Celebrating

Weston Walks 2022 kicks off today!

Donations will be gratefully accepted throughout July

Weston Walks 2022 is officially off and running (or walking)!

Please join us in honoring our school community by participating in our virtual walkathon to raise money for future school-based grants. Run, jog, hike, or walk indoors or out, according to your own schedule. You can join our fundraising team or start your own.

Scan the QR code above or text WESTONWALKS2022 to 44-321 to get started.

Our path is sometimes rough, sometimes steep … but Weston walks together!


WEF Presents 2022 David Trigaux Award to two WHS teachers

 

June 2022 –

WEF was honored to present our 2022 David Trigaux Innovation Award to two wonderful teachers at Weston High School – English teacher Ionna Opidee and Environmental Science teacher Michael Aitkenhead.

Ms. Opidee has had a far-ranging impact on both students and staff through her innovative approach to teaching and learning in English classes and the Writing Center. Among many other efforts, she created an Identity, Culture and Society unit for English 10 Honors, as well as an Environmental Literature and Justice unit using Mona Hanna-Attisha’s book “What the Eyes Don’t See” – a text originally provided through a WEF grant. She was also instrumental in bringing to WHS a national poetry competition called Poetry Out Loud in which WHS sophomore Billy Stammer became the 2022 CT State Champion. Running through all her professional efforts is a thoughtful and caring focus on helping students reach their true potential in the manner most accessible to them. In her words, “it is a way of approaching each aspect of my work with the intention to serve and support all students holistically — not just as learners of content standards, but as full, dynamic human beings on a journey toward understanding themselves, their world, and others so that they can shape themselves, and their world, more mindfully, more deliberately, and with more care.”

Mr. Aitkenhead – fondly known in the WHS community as “Michael Recycle” – is a treasure trove of environmental knowledge, care, and creativity for both Weston High School and the larger community. He has transformed the content and approach of the Environmental Science courses at WHS and has created a new class for 2022-23 called “Sustainable Solutions”, which will enable students to identify and tackle real-world environmental problems in the community. In his view, in this new class “students will develop the skills of problem solving by actually solving real problems, and in the process, they will completely transform our school.” Mr. Aitkenhead was aptly described by Science & Tech Curricular Instructional Leader Jamie Charles as “an incredibly passionate, engaging and motivating teacher who strives to bring his curriculum to life for his students in ways that inspire them to be agents of change in the world.” While Mr. Aitkenhead’s accomplishments are too numerous to mention in full, one connecting thread is always a deep commitment to the environment and a belief in our youth as the vectors of change.

WEF applauds 2022 David Trigaux Award winners Ms. Opidee and Mr. Aitkenhead, two shining examples of creativity and innovation in teaching!



Social Emotional Learning Storytime Grant Awarded to Weston Resident

 

April 2022 – WEF is excited to announce a grant to Weston resident Zaneta Moravec for the creation of additional original content for a free monthly Social Emotional Learning Storytime Series at the Weston Town Library. Using wordless books in black and white, children ages 3-7 are encouraged to communicate while creating their own versions of each story, which features an original character created by Zaneta.


WEF is excited to announce a year-end fundraiser celebrating our school community – Weston Walks!

Weston Walks is a safe and family-friendly WEF fundraiser designed to celebrate our educational community’s resilience, perseverance and achievements during this challenging time.

Join us in appreciating our educators, staff, students, and Board of Education members by becoming part of our fundraising team or directly contributing a donation to our school-based grants.

Weston walks together!

Ways to Fundraise:

  • Pledge a mileage goal and walk!

Walk, jog, run or hike…but be aware of traffic conditions and be safe!

  • Engage in peer-to-peer fundraising!

Set your own goal and share your campaign page with family and friends

  • Simply donate!

Dedicate a donation to your favorite teacher, staff member, or student

To donate or register for the team, click here

Or scan our QR code

Or simply text “westonwalks” to 44-321

  • Help spread the word!

Take a photo of yourself participating in the event and share it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #westonwalks


WEF Honors All Weston Public Schools K-12 Certified Staff with 2021 David Trigaux Award

Recognizing the extraordinary experience of the past school year, with its new and challenging demands on our teachers and certified pupil personnel staff, the principals of our four schools nominated all certified staff to be the recipients of the 2021 David Trigaux Innovation Award.

The tremendous amount of innovation that occurred during 2020-21 includes:

  • District-wide – all teachers became adept at using technological resources including Zoom, Kami, Peardeck, Jamboard, and Screencastify
  • Hurlbutt and WIS – numerous uses of technology to integrate “roomies and zoomies”
  • Weston Middle School – addition of virtual field trips and guest speakers as well as continued participation in academic competitions through online resources
  • Weston High School – all teachers implemented Canvas for learning management, with additional resources such as Labster, Pivot Interactive, Desmos, Soundtrap, Musescore, Noteflight and Audio Tool used for particularized instruction

WEF Sponsors MLK Day of Service at Lachat Farm

January 2021

WEF was honored to be a sponsor of the visionary MLK Day of Service planned by @lachattownfarm to commemorate MLK Day 2021. WEF provided funding to help purchase the children’s book “A Ride to Remember”, which was co-written by the first African-American child to ride a carousel in a Baltimore amusement park. Sharon Langley’s ride coincided with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC, in August 1963. The book will be given to all families who participate in the Day of Service and has also been given to every teacher at Hurlbutt and WIS to share with their students. A recorded reading of the book by Hamilton’s Renee Goldsberry was made available on the Lachat Town Farm website on MLK Day.


WEF Contributes to Weston Historical Society Outdoor Signage Project

December 2020

The fall of 2020 saw the installation of new outdoor signs on the grounds of the Weston Historical Society. WEF provided funding for the Wayfaring Sign, a detailed map of the grounds that also includes an overall history of the Coley Homestead. Four additional signs provide in-depth information on the various buildings on the property.

For more information on how to enjoy the Coley Homestead signs, you can read this : Weston Today article


WEF Funds Diverse Books for Weston High School

October 13, 2020

For its first grant of the 2020-2021 school year, WEF was pleased to provide funding for culturally diverse books for Weston High School. These texts will be used to ensure that all English classes have access to at least one culturally diverse text.

In the words of Christine Cincotta, English Curriculum Instructional Leader for Grades 6-12, “our students, in both focus groups and on mid- and end-of-year surveys, have expressed their passion for reading more titles by diverse authors.” She notes that with the WEF grant, “we can guarantee that every single student at WHS will read at least one full-length text that addresses inclusion and representation.”


Kate O’Keefe Named as WEF’s 2020 David Trigaux Award Recipient

The Weston Education Foundation (WEF) is proud to recognize Kate O’Keefe, photography, studio art, drawing and painting teacher, as the 2020 recipient of Weston Education Foundation’s David Trigaux Innovation Award. Since 2001, WEF has given this award annually to a teacher who demonstrates a unique level of originality and dedication toward creative teaching. The $2,500 award may be used in any way that fosters educational innovation, including travel, studies, or work outside the classroom. “WEF’s objective is to enable recipients to pursue their work with increased vigor,” said WEF Grants Chair, Sandy Hart.

Mrs. O’Keefe’s colleagues tell us that students talk about how they sign up for one of her art classes to fulfill a credit – but come back for a more advanced class due to her way of nurturing a creative ability that they never know existed. Ms. O’Keefe strives to share her love and passion for the arts with her students and give them the confidence to visually express themselves. Mrs. O’Keefe says, “I have found that as students have watched me create a body of work, they have become more apt to take creative risks and push themselves to the next level. Showing students, discussing my work and artist statements with them has helped the AP students streamline their bodies of work and written statements. Because I too switch between many different media and artistic techniques, I believe it has inspired many of my students to try new media or techniques, take risks with concepts or ideas, work on a larger scale, and have more confidence in their own talent.”

The Award is named for David Trigaux — teacher, principal, program administrator, and former superintendent of the Weston Schools — who was widely recognized for encouraging creativity in education and for his support of teachers who brought it to their classrooms. He also played a critical role in the creation and early evolution of the Weston Education Foundation.

If you’d like to learn more about WEF, our work, and those that we support, we encourage you to have a look around our site.