Dr. Scott V. Nicol, Superintendent
On June 23rd twelve boys between the ages of eleven and sixteen were trapped inside a cave in Thailand with their soccer coach. Heavy monsoon rains flooded the area and confined the soccer team over two miles from the cave's mouth. The cave was dark and the team was without food. The only drinkable water source was trickling down from the roof of the cave.
Ten days later two rescue divers located the team. The divers expected to find the young boys panicked and perhaps delusional, yet it was the exact opposite. The soccer team and their coach were sitting quietly in the dark, meditating.
Meditation is the act of calming the mind and increasing self-awareness. It is one of many mindful strategies that support being fully present in the moment.
Stanford University meditation expert Leah Weiss explained that meditation "can increase your focus and compassion for others" and during times of extreme stress, access to problem solving capabilities remains.
When Ellington Public Schools' (EPS) students are present, they are in an optimal state of mind to learn. Mindfulness activities occur throughout all of Ellington's schools. During the 2017 - 2018 school year at Windermere, Board of Education members, Selectmen, and parents were able to learn more about mindfulness from students and teachers.
Mindful activities will continue throughout the 2018 – 2019 school year. Ellington students will be ready to learn and ready to thrive!
EPS has been recruiting and hiring for the 2018-2019 school year.
With an average of 23 teachers hired in each of the past five school years, this year EPS welcomed 21 new teachers to Ellington. Thirteen of those educators are experienced teachers, possessing anywhere from four to twenty-plus years of experience. While some of our new teachers will commute from as far away as the CT shoreline, two of our new hires reside in Ellington. This adds to an already impressive number, 49 teachers in total, who make their home in Ellington.
In July, parents received an update on the historical and cyclical Passing of the Baton from one great leader to the next. Ms. Sara Spak and Ms. Rebecca Gonzalez are EPS' most recent leadership hires.
EPS is proud that Ms. Aldred (EHS Assistant Principal), Mr. Nash (EHS/EMS Assistant Principal) and Ms. Spak are promoted internal talents that will now serve children and their families from the administrative ranks.
Furthermore, 11 internal transfers will serve in newly created or different roles within the organization. Here are the staffing particulars, which don't include paraprofessional hirings and reassignments:
EPS teachers will report to work on Monday, August 27th, with the first day of school for students on Wednesday, August 29th.
After nearly three weeks trapped in a cave, the Thailand soccer team with their coach were safely rescued through a highly complex and dangerous plan. Approximately 10,000 people from divers to police to rescue volunteers remained calm and collectively problem-solved to avoid tragedy.
And to think it all started with twelve boys and their coach - meditating.
As the 2018 – 2019 school year unfolds, the Ellington family will certainly encounter some unexpected and challenging matters. I am confident that we will work together in a calm, self-aware and solution-oriented manner.
We are the Ellington Family and we endeavor to be collectively mindful.