which were distributed to the approximately 40 school children who participate in the organization’s after school program, as well as spending time helping the students practice to read.

The tradition began last year when alumna Olivia Parise, ’14 approached fellow Spanish Club members with the idea of helping the mothers of the Caroline House by providing Christmas gifts for the children. Her mother Deana Parise, introduced Olivia to Caroline House while she volunteered there helping young women learn English as a second language. Goody bags, with an assortment of puzzles, school supplies, little games and candy, were assembled and distributed by club members along with Spanish teachers Señora Hawes and Señorita Sarigianis. Upon their arrival, the students and teachers were greeted by Sister Peg, who explained the value of the after school program to children whose parents do not speak fluent English and may be unable to assist with reading practice and homework. Students spent the next hour reading one-on-one or in small groups, often laughing and joking as the bright personalities of the children shone through.

Caroline House, an education center for emigrant women and children, was founded in 1995 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in response to a direct need. The center welcomes all women without regard to race, religion or ethnic background. The Caroline House mission is to provide tuition-free opportunities to develop the whole person through education and support services. English as a Second Language and basic computer and life skills are taught, and Caroline House helps women adjust to life in a new culture and become confident and contributing members of their families and communities. Adult classes are held four days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and special workshops are provided on topics such as financial management, parenting, health and nutrition, domestic violence concerns and safety issues.  



Theresa Napolitano selected to be inducted into CT Scholastic Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame!

CONGRATULATIONS to Theresa Napolitano who has been selected for induction into the Connecticut Scholastic Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame! 

As a teacher of physics and head of the science department here at Lauralton Hall, Napolitano also was recently named the 2014 Softball Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA). 

Theresa lives by the quotes, “she who has the will to win, will not be beat,” and “the greatest glory is NOT in never falling but in rising from each fall,” as well as the lyrics to I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. Each has a significant message, and by teaching girls to strive, I believe they will work through dissonance to find inner strength and perseverance to navigate to a solution. This is how empowered women will develop. Expect nothing to be handed to you; instead, work and take pride in all you do!

It is evident that she brings these words of wisdom on the field, as well as in the classroom. Congratulations Theresa!

Theresa will be honored at a dinner at the Aqua Turf.  Details are below:

Connecticut Scholastic Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner
Sunday, March 1, 2015
4 p.m. Social Hour, 5 p.m. Dinner
Family style dinner (Roast Beef, Chicken) 

Aqua Turf Club, Plantsville

 Cost $50.00 per person./Make checks payable to CSCSHF 

All are invited and if you are planning to go, please give checks to Jeanne Cooper no later than Feb. 7, 2015

Coach of the Year and three Students named 2014 New Haven County All-Area Girls Swimming Team

Congratulations to Coach Fran Pfeiffer for being awarded Coach of the Year and to Kaitlyn Joy, Dakota Meyer and Elizabeth Sargent for being selected for the 2014 New Haven County All-Area Swimming Team.

Coach Fran Pfeiffer — Coach of the Year
Stats: Led the Crusaders to the CIAC Class M championship with 605.5 points including wins by his swimmers in the 50 freestyle, 200 individual medley and 200 freestyle relay. In 20 years at Lauralton Hall, has earned over 200 career wins. Crusaders set school records in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay this season.

Honors: National High School Coaches Association top 10 finalist for Coach of the Year in 2013.
Out of the pool: Retired from Bridgeport Public Schools (Central High) after 40 years, currently an adjunct professor of mathematics at Housatonic Community College.

Kaitlyn Joy — Lauralton Hall, junior
Stats: At the 
Class M meet won the 50 freestyle (24.21) and second in 100 freestyle (53.01), at SCC meet won the 100 backstroke (1:01.35). Set school records in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
Honors: Two-time Register All-Area, All-SCC, All-State pick.
Out of the pool: Connecticut Swimming Scholar Athlete, Spanish Club, Connecticut Special Olympics swimming volunteer, also swims for Sonoco swim club and is a Speedo Super Sectionals qualifier and Minnesota Grand Prix qualifier.

Dakota R. Meyer — Lauralton Hall, junior
Stats: At the Class M meet, took 3rd in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.32) and 4th in the 200 individual medley (2:11.66). At the SCC meet 3rd in the 200 individual medley (2:11.83) and 3rd in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.64).
Honors: All-SCC and All-State pick.
Out of the pool: National Honor Society, Latin National Honor Society, received 2013 Lauralton Hall Frances Warde Service award for traveling to Guatemala volunteering for School of the World nonprofit organization that builds schools for local children, organized Lauralton Hall Breast Cancer Awareness swim meet that raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Elizabeth Sargent — Lauralton Hall, junior
Stats: At the Class M meet won the 200 individual medley (2:08.60) and 3rd in the 100 butterfly (59.26). At the SCC meet 2nd in the 200 individual medley (2:11.82), helped set school record in 200 medley relay.
Honors: All-SCC and All-State, two-time Register All-Area pick.
Out of the pool: National Honor Society, Youth Ambassador for the Get In Touch Foundation, Peer mentor, member of Lauralton Hall Advanced Vocal Ensemble, with Wilton YMCA Wahoos was a finalist at 2014 Long Course YMCA Nationals (200 butterfly, 400 individual medley).

To read more, click here.

Two LH athletes selected for the 2014 New Haven County All-Area Field Hockey Team

Congratulations to Jackie Brewster and Kiley Forrest for being selected for the 2014 New Haven County All-Area Field Hockey Team. 

 Jackie    Kiley

Jackie Brewster — Lauralton Hall, Sr., M-D
Stats: Integral part of a defense that allowed only seven goals in the regular season and 12 overall. She had 11 goals and 13 assists and led the Crusaders to a 16-4-1 record and to the CIAC Class M semifinals.
Honors: First team All-SCC and two-time coaches all-state and All-Area pick and selected for the Senior All-Star game.
Off the field: Achieved high honors every quarter, Citizenship Award, Holy Cross book award, vice president National Honor Society, president Engineering Club and also plays softball.
Up next: Committed to play softball at Holy Cross.

Kiley Forrest — Lauralton Hall, So., F
Stats: Ended up with 22 goals and 11 assists, including four goals in a 6-0 win over Sheehan in the SCC tournament quarterfinals. Led her team to regular season SCC co-championship with Hand and to the SCC tournament final. 
Honors: First team All-SCC and All-State selection. 
Off the field: Also plays tennis and ice hockey, president Spanish Club of environmental club and a high honors student.

To read more click here.

Recent Alumnae Gathering 2015

Lauralton Hall Recent Alumnae were welcomed back to the campus to share their insights of college life with current LH seniors. Classes of 2010-2014 were represented and were excited to share college/work life news. Many questions were asked such as; what are the teachers and classes like, how do you juggle your new-found freedom, what to do if you don't like your roommate, how well did Lauralton prepare you, what didn't Lauralton prepare you for, and so much more. Our alumnae came from all over the country such as Florida, South Carolina, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virgia, Maryland, Connecticut and even Ireland! Alums had the opportunity to enjoy time with former teachers, share stories with current seniors and catch up with one another. Best of luck to all our Alumnae and thank you for coming. Visit our Facebook page for more photos. www.facebook.com/LauraltonHall



The Choir Performed at Disney!

Having a blast, here is a picture of the whole group before they went backstage.


The choir girls in their performance robes in their performance robes.

Christmas Stocking Drive for the Mercy Learning Center

The National Honor Society sponsored the Christmas Stocking Drive for the Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport this week. All month, the homerooms have been coordinated the donations to make this a school-wide event. Stockings were stuffed for mothers and children and they will be delivered this week, along with Christmas cards containing gift cards to various stores including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Stop and Shop, to name a few.  Along with all of that, 2 large boxes of Candy Books (lifesaver books, gummy books, etc) and filled plastic Candy Canes were given to supplement the Christmas events at the Center. In the end, a total of 74 stockings, 63 gift cards, 53 candy books and 38 filled candy canes were collected! A special thank you goes out to all who helped make this charitable donation such a success.

The Mercy Learning Center was established in 1987, opening its doors to low-income, undereducated, marginalized women in the Bridgeport community. It’s goal is to break the intergenerational pattern of poverty and illiteracy through education and empowerment. To learn more about the Mercy Learning Center visit www.mercylearningcenter.org

The LH Choir is going to Disney!

As part the annual Disney holiday tradition, fifty-eight students from Lauralton Hall have been selected to perform at Epcot’s Candlelight Processional in Orlando Florida this Holiday season. 

During each show a celebrity narrator reads the story of the birth of Jesus from scripture. The readings are accompanied by music that illuminates the story of the Nativity. The performance includes a 500-member choir from high schools and colleges across the East Coast, joined by a 50-piece live orchestra.  Selections they will be singing include Christmas classics such as “Joy to the World”, “We Three Kings” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”. This is the 39th year for Disney to host the show.

LH’s Advanced Vocal Ensemble & Concert Choir will perform in two shows (6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) on December 21st.

Check back during the break for updates on their trip.


LH Celebrates Foundation Day!

The students have been busy with their exams but have managed to take a little time to enjoy cake in celebration of Foundation Day! 

On December 12 Sisters of Mercy across the globe celebrate the anniversary of the founding of their religious order. In Dublin, Ireland, it was on this date that Catherine McAuley and two of her associates, Mary Ann Doyle, and Elizabeth Harley pronounced vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and to persevere until death in “the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy.” 


Transfer Student Breakfast

Sponsored by LH Guidance Department- Mrs. Hanson 

In the 2014-2015 School Year Lauralton Hall has welcomed it largest transfer student class.  We have six students from local towns in CT, eight students from China, and one student from Switzerland.  With the ending of the first quarter, transfer students were invited to the first ever Transfer Student Breakfast. The event came after National International Student Day, which was very fitting.

At the Breakfast, students were invited to bring a fellow student guest to the event.  All in all we had a total of 17 students partake in the celebratory event.  With the beginning of the second quarter, we celebrated not only their accomplishments academically, but also their accomplishment of transitioning to Lauralton Hall’s community.  Some students acknowledged that some things were similar to their pervious schools; they still were adjusting to their new environment.  

To commemorate their breakfast,  every student was giving a Lauralton Hall pen and encouraged to take up Malala Yousafzai’s  call that she made during her address to the UN Youth Assembly, “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

During the Breakfast American students shared their traditions for Thanksgiving with our international students.  While our Chinese students shared their Spring Festival traditions; The Spring Festival is a very important holiday for the Chinese people.  Although it is more similar to our Christmas celebration when all family members get together, there is a still a component of giving thanks.  All of our students shared that they would like to see this holiday celebration take place within the halls of Lauralton.

All in all it was a great celebration of students coming together to be acknowledged for their accomplishments and a time to share cultural traditions. 

Special Thanks to Mrs. Chamberlain, Ms. Casceillo, and Ms. Posey


SCC Scholar Athlete of the Month Recipient Recognized

Congratulations goes to Sarah Haselkamp
A captain and standout on the Crusaders’ soccer team, Sarah Haselkamp has excelled in the classroom with a 3.8 grade point average.   A member of the National and Spanish honor societies, Sarah, a Fairfield resident, is a member of the Art, Spanish and Environmental clubs.  She also is a member of the Varsity track team.   This fall, Sarah earned SCC All-Quinnipiac Division honors leading the Crusaders to the division title in their first year in the league.  Lauralton Hall soccer coach Peter Trenchard said, “Sarah is not only a fantastic soccer player, but also a well-rounded student and a solid team leader who is always there for her teammates and friends.”

Congratulations to 5 of our Lauralton Students for being honored by the National Merit Scholarship Program!

The principal, Cynthia Gallant, of Lauralton Hall announced today that Marissa S. Browne, Christine M. Heisler, Amy E. Izzo, Devon K. Valera, and Jessica Vanam have been named Commended Students in the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.  A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Although they will not continue in the 2015 competition for the National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2015 competition by taking the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC.  “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation.  We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

LH Swim Team - CIAC Class M State CHAMPS!


Lauralton Hall won the Class M state title Tuesday night at Wesleyan!

The Lauralton Hall girls swimming and diving team has been one of the top teams in Class S for the last several years. And this season, a bump up to Class M wasn't enough to knock the Crusaders down.

“It was a good night,” Lauralton Hall coach Fran Pfeiffer said. “We had many swimmers swim lifetime bests. Our victories are a residue of the kids you get in your program. These girls worked hard for this. I also had a lot of help from my assistants this season too. Moving to the SCC has been good and we’ve done alright. For the SCC to have such strong finishes in each event shows you the strength of the conference. We swam powerhouse SCC teams like Amity and Cheshire during the dual-meet season and that certainly helped prepare us for the postseason.”




Congratulations to LH Student,Tierney Riccitelli. Recipient of the Devon Rotary's Fall "Service above Self Award"

Lauralton Hall's Tierney Riccitelli was the recipient of this year's Devon Rotary's "Service above Self Award" along with three other local students from Platt, Law and Foran High Schools. Tierney's service accomplishments were highlighted to the Rotary and guests by Yvonne Fosse-Previs, her counselor. It is a wonderful honor for Lauralton to be so well represented.

Every year the Devon Rotary presents the Service Above Self Award. This award is given to the Milford students who best exemplify the spirit of their motto, "Service Above Self".

The Lauralton Hall community would like to congratulate Tierney. 


LH Student Published "Highlights" Journal is Online!

Lauralton's student-published, online and interactive newspaper journal,"Highlights," is published periodically throughout the school year. It has been updated on our website and worth a read! Our students have done an amazing job on it. 


LH Students Named All-SCC/All-League Winners!

Congratulations to the following athletes who have been voted All-SCC/All-League Winners:

Soccer – Sarah Haselkamp, Maggie Salandra, and Caroline Monahan

Field Hockey – Kiley Forrest and Jackie Brewster

Swimming – Dakota Meyer, Kaitlyn Joy and Elizabeth Sargent


Students Participate in Environmental Assay Survey

Advance Environmental Science/ ECE UConn Environmental Science teacher April Kelley recently accompanied her  students to Milford’s Mondo Pond for an environmental assay survey. The students spent two hours surveying the environmental conditions of the pond and its surrounding habitat.

After a guided nature walk around the pond led by Mrs. Kelley, the students settled into their assigned roles in the environmental assay survey. Some aspects studied were dissolved oxygen levels, fecal bacterial counts, water quality (pH, nitrate and phosphate levels), dissolved carbon dioxide levels, turbidity, and species diversity.

After completing the field studies, the students spent time analyzing their data. After comparing the results of all the individual tests, the students determined that the overall health of the pond system was poor/fair in terms of species diversity and acceptable pollution levels. Their survey results will remain on file in the AP Environmental Science classroom so that future Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes can compare their results with survey results from previous years.  This will allow the science department to monitor the long-term health of this local ecosystem and note any changes occurring over time. In addition, results will be posted on the Global Water Project database so students can compare the health of this local pond with the health of ponds in similar regions.  In comparing this year's assay results to previous years, students found that the health of the pond which had been improving slowly over the last five years (2008 – 2012) has experienced a slight decline in the last two years.  If this disturbing trend continues into next year, the class will begin investigating changes to the community that could be contributing to the declining pond health and will research possible solutions to the issues.



On Saturday, Oct 18th, the back field of Lauralton Hall became the launching pad for hurling pumpkins thanks to the Octoberfest Crossbows and Catapult event. Many people from the community showed up to cheer the teams on. Even Mary Ann Wasil, Founder of The Get in Touch Foundation attended the launches and posted pictures and a writeup on the foundation Facebook page!

Monies raised benefited the Get in Touch Foundation and Norma F. Pfriem Breast Cancer Center of Bridgeport.

And the winners are...

OPEN DIVISION – FAIRFIELD PREP TEAM: “Prep Brothers”/Michael and Andrew Lagrange

MIDDLE SCHOOL DIV.– FLOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL, STFD 7th Grade Team: Pink Pumpkins/Sarah ickowitz, Noella Marcano, Sabrina Orazietti and Elizabeth Thompson

HIGH SCHOOL DIV. – 9th GRADE LAURALTON TEAM: “The Lolly Launchers”/Kailyn Ball, Emily Bump, Kate Paineand Brianna Outen

Congratulations to all the winning teams and thank you to all who participated.  

~Thank you to all sponsors and individuals who helped to make the event a success...
Individually donated cards from:
RICK CAPACELLATRO (field design & setup)
MRS. BREWSTER & MRS. HURLEY (concession)

Visit our facebook page for more pictures of the event.


GIT YOUR PINK ON day for Get In Touch Foundation Charity

Mary Ann Wasil, Founder of GIT and breast cancer survivor visited Lauralton to judge the posters created by students in Mrs. Doherty’s Art Classes to acknowledge GIT Your Pink on Day.  Students/Faculty/Staff made donations for a dress down day with proceeds going to the Get In Touch Foundation.  

This year’s poster winner is sophomore Sara Abbazia and Mary Ann presented her with a GIT “Goodie Bag” for her entry. Breast Health was also presented in the Health curriculum for all Freshmen during the month of October—ribbons for pink, blue and teal adorn the front High Street fence for awareness as well.

Did you know...Lauralton Hall has the distinct honor of being the FIRST Get In Touch school in the world! "Kudos, Lauralton Hall, and thank you for your support and your vision!"  Mary Ann Wasil

The mission of the Get In Touch Foundation is to provide breast health initiatives that educate gals and guys of all ages how to "get in touch" with their bodies, information, and each other in our crusade against breast cancer.


Visit our Lauralton Hall Facebook Page to see all the beautiful posters.  


Lorraine Warren Shared her Ghostly Stories to a Sold-Out Crowd at Lauralton

It was an amazing night at the Lorraine Warren and Tony Spera event. The two paranormalists spoke to a sold-out crowd sharing their experiences of the hauntings that made the Warren's famous. The Annabelle Doll, the Amityville home and the Easton Graveyard were just a few of the stories told. They had the crowd on the edge of their seats showing actual images that were taken at the spirited locations.

Lorraine noted that her faith was always her protection from these disturbing spirits.  Her greatest advice to the audience was to stay away from Ouija boards, Tarot Cards and psychics. “If you go into a very happy home, very seldom, bad things will be found, Warren said.

See the link below for the complete article of the Warren event printed in the New Haven Register.

We appreciate all of you who attended and volunteered Friday night to make it such a success!  



Ribbon Tying our Gates for Breast Cancer
The Lauralton girls have been busy tying ribbons on our gates in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The three colors represent:
Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, Blue for Men's Breast Cancer Awareness and Teal for Reproductive Cancer Awareness.

We also had a visit from videographer, Nick Sadler. Nick is creating a documentary about men's breast cancer and has a personal connection to Bill Becker, who sadly, lost his fight to breast cancer last year. Bill was a dear friend to the Lauralton community and the blue ribbons are hung in his honor and memory. The film is due to be completed mid-February. We look forward to seeing that.

It's worth a drive by to see the remarkable work our girls did. The gates are beautiful.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support in acknowledging the great things our girls do here. They truly are amazing kids.
LH CARES held TASTE THE DIVERSITY of the school in the Claven Auditorium.

LH CARES (LH Cares And Respects Every Student) held TASTE THE DIVERSITY of the school on October 1 right after school in the Claven Auditorium. The entire school was invited to come taste food prepared by our club that reflects the various ethnicities that make up the population of our school. (I think about 75 people actually showed up.)

Dishes included pasta (Italy), a rice dish (Haiti), pierogies (Poland), fried chicken wings (America), egg rolls and a wide assortment of rice cakes and cookies (China), and the French Club contributed baguettes, cookies, and Perrier and Evian water to the festivities  .

The club meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. Anyone interested in joining can come to the meeting October 8th in Room MH101. More information about the club is on the LH CARES bulletin board located outside of the internet cafe in Mercy Hall. 


Our girls volunteered at the Discovery to Cure Beverly Levy Walk

Several of our girls joined Peggie McGowan this past Sunday volunteering at the Discovery to Cure Walk on the Yale campus. Participants strolled through the Yale grounds, learning about the history of Yale and the historic landmarks while supporting this important cause. Please visit http://discoverytocurebevlevywalk.kintera.org for more information, or to donate. Thank you girls, you did an awesome job! 



Lauralton Hall is joining with Sisters of Mercy schools around the world today to celebrate the founding of the first House of Mercy in 1831. Mercy Day, the first community day of the school year, will begin with a special Liturgy and will be followed by a picnic lunch. This is a special day of relection for Board members, Mercy Sisters, students, faculty and staff. 

The Sisters of Mercy are an international community of Roman Catholic women who have vowed to serve people who suffer from poverty, sickness and lack of education with a special concern for women and children.

Check out the girls singing Circle of Mercy.


SADD members help out at Superhero 5K & Family Fun Day

The Lauralton Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) members had a fun-filled day helping out at The Superhero 5K and Family Fun Day in support of the Milford Prevention Council. The day began with a family-friendly 5k race, 1k kid's obstacle course, costume parade, face painting and so much more. A great time was had by all as the girls helped to make this event a success. A special thank you goes out to them. 

The mission of the Milford Prevention Council is to reduce underage drinking and substance abuse through prevention education, the support of law enforcement and the strengthening of our community collaboration.

Sr. Madeline Follachio, former Dean of Students, Dies

Sister Madeline Follachio, former Dean of Students at Lauralton Hall, died on Sunday, September 14, 2014.  The school was blessed to have Sister Madeline minister as Dean of Students for 14 years at Lauralton Hall.  In 2003, she was honored with the Claven Award, an honor bestowed to women who have 'led extraordinary lives, excelled in their choice of fields and made significant impact on Lauralton Hall."  Sister will be sorely missed.

A mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in the St. Mary Home Chapel, 2021 Albany Ave., West Hartford on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 6:00pm.  This will be preceded by a wake from 2:00-5:00pm.  Click here for the full obituary.




Lauralton Hall makes it to the Great White Way!

Times Square once again gives a "shout out" to Lauralton Hall, welcoming the Class of 2018! 

Times Square Class of 2018b Times Square Class of 2018a

Crusaders Make Their Presence Felt - Soccer and Swimming Start the Season with Wins

The Lauralton Hall Crusaders began the Fall season with two important wins.  These were the first athletic events for the Crusaders as the newest members of the Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC).  The Crusaders Soccer team defeated Guilford 1-0.  Guilford is the defending champion in both the SCC and the Class L state division.  "It's a great start to a new league," Coach Pete Trenchard said. 

The Crusaders Swim Team defeated Foran High School, 96-86 in their SCC opening swim meet on Tuesday, September 9.

Click here for local press on the Crusaders Soccer game against Guilford.

Dorothy Synkewecz, R.S.M. Passes Away

August 18, 2014 - It is with great sadness that we note the recent passing of Dorothy Synkewecz, R.S.M.  Sister Dot, as Sr. Dotshe was known throughout the Lauralton Hall student body and larger community, served the school for more than 25 years in a range of roles, including campus minister, outreach coordinator, student advisor, class moderator, and student club faculty sponsor.  In 2011, Lauralton Hall recognized Sr. Dot with its Mother Mary Augustine Claven Award. Described by a colleague as “a Renaissance woman with a rare gift for friendship,” Sister Dot possessed a strong commitment to peace and justice, a commitment that she shares with her sister, Sister Mary Alice Synkewecz, former president of the Connecticut Sisters of Mercy and present co-director of the Collaborative Center for Justice in Hartford. The organizer of the school’s first Peace and Justice Day and a long-time volunteer at Mercy Learning Center (Bridgeport), Merton House of Hospitality, and the St. Vincent DePaul guest center (Middletown), Sister Dot may be best known for her open-door office policy and camaraderie with all. 

Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.  Any updates will be announced on the Lauralton Hall website.

April Kelley Named NAIS "Teacher of the Future"

July 25, 2014 -  April Kelley, a science teacher at Lauralton Hall, was selected by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as part of its annual Teachers of the Future program.  

The 2014-15 NAIS Teachers of the Future were selected from a large pool of nominees who exemplify creativity and innovation in the classroom, inspire academic excellence in students, and who serve as opinion leaders among their colleagues and peers.   As one of only 35 teachers nationwide chosen for the program, April will participate in a  variety of initiatives that will strengthen learning and teaching at independent schools as well as grow their leadership capacities. 

“April is an outstanding teacher and faculty mentor,” noted Antoinette Iadarola, Lauralton Hall’s Head of School. “She  is highly respected by her colleagues and has led many of the new technology initiatives in our learning environments. We are delighted that April will join the 2014-15 cohort of NAIS Teachers of the Future.”

 April Kelley is a Lauralton Hall Alumnae from the Class of 1985.   She went on to receive her B.S. in wildlife biology & environmental management from University of Rhode Island and her M.S. in education from University of New Haven.  April is an audited AP instructor for environmental science as well as an E.C.E. (Early College Experience) adjunct professor for environmental science with the University of Connecticut.  During her summer break, April also works as an environmental educator for the Connecticut Audubon Society, Milford Point.  All of these experiences have led April to investigating and embracing student-centered, student-directed teaching pedagoges.  She will be presenting at the University of Buffalo's Case Studies Conference in Amherst NY this September. 

NAIS President John Chubb notes, “Teachers nurture our children’s growth and development. These exceptional Teachers of the Future are not only preparing children to succeed in life; they are moving the profession forward by modeling innovative practices and leadership among their peers.”


Lauralton Teacher is National Softball Coach of the Year


July 24, 2014 -  Lauralton Hall science teacher and coach, Theresa Napolitano has been named the 2014 Softball Coach of   the Year by the  National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA). Coach Napolitano was honored with  this national recognition at the annual HNSACA national convention at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole.  She was  one of  eight national finalists for the award.

Napolitano was also elected into the Connecticut Softball Hall of Fame.  The induction will take place in March 2015.

The NHSACA’s annual award is considered the most prestigious award given to high school coaches in America, and is awarded based on the recipients’ successful season of coaching and their lifetime achievements.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy acknowledged Napolitano’s achievement recently, along with other CT Coaches by issuing a special proclamation. "In addition to academic achievement, extracurricular activities like high school athletics, are also important for students to participate in because they learn critical life skills like leadership, discipline and  a strong work ethic,” said Governor Malloy. “I’m proud to recognize these individuals for the good work they are doing on and off the field to ensure their players’ successful development as young adults.”

Napolitano began her coaching career at St. Mary’s High School in New Haven in 1986 and then went on to Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge for sixteen years.  Since 2005 at Lauralton Hall, she teaches physics and is Head of the Science Department and has been the coach of the school’s top performing softball team.  Theresa has also coached field hockey.  As softball coach, Napolitano racked up 504 overall wins including the Connecticut State Championship, with only 125 losses. Her softball teams won state championships in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2008.  

“I have coached junior high school, town leagues, travel teams and high school teams in sports ranging from basketball, volleyball, field hockey and softball,” says Napolitano.  “No matter the level, the goal was the same: to pass on the passion, knowledge and opportunity to players and build on fundamentals, fidelity, family and faith in the game and your team.”

Her colleagues, players and friends will celebrate Coach Napolitano at a dinner on Monday, August 18 at 5pm at Aldario’s Restaurant, 240 Naugatuck Avenue in Milford, CT.  Reservations required. Contact 203-736-9843.
Lauralton Hall Welcomes New Athletic Director


July 1, 2014 - Lauralton Hall is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeanne Cooper as Athletic Director of Lauralton Hall effective July 1, 2014.  

Ms. Cooper previously held the position of Director of Health, Physical Education & Athletics for Hamden Public Schools from     2002 – 2013. Prior to her years in Hamden, she worked for the New Haven Public Schools. She held a number of positions during her time  there, including: Athletic Director, Health and Physical Education teacher and served as both the volleyball and softball coach.

Ms. Cooper is also a certified Athletic Administrator and coach, and actively participates in the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors as well as the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports. Among other awards, Ms. Cooper has received the “Woman in Leadership Award” from the Women and Families Center of Central Connecticut.

“Jeannie brings a wealth of experience to the position having served as Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics for  Hamden Public Schools for 11 years,” says Dr. Antoinette (Toni) Iadarola, President of Lauralton Hall.  “During the interview process,     I have been impressed with Jeanne’s high standards for academics, athletics and the arts.  She exudes a capable confidence, passion and energy. I believe she has the experience and ability to take our athletic program to a new level of participation and competition, and build on the fine work that Judy Gallagher has done over the past year as Interim Athletic Director.” 

Lauralton Hall will be moving to the South Central Conference (SCC) of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) with the new academic year.  The school offers a variety of seasonal sports including tennis, lacrosse, indoor and outdoor track, softball, basketball, golf, basketball, cheerleading, gymnastics, ice hockey, ski, cross country, field hockey, soccer, swimming and diving and volleyball. Lauralton most recently earned the State Championship in Basketball (2014) and Swimming (2012). 

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