Funeral Arrangements set for Sr. Dot at Lauralton Hall
Sr. Dot's life will be celebrated with a Mass of the Resurrection on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Chapel at Lauralton Hall, 200 High Street in Milford. Friends may call from 2:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. prior to the funeral mass. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in West Hartford on Friday at 9:00 a.m. Those wishing to make a donation in Sister's memory are asked to consider the Lauralton Hall Scholarship Fund, 200 High Street, Milford, CT 06540 or the Sisters of Mercy, at 55 East Cedar Street, Newington, CT 06111. Click here for Sister's obituary.
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 she 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.
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 Danal Molloy 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 coas of the school’s top performing softball team. Theresa currently coaches 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).