Ev Lyons Honored at Annual Membership Reception

More than eighty administrators traveled to Cheshire on May 9th for CAS’ 67th annual membership reception. The atmosphere was lively and convivial, thanks to a large cadre of retired members who came back for a visit. While the event was largely a social one, there was a short program which included remarks from the CAS president and executive director as well as a brief awards ceremony to honor individuals for their outstanding service to CAS-CIAC.

In her President’s Report, Donna Hayward, principal of Haddam-Killingworth High School, detailed the rich array of benefits and services that CAS offers its members. “In my mind, the things that CAS does best are: educate; advise; celebrate; advocate; and connect,” said Donna. She went on to expound on each of these assets, weaving in the particular initiatives and accomplishments that came to pass in 2018-19. Among them were a new blended coaching model, the endorsement of an opioid abuse prevention curriculum, and an open dialogue on the transgender athlete eligibility issue. “Thank you to the CAS staff and membership whose ongoing dedication and energy make all of these things happen,” said Donna. To end on a high note, following her report, Donna led the audience in a light-hearted and laugh-inducing game of Pictionary for Educators!

In his Executive Director’s Report, Glenn Lungarini offered some reflections on his first year of leadership, praising the work of his predecessors, Mike Savage and Karissa Niehoff, and pledging to build upon their successes while looking to the future needs of the association. He emphasized the power and importance of relationships – with the state department of education, with other educational organizations and agencies, with legislators, and, most of all, with our member school principals and assistant principals. “As the profession of education continues to change, rattled by financial struggles, legislative mandates, social-emotional needs, school security concerns, and the impact of an ever-evolving digital society, we must never lose sight of the fact that we are in a service industry; and, the relationships we develop through our interactions with people, of all ages, will ultimately determine our success,” stated Glenn.

Glenn concluded his report by paying tribute to Ev Lyons who is retiring from his position as director of the Center for Leadership and Innovation this month. “Ev, I would not be where I am today without your leadership, and more importantly, your friendship,” said Glenn. “There was much I had to learn in year one, and still much more I must learn in the years to come. I am grateful to have had this year with you. I commit to you, Ev, that I will continue to lead CAS-CIAC with the passion and commitment that you have modeled. I thank you for making me a better leader and person through your counsel and fine example.” Click here to see a short video chronicling Ev’s long and rich history of service to CAS-CIAC.

Following Glenn’s remarks, President Hayward presented distinguished service plaques to outgoing board members. These individuals have either reached the end of their term or are leaving prematurely due to retirement or promotion. This year, nine members were awarded plaques for their service (not all were in attendance):
• Sally Biggs, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
• Lisa Eells, Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School, Bloomfield
• Dan Levy, Hamden Middle School
• Anthony Menard, East Hartford Middle School
• Rosie O’Brien Vojtek, Ivy Drive School, Bristol
• David Pearson, Ellington Middle School
• Deane Renda, Whisconier Middle School, Brookfield
• Bill Silva, Farmington High School
• Stafford Thomas, Hillcrest Middle School, Trumbull

President Hayward also welcomed members who, in the coming school year, will be new to an elected board position. Joining the CAS Board of Directors are Missy Bavaro-Grande from East Granby Middle School, Kenneth Craig from Hall Memorial School in Willington and Stafford Thomas from Hillcrest Middle School. The CIAC Board of Control and the Eligibility Review Board will have a large influx of new members including Kristen Della Volpe from Litchfield High School; Christopher Cipriano from Notre Dame Catholic HS; Joe Corso from Lyman Hall HS; Jim Wygonik from Lyme-Old Lyme HS; Nadine Gannon from Hamden HS; Kim Longobucco from Newtown HS; Max Berkowitz from Foran HS; and José Colon from Sport and Medical Sciences Academy. The Elementary School Board of Control has three new additions: Alicia Farris from Pleasant Valley School; Troy Hopkins from Ashford School; and Linda Provost from Hebron Avenue School. Newly appointed to the Middle School Board of Control are Ken Seltzer from Fairfield Woods Middle School and Michael Bernardi from Rochambeau Middle School. Assuming a spot on the High School Board is Carl Johnson from Plainville High School. The Center for Leadership and Innovation Advisory Board will have five new faces: Glastonbury High School’s Nancy Bean, Thomlinson Middle School’s Anthony Formato, New Fairfield Middle School’s Christine Baldelli, Oswegatchie Elementary School’s Joe Macrino and Krista Bauchman from Old Saybrook Middle School. Finally, the CT Student Activities Board of Control is happy to welcome Kristin Bernier from Thomaston Center School and Debra Ponte from Hopeville Elementary.

The reception concluded with an awards ceremony honoring members who have made extraordinary contributions to the association. This year, three deserving individuals were selected to receive a CAS Letter of Commendation. Congratulations to Michael Litke, principal of Naubuc School in Glastonbury; Al Sackey, principal of Nathan Hale Middle School in Norwalk; and, Bill Silva, principal of Farmington High School!

2019 Award Winners (left to right): Michael Litke, Al Sackey and Bill Silva