“Why We Chose Lauralton for Our Daughters”, Parent Ambassadors Patrick and Sally McNeela

We visited a number of private schools when our daughter, Catherine (’13) was headed into 9th grade. However, after her classroom visits to Lauralton -- where she was welcomed so warmly by students and faculty -- the choice became crystal clear to her and to us!

The perks that come with a Lauralton Hall education are many: dedicated and talented faculty; camaraderie (both in and out of the classroom) that only an all-girls school can provide; and an atmosphere that produces confident and accomplished graduates who are not afraid to tackle “bumps in the road.”  This ability to face academic and personal hurdles will last a lifetime as a result of practice and encouragement during four years at LH.

In addition, Catherine experienced many learning opportunities outside of the classroom.   For example, she participated in several international trips alongside her peers, which truly expanded her horizons.  These included singing at Disney World’s Epcot and at the Vatican on New Year’s Day.  In addition, the athletics program allowed her to try new sports with confidence and to take a team leadership position.  Running continues to be part of Catherine’s life -- she welcomes a long run almost daily, just as she did in cross country!

We believe that Catherine was well prepared to meet college obstacles head on and to look toward a bright future because of the self-confidence and “can do” attitude instilled in her at Lauralton!  After watching her older sister blossom through hard work and determination, our daughter Annie began her freshman year in September with great excitement.  She is off to a wonderful start.    We are so grateful to the faculty and staff at Lauralton for making these experiences and life lessons possible!




Engineering Students Up For A STEM Challenge

Lauralton Hall’s Engineering Team has been offered a spot by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, CT to participate in its 2016 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Challenge for High School Students.  Lauralton Hall is the only all-girls school involved in the program.

The Sikorsky STEM Challenge kicked off in October at the CT Corsair Hangar at the Chester Airport.   

The STEM Challenge provides provides students an opportunity to be mentored by Sikorsky engineers as they work to solve an engineering design problem.  The experience embraces the 21st Century skills of creative thinking and problem solving in application to technical problems faced in an actual engineering workplace.

There are 20 Lauralton students participating.  The students will meet objectives throughout the year with video submissions. Their final presentation will include an Arduino microcontroller for a demonstration.   The girls will be logging the activities throughout the yearlong project and may be able to present at the conclusion of the Challenge.  For more information about the Challenge, click here.


Business Students Speak with Alumna Entrepreneur

Classroom technology brings in guest speakers from across the country every day at Lauralton Hall.  On Wednesday, December 7, Kara Valentine Weigand '95 spoke to students in Introduction to Business from her workplace in Colorado via Google Hangout. She spoke about being an entrepreneur and how she started her fair trade jewelry company in 2011. "It's a perfect fit for my class and the school itself. Kara's Lauralton experience not only gave her the education needed to start a business, but the feeling of empowerment to do so, all fueled by her compassion for underprivileged women and families," said Jill Waldron, Business Teacher.

Kara is a co-owner of the fair trade company Threads Worldwide




Lauralton Senior Talks "STEM" Education with NPR

Maddie Monahan, a senior at Lauralton Hall, was a featured guest on the WNPR live radio show, Where We Live.  The December 6 broadcast, on the topic “Girl Power! Women in STEM,” included women scientists and engineers who discussed “what's being done to foster the next wave of female STEM leaders.”   

Maddie talked about LH’s innovative “physics first” approach and the how the LH engineering team is competing in the year-long Sikorsky STEM Challenge, developing a fly-by-wire electro mechanical control system.

Maddie is President of the Engineering Club at Lauralton Hall.  She lives in Fairfield and will attend Lehigh University in fall of 2017 on a D1 scholarship for field hockey.  Maddie plans to major in engineering and business.

Listen to the replay here  (Maddie’s comments start at 41 minutes 30 seconds)



Volunteer Square Recognizes Student Volunteers

Two Lauralton students were named winners in the essay contest, “What Community Volunteering Means to Me,” sponsored by Volunteer Square in partnership with Hearst Connecticut Media.  First place was awarded to LH senior Kate Canavan. Kate’s essay describes her experience volunteering on political campaigns and the reasons she believes young people should get engaged in the political process.  Third place was awarded to LH sophomore Cristina Ludwig.  Cristina's essay describes the community service project she founded, inspired by her great-grandmother.  Called “Cristina's Cookies, Cards, and Cocoa,” the service project brings cheer to the elderly. Read both essays here.  


“We received a record number of essays this year,” said Julianne Alberty, Executive Director, Volunteer Square.   “Students representing 19 high schools in Connecticut submitted essays expressing what volunteering means in their lives.  It was a very difficult decision to make this year.”

Volunteer Square is a free service designed to match individuals interested in volunteering with current opportunities in their community.  



Why I Choose Lauralton Hall for my Daughter, Parent Ambassador Lisa C. Merriman

 Almost fours years ago, my daughter Zoe was in the 8th grade at a private school.  We decided that even though we had two good high schools in our area, we wanted to find a small private school that would meet our daughter's educational and emotional needs.  

Like many of you who have experienced this process, it is tedious and tiresome. The paperwork is exhausting. In some way this process prepared us for what we would go through during the college search. 

Zoe shadowed at many of the well-known private high schools throughout the Fairfield County. She had interviews and took numerous exams. She tried to be strong during the process but I knew she was worried and concerned. 

I wasn't concerned at all. I wanted her to go to Greenwich Academy! This school was prestigious and ranked high for its teaching and rigorous courses. I was so excited when she got in.  However, she was anything but. She informed me that even though she did agree that GA was a good school, she had another one in mind. The school she wanted to go to was Lauralton Hall. She visited the school when she participated in their Science Olympics, and always said that she "felt as if she belonged there." She said that when she shadowed she thought the teachers were engaging and the girls were warm and pleasant.

Above all, she felt something she never experienced from the other schools: a sense of belonging, pride and respect from her female peers. A sisterhood that creates leaders! So when your daughter walks through the halls of Academy of Our Lady Of Mercy, Lauralton Hall, she will be upholding a legacy of women who are striving to reach their social responsibilities and academic potential.

Good Luck and God Bless,
Lisa C Merriman
Mother of a senior- Class of 2017

Lauralton Hall Recognized with CIAC's Michaels Achievement Cup

Lauralton Hall is among fifteen high school athletic programs to have been selected as CIAC Michaels Achievement Cup exemplary programs, recognizing their outstanding achievement as overall athletics programs for the 2015-16 academic year.

In addition to Lauralton Hall, Amity, Brookfield, Canton, Cheshire, East Catholic, East Lyme, Haddam-Killingworth, Immaculate, Joel Barlow,  Ledyard, Lewis Mills, Lyman Memorial, Staples, and Valley Regional are the schools honored this year as exemplary athletic programs. The 15 schools represent all six enrollment classifications and are selected based on achievement in seven distinct areas which are sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarship, athletic personnel, equity, chemical free initiatives and athletic achievement.

“It’s an outstanding achievement for these 15 programs to earn the distinction as an exemplary athletic program given the rigorous selection process,” said CAS-CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff. “These schools have made an impressive commitment to supporting a well-rounded, education-based athletics program and consistently demonstrate the value those programs have to students and the entire school community.”  Read more.



Why We Choose Lauralton Hall for Our Daughter, Parent Ambassador Jim Stacy

As parents, my wife and I want nothing more than to see our children become strong adults full of success, integrity, independence, compassion, kindness, spirituality, understanding, knowledge and leadership. Like most parents, we are continually building a strong foundation for our children. We hope the "house" they build on it is a reflection of our parenting and dedication to them. High school years are important years to help refine these traits leading up to adulthood.

Our son and daughter chose to attend Prep and Lauralton 100% on their own. I think a lot has to do with my sharing of the positive experience I had being a graduate of Prep and my wife being a graduate of Holy Cross. Lauralton, being the sister school to Prep, quickly became the goal of my 7th grade daughter seeing the success and camaraderie of her brother attending Prep. We toured all the local Catholic schools as well as scheduled shadowing. The sisterhood at Lauralton was an instant attraction for my daughter. She came home from her shadow day and was 100% sure Lauralton was a great fit. We couldn't agree more. Her first year challenged her and built her self-confidence more than we could have ever expected. Her involvement in hockey at LH has budded friendships that will last a lifetime.

Having completed the challenge of her first year, I couldn't think of a better school for her to attend. The teachers are incredible, staff support is incredible and the administrators are second to none. They are just as dedicated towards nurturing all students and guiding them towards becoming the type of adults as outlined above as we are. It's a big financial sacrifice for parents to send their children to a private school such as Lauralton. The results however are unsurpassed and worth every penny. I couldn't think of a better place for my daughter to spend her 4 years of high school than Lauralton Hall!

Jim Stacy


Science and Art Come Together to Expand Learning

Lauralton Hall continues to expand its STEAM curriculum, integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. This week the Science and Art Departments collaborated on a study of the elements.  Chemistry students each constructed a pyramid which displayed information about an element, a substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substance by chemical means.  They wrote a creative story about what would happen if that element slowly began disappearing from the world.  In Art Class, students looked at electron microscopic photographs of each element and created abstract color drawings  of what they saw.  The classes came together and presented their work in joint presentations.


The Investment in a Lauralton Hall Education

In a recent blog post I talked about the value of an all-girls school.  Our faculty and staff believe in the power of the female mind.  They believe that in the encouraging and supportive all girls environment, each and every student can grow and blossom into their best selves.

We believe in this so strongly, that Lauralton Hall has partnered with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) and was the first Catholic independent school member in 2009.  NCGS is a leading advocate for girls schools, connecting and collaborating globally with individuals, schools and organizations dedicated to educating and empowering girls.

Our faculty and administration participate in continuing education workshops and conferences as participants and presenters.  Online courses offered through NCGS have brought students and faculty together in support of online education for girls.

Our alumnae often tell me that at Lauralton Hall, they found their voice.  When they attended college, they were not afraid of speaking up in class and engaging in classroom discussion or taking on a leadership role on campus.

When Cadet First Class Jacqueline Kubicko ‘12 recently returned to Lauralton to speak with our students, she told us that her four years at Lauralton Hall were “incredible”.   “I was challenged here.  I learned to handle stress in a positive way."

Jackie attributes the influence of her teachers, especially, Mrs. Napolitano, Mrs. Healy, Ms. Powers and Ms. Crozier for her work ethic, motivation and drive to succeed.  “Lauralton’s faculty go all out for their students.”

Jackie is wonderful example of our graduates and the investment in a Lauralton Hall education.  I am pleased to report that Cadet First Class Kubicko was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of Southhampton, U.K.  She will be representing the United States and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as a cultural ambassador while pursuing a Master of Research at the University.  To read more about Jackie’s accomplishments go to:        



Run/Walk and Shoot Pumkins for Breast Cancer Awareness

Insdier LH DaiseyThis year, Lauralton Hall has a week full of GIT activities that will culminate in the 1st Annual Maryann Wasil Daisy Run on Saturday, October 29th at 12:30pm. Courage & Faith to Hope & Strength is the underlying theme as the Turf Field of Lauralton Hall’s campus will be transformed into an enormous celebration in support of breast cancer awareness.  This event is open to all ages. Participants can register the day of the event  for $10 and receive a t-shirt and raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets to win gift cards may also be purchased.

 “The festivities in the center of the turf field during the Daisy Run include crossbows, pendulum bowling and pumpkin sling shots that have been built by the AP Physics and Engineering students. Students are able to combine hands-on projects with raising money for breast cancer awareness.” states Theresa Napolitano, Physics Teacher at Lauralton Hall.

All proceeds from the event will go to the Get in Touch Foundation and the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Cancer Center in Bridgeport.



Student Thespians and Dancers present Shrek, The Musical

Insider Shrek

"Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. They were all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad  Determined to save their home -- not to mention his -- Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue Princess Fiona to be Farquaad's bride. Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret."

Lauralton Hall presents Shrek, The Musical

Friday, October, 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m.

Parson's Center Auditorium, 70 West River Street, Milford, CT

Tickets $15 for Adults |  $10 Students and Senior Citizens


Why I Choose Lauralton Hall for my Daughter, Parent Ambassador Heidi Dalaker

I knew I wanted my daughter Elyssa to attend Lauralton Hall before she was born. My sister is a graduate of the class of ’83 and I planned to be a part of the class of ’86…until we moved!  Lauralton Hall was an exceptional school 30 years ago and is even more exceptional now. LH offers a challenging curriculum in a safe and empowering environment. Students are encouraged to expand their minds, form their own opinions and openly discuss them. Although the academics are second to none, LH offers so much more. Through their service program, Elyssa has become more compassionate and aware of the challenges facing not only our community but the World in general. Lauralton’s use of technology and Haiku requires responsibility for her own workload and has taught her to budget her time. The wide variety of clubs has enabled Elyssa to explore different areas of interest and subsequently determine which she is really passionate about.


I am so proud to watch my daughter grow into a strong, confident young lady through Lauralton Hall. I have always loved Lauralton, its rich history and have known that Lauralton was the school for her. However, I was beyond thrilled to see her discover it for herself and ask to tour the school.     

Elyssa is a junior and tells me she falls more in love with LH every day. When she began as a freshman, she was shy and introverted. Throughout her years at LH thus far, she has grown more and more confident and is taking leadership and life initiatives that she may never have discovered if not for Lauralton Hall. The friends she has met are sure to be lifelong friends who will continue to embrace Lauralton long after they take that final walk down the staircase.


My best,

Heidi Dalaker


National Wildlife Federation Certifies Lauralton Hall as New Wildlife Habitat

Website National Wildlife Fed logoThe National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, is pleased to recognize that Lauralton Hall has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat ® through its Garden for Wildlife program.  NWF celebrates the efforts of the Environmental Club, Lauralton Hall to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs, and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young.  Certification also makes your Certified Wildlife Habitat ® part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to restore critical habitat for pollinators.

“We are so excited to have another passionate wildlife gardener group join us and create a Certified Wildlife Habitat.  Over the last 40 years, nearly 200,000 wildlife gardeners have joined NWF’s Garden for Wildlife movement and helped restore wildlife habitat right in their own yards and neighborhoods,” said David Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. “Whether you garden in a suburban yard, an apartment balcony or a 10-acre farm, a schoolyard, or a business park, or anything in betweenButterfly Garden1 2016, everyone can create a home for local wildlife.  Turning your space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat is fun, easy and makes a big difference for neighborhood wildlife,” he added,

Lauralton Hall’s environmental club began pursuing certification from NWF when they learned of the current decline in the Monarch butterfly population.  The primary reason for the decline seems to be due to the loss of the monarch’s exclusive larval host plant and critical food source – native milkweed.  As the club researched monarch butterflies, it became evident that the butterflies needed far more than just milkweed in order to survive – they also need a variety of nectar plants.  Armed with this knowledge, and under the guidance of recently retired teacher Donna DiMassa, students set out to create a Monarch Recovery Garden.  Not only will this garden benefit the monarch butterflies, it will benefit local pollinators and other species as well.  The club is committed to maintaining the garden and continuing to educate members of the Lauralton community about local and global environmental issues.




Why We Choose Lauralton Hall for our Daughters

We have been extremely impressed with the education our two daughters have had at Lauralton Hall.  Kelsey is a graduate of the class of 2015 and Mackenzie Mary will be a rising junior at Lauralton Hall this fall.  

When our older daughter, Kelsey, was in eighth grade, we offered her the opportunity to attend a private high school rather than matriculate into our local public high school.  Although she had trepidation about attending a new school, she was looking forward to new friends  and a new environment that would help her define and develop her character; encourage her to be an independent thinker; and provide a challenging, traditional academic curriculum free from the distractions of boys.  She found all these attributes at Lauralton Hall.  Needless to say, four years later her sister was offered the same opportunity; and without hesitation, she took the Lauralton Hall entrance exam in seventh grade and enrolled thereafter.   

When Kelsey entered LH, the number of students from our town was minimal. Over the past several years, the number of girls from our town attending LH has grown exponentially.   Why, you may ask?   In our opinion, beginning freshmen year, Lauralton Hall provides the building blocks for each girl to reach her personal best throughout life. To use an adage of Catherine McAuley, “A good beginning is of great importance,” and Lauralton Hall provides the essential underpinning for its students to be prepared for the world outside of school.  The dedicated teachers, all-girl environment and Mercy Core Values at Lauralton Hall empower these young women to follow their passion, to be leaders of tomorrow and to become informed global citizens.   

At an all-girls’ school the classroom dynamics shift, allowing girls the ability to focus on their work; to have more freedom to follow their ambitions; and most importantly, to find their voices! As our daughter headed off to college, she drew an analogy between attending LH and participating in the LH theatre productions: “Going to an all-girl school encourages you to become the lead actor in a performance rather than just a spectator in the audience wishing she could be on stage.” Even now in her second year of college at William and Mary, she finds that the social and academic benefits of being at an all-girl school continue to shape her character. Due to her education and experience at LH, she is more inclined to partake in seminar class discussions and to take on leadership roles in her campus clubs and activities.

That being said, we know that student achievement is not feasible without passionate teachers and staff committed and dedicated to their students. The Lauralton Hall teachers are passionate about what they teach and ignite a desire for knowledge in their students.  The teachers help the girls discover and refine their interests and strengths while preparing them for the academic demands and challenges beyond the high school classroom.  Both of our daughters have multiple anecdotes about teachers who have encouraged them to discover their capabilities and to realize their talents. This dedication translates into actions that inspire the girls to be more actively engaged in learning and in serving their community.

In keeping with the Core Values of a Mercy Education, the faculty has been supportive when it comes to offering opportunities to serve both local and global communities. Over the years, Lauralton has helped my daughters, as well as other students, put these Core Values into action, empowering them to become informed global citizens.  My other daughter , Mackenzie Mary,  has been actively involved in a service project dedicated to connecting an all-girl school in The Gambia, Starfish International, with the students of Lauralton Hall with the purpose to educate students from each continent about diverse cultures and issues women encounter in their own societies.  This initiative would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication of LH’s staff and teachers.  It began with a computer drive, morphed into an after-school Starfish Club focused on service, and continues to forge a strong relationship between these two all-girl schools that share the same vision and mission: Empowering young women by providing them with an advanced education that focuses on service to humanity. The Lauralton staff’s commitment to the Mercy Core Values encourages students to participate and embrace leadership roles in service opportunities like this one.  The Mercy Core Values have inspired my daughters, and other LH students, to be agents of change and to make a quantifiable difference in the world, one person at a time.

Opportunities for personal and academic growth at Lauralton Hall are reasons our daughters chose to attend Lauralton Hall. We as parents have supported them in their decisions because we believe the dedicated faculty and staff, academic environment and commitment to Mercy Core Values have enabled them to be self-confident, life-long learners – a good beginning is essential for independence in and readiness for the real world.   

Dawn and John Llewellyn


Why Would Anyone Want to go to an All Girls School?

Why indeed!

While many Connecticut parents search for a school that can give their high-schooler an edge, parents of daughters may find a girls-only environment is her best advantage. By subtracting boys, an all-girls' education adds opportunities. A girl occupies every position from student government, to sports teams, to the school play. As one of the first all-girl high schools in Connecticut, Lauralton Hall has empowered young women for over 111 years.

In a single-sex school, a girl is free to explore new things and take on new roles without worrying about how her male counterparts might perceive her.  Girls in their high school years should be allowed to find out what makes them unique, what kinds of learning best challenges them, and what fun activities spark their curiosity about life.

A 2013 study by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools called “Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools” found the following benefits:

  • Higher aspirations and greater motivation.
    Virtually all students at all-girls’ schools expect to earn a four-year degree and more than two-thirds expect to earn a graduate or professional degree.
  • Challenged to achieve more.
    Nearly 80.0% of girls’ school students report most of their classes challenge them to achieve their full academic potential. This is compared to 44.3% of girls at coed public schools.
  • More actively engaged in the learning process.
    95% of girls’ school students report more engagement with course-related speaking and writing vs. 80.4% of their female peers at coed schools.
  • Participate in activities that prepare them for the world outside of school.
    Girls’ schools encourage students to link concepts across problem domains. Over 80% of students at girls’ schools report having connected ideas from one area to another compared to 61.2% of girls at coed public schools.
  • More self confident about expressing their ideas.
    An atmosphere of respect provides girls’ schools students the opportunity to share their views openly and learn from peers.
  • Higher levels of support from their classmates, teachers and school personnel
    In an all-girls' atmosphere, classroom dynamics shift. Alumnae often report that they could not "hide" in their school. Without the distraction of boys, girls can have a greater ability to focus on their work—and teachers can demand that such work meet the highest standards.

The administration and faculty at Lauralton Hall believe in the power of the female mind. We believe that all young women can grow and blossom into their best selves.

 *This blog is part of a series, written by Dr. Toni Iadarola, President of Lauralton Hall.

Merwin Tower Named After 1943 Alumna

On September 23, Lauralton Hall celebrated the naming of one of it's historic landmarks after an alumna.  Built in 1864, the newly named Alyce Merwin Tower, was recently restored and plans are underway to make it a central feature of an outdoor classroom, incorporating a STEAM curriculum.  STEAM brings together science, technology, engineering, arts and math into an interdisciplinary approach to learning.  water_tower

Following graduation from Lauralton Hall in 1943, Alyce Merwin earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Rollins College and pursued a career in medical laboratory technology specializing in histology.  She says that the education she received at Lauralton Hall, and the influences of some of her teachers, inspired her interested in the sciences.  Read more about Alyce and this milestone event by clicking here.


A Note From Dr. Toni Iadarola

As we begin another school year at Lauralton, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the excitement and anticipation our students experience as the summer winds down and the school year begins.  New friends, new classes, new teachers.

I think too of our parents.  The beginning of a new school year brings as much excitement and anticipation for them as well.  New schedules, new teachers, new learning experiences for their daughters.

You’re investing in a brand new year of learning, growing and possibilities…. It’s such an exciting time for young women and I’m filled with enthusiasm and expectation for each and every one of our 460 girls who begin classes on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

I look forward to sharing with you some of the stories and some of the reasons why Lauralton Hall is sound investment for many young women.


Sophomores Welcomed Back with Ice Cream and T-Shirts

          News 2016.09 Sophomore Welcome Back1News-2016.09 Sophomore Welcome Back2

On September 15th, the Class of 2019 was excited to tie dye t-shirts and make their own ice cream sundaes on the Lauralton Hall grounds!  Their 2016 Welcome Back Event was a huge success with nearly all sophomores in attendance.  Their t-shirts will be worn on Decade Day, during this year's Spirit Week, as sophomores typically represent the 1960's.  Many of the girls even tie dyed socks to wear for their February 14th Sophomore Sock Day!  Officers Cristina Ludwig, Rory Woods, Karina Brea and Julia Arsenault were the perfect coordinators for the event.  It looks like an amazing year ahead!

Empowered Female Graduates Forge Their Own Future


Following an increasingly popular trend, President Obama’s daughter Malia is deferring her freshman year at Harvard University until 2017. While some high school graduates are opting for a “gap year” to seek experiences outside the classroom, graduates of Lauralton Hall have already combined community outreach with academic excellence. The mission of the all-girls college-prep school is to prepare students for success at the most prestigious colleges and universities across the nation, while empowering them to choose their own path throughout their lives. 

“Although our curriculum is always focused first and foremost on scholastic achievement, we encourage our graduates to be well-rounded young women by participating in athletics, arts, languages and civic activism,” explained Dr. Toni Iadarola, President of Lauralton Hall. “In fact, many of the girls have become keenly interested in helping others after travelling overseas and across the U.S. with humanitarian aid organizations.”

Iadarola notes the Valedictorian of this year’s graduating class, Caroline Sarda of New Canaan, developed a deep interest in human rights and serving others during a trip to the Philippines that allowed her firsthand exposure to the struggles of people living in poverty. Additionally, she has worked as a mentor in the Breakthrough Options for Families program in Norwalk assisting poor, single-parent families for the past two years.

“As a Catholic school, Lauralton Hall has a tremendous commitment to helping those less fortunate and provides countless opportunities for our students to share their talents,” said Iadarola. “This exposure often leads the girls choose a different life path than they may have originally planned.”

2016 Salutatorian Grace Cogguillo of Milford will major in Public Policy at the University of Virginia after working at the Caroline House in Bridgeport. Cogguillo has served as a tutor for elementary school students at the non-profit organization that is dedicated to teaching immigrant women literacy and job skills to improve their own lives and the lives of their children. 

The entire Lauralton Hall senior class has volunteered at more than 50 service sites in Connecticut, Appalachia, Jamaica and Thailand. Organizations range from soup kitchens to Special Olympics to Therapeutic Horseback Riding.  Academic honors include President Obama’s Recognition of Educational Excellence, Connecticut High School Scholar Athlete Award, National Merit Scholarship finalists, Office of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Hartford Summa Scholars, National Honor Society and Yale University Senior Spotlight.  In addition, many girls are nationally ranked in sports such as swimming, lacrosse and field hockey.

This year’s graduation ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 4th starting at 10:00 a.m. President Iadarola will serve as the commencement speaker. The 108 graduates have been accepted to an impressive array of prominent colleges and universities that span 27 states across the country and include Georgetown, Hofstra, Boston College, Tufts, Pepperdine and Loyola.

A major milestone of the ceremony will be the announcement and presentation of this year’s Catherine McAuley Award winner.  The honor is bestowed to a senior who has demonstrated:

  • A commitment to the mission of Lauralton
  • A commitment to living the Gospel and Mercy values as a Christian woman
  • An evident value system that responds to others with compassion, courage and genuine graciousness
  • A spirit of volunteerism to the school and community
  • A sound academic performance
  • A positive public image as a Lauralton student 

“All of our students excel as leaders, whether they create support groups, serve on junior hospital boards or are outstanding role models for younger students,” states Iadarola. “Our philosophy of education is about opening their minds to new experiences and transferring their intellect to the real world.” 

Environmental Club Field Trip To Visit Bee Hives

Article written by Donna DiMassa, retiring Lauralton English teacher

"Honey bees, critical pollinators for many of the world’s food crops, are dying at such an alarming rate that nearly one-third of our food supply is in danger. And the science is clear: Neonicotinoid pesticides are the leading contributor behind bee colony collapse" (NRDC, May 2016).

What IS a pollinator?  A pollinator  moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization. With fertilization comes fruit, grains, nuts, even meat, and almost all the food that humans depend on!

Because bees are in trouble, both the Environmental Club members and Lauralton students joined forces to learn more about man's best insect friend and hardest worker at getting crops and orchards pollinated; the girls took a field trip to Rainbow Gardens Restaurant at 117 Broad Street on the Milford Green on Wednesday, May 25  in order to get "up close and personal" with these amazing insects. The owners John and Heather Profetto have several bee hives on the upper story deck of their restaurant; therefore, they invited the students to come to learn about bees and then to don bee keeper suits and get a close look at bees.

Before the girls, "suited up," Heather Profetto oriented the girls about bees.  First, she gave the girls some history. In ancient times, the Egyptians used honey to preserve the entrails of their dead in large jars, so that their dead would have these important organs in the afterlife. When discovered by archaeologists, the entrails were still intact. Also, during war, soldiers used honey for its antiseptic and antibacterial value on their wounds when they were out in the field.  

After some background, Mrs. Profetto stressed the importance of bees today. She pointed out that, "Farmers cannot get out in fields and orchards with little Q-tips and pollinate all flowering plants by hand; they need bees to to do this work.”  Pollination, the  transferring of pollen from the anthers to the stigma of a flower is an impossible job for man but just an ordinary day on the job for the bee.  According to Mrs. Profetto, this process becomes more complicated because some plants change from male to female. Therefore, the worker bee must have an infinite, as well as instinctive, understanding of what it is doing. 

The girls also learned that the nurse bees take the wax cap off the baby bees’ octagonal “crib” every time they feed them; then they carefully replace the protective cap. So the expression “busy as a bee” is not an empty cliché. The shape and size of the “crib” determines what kind of bee will be produced, such as nurse, worker, or drone. The biggest octagon "cribs" produce the drones. 

Before the girls "suited up," Mrs. Profetto told them not to worry about being stung, "If a honey bee stings you, it will lose half of its body; whereas wasps can sting repeatedly. It is the wasp that gives the bee a bad name."  It is not in the bees' best interest to sting anyone.  Shelly Lang '19 agreed, "Although I was a little scared at first that I might get hurt by the bees, later I found that you shouldn't panic when there are bees around you. I think it's a very special experience for me to see bees very close."

Carrie Sun '19 also learned from this field trip,"I learned  that bees live in group, and all bees have their own jobs, just like human society; that's also the most amazing thing I learned. In addition, there's a queen bee in every hive to give birth to baby bees."

It seems that after the field trip all of the girls came away with some interesting knowledge. For example, next year's Environmental Club Vice President Hannah Haynes '17 learned that many bee keepers have their queen bees shipped in from Georgia or Hawaii if necessary, but then the Connecticut bee keepers have begun to learn from experience that a native queen bee is more likely to live through the winter than one from a warmer climate. The native queen also knows more about running a Connecticut hive than queen bees from other parts of the country. 

Next year's Environmental Club President Angelina DeBenedet '17 said, "The trip was fantastic!! I'm so glad we got to go!  It was very interesting to learn about the different types of bees and what they do in the hive!  I also enjoyed learning about what happens when bees swarm. When Mrs. Profetto was telling us all this information about the bees, I was impressed! It sounded as she were talking about a human society and helped me understand a lot more about the truly intricate and important role bees play in our environment!"

But back to what is hurting the bee population and the important work that they do: neonicotinoids. John Profetto pointed out that neonicotinoids are banned all through Europe, but they are not banned in the United States because pesticide companies are profiting from their sales. He told the girls, "You need to write to your state senators to get this pesticide banned."  Caitlyn Rich '18 said, "I learned that neonicotinoids are killing something very beautiful and very necessary for life." 

After reading this article, you may ask yourself, “But what can I do to help bees??” The answer is, “A lot!”

First, either stop using or greatly reduce your use of pesticides in your yard. What exactly are you trying to kill anyway?

Many insects are beneficial, so you have to be careful. thoughtful, discriminating, and discerning in your use of pesticides - as you would be with any poison. The good news is that there are some natural solutions that are healthy for you and our beautiful planet.  Secondly, buy fruits and vegetables free of harmful pesticides. Lastly, let your state senators know that you have as much say about the tons of toxins poured on our earth as big chemical companies do. In fact, be louder than the chemical companies!

If you want to learn more about bees, there are two books that Heather recommended: The Beekeeper's Bible and The Honey Connoisseur.  The next time you take a bite of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grain, and even meat,  think about what your little bee friend did for you to make that food available! 

The girls who suited up were: Caitlyn Rich '18, Angelina DeBenedet '17 (president of Environmental Club next year) and Hannah Haynes '17 (vice president of Environmental Club next year). 

LH Gets a Visit from Archbishop Blair

The students, faculty and staff of Lauralton Hall in Milford were honored with a visit from Archbishop Leonard Paul Blair on May 10th. Archbishop Blair toured the campus and new facilities, while connecting with the bright students that attend this Catholic college-prep school for girls, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy. 

Blair is serving as the thirteenth bishop and fifth current Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford. His visit solidifies the religious foundation that Lauralton Hall instills and combines with outstanding academics and athletics. The young women at this institution strive for excellence not only in the classroom and sports fields, but spiritually. The Archbishop was able to experience firsthand how the mission and core values of the Sisters of Mercy are lived at Lauralton today.

Bottom Row: Julia Spillane, Lauren Butler, Kelly Aarons
Second Row: Mary McMullen, Alexandra DiMarco, Madeline Tein, Caroline Sarda
Top Row: Adaeze Dikko, Jamiah Bennett, Janae Staltaro, Elizabeth Khalil
Second image: Dr. Toni Iadarola and Archbishop Blair



New Turf Field is Dream Realized at Lauralton


Mayor Ben Blake and other speakers gather at the new field for a dedication ceremony Monday.

Mayor Ben Blake and other speakers gather at the new field for a dedication ceremony Monday.

Lauralton Hall unveiled a brand-new $2-million synthetic turf field and celebrated the school’s third Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Monday.

Mayor Ben Blake welcomed the students, faculty, staff, alumnae, inductees, and other individuals who came to celebrate.

“It’s a beautiful day; it’s a great day to be outside, especially on an athletic field where we know that there’s going to be many years of successful sports teams,” Blake said. “It’s a project that was many years in the making; a lot of people contributed to this effort.”

Lauralton Hall President Dr. Toni Iadarola said she is extremely proud of the new field.

“It was a dream that finally came true,” she said.

After opening statements, the Rev. Michael J. Doody from Fairfield University and Lilyan Fraher, a Lauralton graduate, offered prayers and blessings.

“It was exciting for me because when I went here to school, we had no idea of such a beautiful field, and even when I taught here it was something that was just talked about,” said Fraher, who is a Lauralton Hall alumna and taught at the high school from 1996 until 2002. “So today was a dream fulfilled.”

The new athletic field will be used for soccer, track, lacrosse, and field hockey. During the planning stages of the project, the athletic director had the student athletes play on a variety of surfaces to determine their preference. They chose artificial turf over natural grass because there are no uneven or differently textured areas to alter the speed of a ball or affect performance. There is no downtime due to weather conditions. It is also infilled with sand and rubber particles that act as artificial earth, giving the athletes shock absorption and natural footing. Also, a majority of Lauralton Hall’s competitor schools play on artificial turf.

Iadarola said the artificial turf fits in perfectly with the school’s commitment to caring for the environment. Artificial turf requires no watering, mowing or chemical fertilizers and is made with recycled materials.

“This project is only possible because of the generous donations from parents, trustees, alumnae, faculty, staff, and friends,” Iadarola said before the dedication ceremony. “They support our goal of providing student athletes with an opportunity to learn the importance of ethical behavior, good sportsmanship, positive values, and a realization of their self-worth.”

Iadarola said she and others have been waiting for a field like this for a long time and are thrilled that it is now here. Quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, she said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” She also thanked all of the individual and corporate sponsors for their generous support, particularly Frontier Communications of New Haven County for their $50,000 donation to the field fund.

A luncheon was held before the dedication ceremony, and keynote speaker Dr. Donna Lopiano spoke to the attendees. Fox Sports named her one of the “10 Most Powerful Women in Sports.” She is also the former chief executive officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation. She discussed the necessity of equality for women in sports. Lopiano also spoke about the importance of women owning a strong self-image, and how sports can help give them that strength.

Next, four inductees into Lauralton’s Hall of Fame gave speeches about athletics and the Lauralton community. Mary Ellen Curran (Class of ’82) completed nine 200-mile bike rides to benefit the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Institute in the past. She has a 5.0 in USTA League Tennis and was a finalist for ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award last year.

Theresa Napolitano coached field hockey and softball at the high school, leading the softball team to state tournaments. Last year she was inducted into the State Coaches Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Softball Hall of Fame.

Tom McDonald coached basketball and softball at Lauralton, and under his guidance the basketball team won five division titles and a CCIAC championship. In 2014, McDonald was inducted into the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Softball Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Higgins Gladfelter (Class of ’64) was valedictorian of her class and completed numerous marathons, half marathons and triathlons.

Gladfelter said, “One of the most important things is to participate in anything and let young women know they can.”

Taken from the Milford Mirror




Lauralton Hall/ CT Audubon Coastal Center ROV fieldtrip

In an effort to introduce more STEAM projects into the existing science curriculum at Lauralton Hall, marine biology students participated in a pilot ROV build-project following the Spring Break.  Students learned how ROVs contribute to our understanding of the marine environment. They constructed ROVs out of PVC pipes to participate in the monitoring of blue mussel beds with the CT Audubon Coastal Center.  The purpose of this collaboration was for the student ROVs to collect water and mussel samples for chemical analysis.

Beginning in the early 2000’s, blue mussels began settling along the near coastal region off Milford Point Road, Milford, CT forming dense beds. Audubon naturalists have been concerned in recent years that changing shoreline conditions caused by storms such as Superstorm Sandy may have altered suitable habitat conditions for the mussels. There was also a concern that water chemistry conditions could be impacting the population size and density of the mussel beds.  Mussels are filter feeders and so any contaminants (such as bacteria and heavy metals) can build up in the mussel tissue.  They are also a foundation species improving water conditions for other marine species (through their functions as “filters”) and providing food for a host of species such as predatory snails, crabs, and shorebirds and so, play a crucial part in the marine ecosystem.

Despite the damage to the bed from recent storm activity, it was decided to launch the prototype ROVs anyway. One of the three ROV prototypes was successfully launched. Students were excited over the success of this prototype and began brainstorming was to improve them for next year. After data was collected and analyzed, it was determined by the students that existing water chemistry conditions were at the upper range of the mussels’ preferred conditions.  This in conjunction with the shoreline’s vulnerability to storm activity lead students to conclude that dense, permanent mussel beds were unlikely to form in the area.

While this is important information for CT Audubon’s ongoing blue mussel bed monitoring program, the real lesson that students learned from the experience is that science is often messy and unpredictable and that perseverance and the willingness to learn from every attempt is key to success.  Students will share the lessons learned about ROV construction with next year’s students in order to improve the ROVs and possibly have another successful launch in 2017.




The Ferrigno sisters win the Grand Championships

The Ferrigno sisters win the Grand Championships, held in Boston Mass, March 18th – 20thAlanna '16 and Julianna '18, both 2nd degree black belts, competed in the 64th Annual All American Tang Soo Do Karate Tournament.  Julie was in the juniors division ((17 years and under)  and Alanna in the women’s Division (18 through 32 years).  There were 300+ competitors (male and female) from all across the United States.  Julianna took the Gold medal for weapons and a Silver for Sparring and her sister, Alanna, took the Gold medal for sparring and the Silver medal for weapons. They then qualified to compete the last night for the Grand Championships and continued on to win them as well!!


Alanna is the new 2016 - Tang Soo Do Grand Champion for women’s sparring

Julianna is the new  2016 - Tang Soo Do Juniors Grand Champion of weapons  (beat the boys as well)


Today the Ferrigno sisters are all the talk within their own karate Federation as the girls to beat. 




Congratulations to Rachelle Ambroise '17

The Milford American Legion contacted Guidance to share information about the American Legion national Oratorical Contest and encouraged students from LH to join and compete. Under the wonderful leadership of Lisa Peterson, two students stepped forward. They were to prepare an 8 – 10-minute oration on any aspect of the American Constitution and four 3 – 5-minute orations of an assigned topic. 

On Saturday, January 9th, juniors Rachelle Ambroise and Kate Canavan participated in the Milford American Legion contest. They were both amazing and represented Lauralton Hall with flying colors.

Person after person came forward to compliment them both. Rachelle emerged the victor of all the contestants.

On Saturday, Feb. 5th, Rachelle went on to compete in the regional contest in Naugatuck. She had quite the following. The Milford American Legion came to hear her and several of the audience members from the first contest were present, including some attorneys and local politicians.  

On March 5th, Rachelle participated in the state completion at Goodwin College. At this highly competitive event, attended by several state politicians, local dignitaries, fans and friends, Rachelle placed second. She represented her teachers, counselors and Lauralton Hall with the highest of honor.

Once again, she made Lauralton Hall proud.





A Celebration of Lent

Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. Our Lauralton student body encompassed their spirituality as each class went on a day-long retreat to reflect on this special time.

Freshman and Sophomore retreats were held on campus.

The theme for the freshmen was: Getting to know each other (community) better.

  • Fellowship
  • Where are you being led this year?

The Sophomore retreat theme was: Exploring your Individuality

  • Open-ness to each other & to serve the other
  • Support and strength from God or from who/where?

An Opening Prayer Service by Fr. Peter Cipriani included the Holy Thursday ritual of Washing of Feet. Students volunteered to wash students feet as Pope Francis did at St. Peters in Rome, Italy.

Community building activities included Ice Breakers at the beginning of the retreat and writing a letter to themselves to be read when they are seniors.

Jessica Medoff presented and then led the group in small discussion with some of her students from Notre Dame, Fairfield. Greg Vigliotti, from Notre Dame High School in Fairfield, also presented and led small group discussions. The presenters flipped in the afternoon to present to the other class

The retreat ended with a closing prayer.


The Junior retreat took place at Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, CT and was facilitated by their staff under the supervision of Elaine Blank. Their retreat theme was: Care of the Earth, responding to Pope Francis and Laudato Si. Their day began with a sharing circle of songs and care of the earth. They hiked on the trails and participated in a low rope course.

Most of their day was spent outdoors and there was time to journal and have small and large group discussions on Laudato Si.


The Senior retreat took place at Mercy by the Sea in Madison, CT. The theme for the seniors was: Finding God in All Things-Everywhere and was facilitated by Jean Santopatre, Director of Campus Ministry. An iMovie produced by Jean Santopatre, My Name is Viola, was shown and these three questions: Where do you Find God?

How do you walk with Jesus?

Where do you Feel God or the Holy Spirit ‘s presence in your life?

Prompted a small group and then large group discussion.

There was time to reflect on the beach and walk the labyrinth outside. After lunch, the group shared their reflection on another iMovie, River of Souls, produced by Jean Santopatre. The large group discussion was quite eventful and the students were in a reflective mood on the bus ride back to Lauralton Hall.


Because We Believe Earns Top Awards for Campaign Marketing

Lauralton Hall’s  “Because We Believe…The Campaign for Lauralton Hall” website has been presented with a Gold award by the Education Digital Marketing Awards in the “Development Website” category. A national panel of education industry specialists reviewed all entered pieces, presenting Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit awards based on creativity, marketing execution, message impact, technology application and innovative content. 

The school has also been presented with a Silver, Bronze and Merit award by the Educational Advertising Awards in the “Special Video,” “Total Fundraising” and “Logo” categories, respectively.

Lauralton partnered with Creosote Affects, an educational branding and marketing firm, to develop the “Because We Believe…The Campaign for Lauralton Hall” creative platform, along with a campaign video, logo, and microsite. As part of the communication strategy, messages in the microsite resonate with Lauralton Hall’s audiences by highlighting the school’s commitment to its founders’, the Sisters of Mercy, original mission and values.

As part of the campaign, the school is seeking to enhance and renovate learning environments and classrooms.  In addition, the school recently completed a new athletic field and practice track for athletic competition. 

The Lauralton campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and boasts original historic structures that serve the students.  The campaign will also restore and repurpose the 1864 carriage barn a create a Center for the Visual and Preforming Arts. 

The school recently took steps to reclaim and restore the historic Water Tower on its campus. It will provide an environmentally sustainable irrigation system for the school, while also serving as an educational tool for Lauralton’s STEAM curriculum, integrating science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The campaign is well on its way toward achieving its $6 million goal.

Visit the site at http://webelieve.lauraltonhall.org

Click here to support THE CAMPAIGN


Scientist in the Classroom – An NCSE Project

During the Fall semester, AP Environmental Science teacher, April Kelly applied for a National Center for Science Education initiative pairing active research scientists with high school science classes.  Lauralton Hall was invited to participate in the Spring semester program and was paired with Dr. Michael Henehan, a paleo-climatologist from Yale University. Dr. Henehan received his undergraduate degree in paleontology & evolution from the University of Bristol and wrote his dissertation on detecting climatic changes at the end of the Cretaceous period (66-65 million years ago).  His Ph.D. work focused on designing and refining chemical approaches used to detect carbon dioxide changes in the geological past.  His current work at Yale University involves using geochemical proxies (primarily boron-pH proxies) to detect the magnitude and speed of carbon dioxide fluctuations needed to impact Earth’s geochemical processes.  This should lead us to a better understanding of what to expect during our current period of climatic change.

Dr. Henehan paid two visits to the AP ES class; during the first visit, he outlined the educational path that ultimately ended with his position at Yale and the passion and interest that drove him to follow that path.  He developed an easy camaraderie with the students and was delighted to answer their many questions.  He returned for a second visit, during which he led the students in an inquiry-based lab exercise based on his current research.  Students were able to examine microscopic marine organisms known as Foraminifera and observe the changes in skeletal structures from the end of the Cretaceous period, the early Paleocene, and modern day species.  Dr. Henehan then led the students through an animated discussion of how skeletal structure is related to environmental conditions such as pH levels in the ocean.  Because boron is taken up during the calcifying process used to create skeletal structure in the Foraminifera and because its isotopic ratios are known to exist in set relationships at different pH levels, it is possible to use this information to determine carbon dioxide levels at the time the skeletal structures were formed.  Students grappled with the advanced math needed to determine the relationships between Boron concentrations and atmospheric pH levels but ultimately left the lab with a deeper understanding of the intricate relationships between Earth’s biogeochemical cycles and how changing amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide can impact those relationships.

Even though the NCSE program only requires two classroom visits between participating scientists and their partner schools, Dr. Henehan has graciously agreed to a potential third visit after the AP exam in May.  During this final visit, students are hoping to be able to share some of their year-long research projects with Dr. Henehan and the passion and interests which led them to select their own avenues of research.


Lavender and Lace Fashion Show and Brunch

MPA Fashion Show and Brunch 2016

The MPA Fashion Show and Brunch held March 13, 2016, at Race Brook Country Club in Milford, was a tremendous success thanks to our Class of 2016 models and their mothers!  Fashions by Island Outfitters and David Bridals graced the runway. The room overflowed with guests from all classes, as well as our special guests: members of the incoming Class of 2020. All in all, it was a fabulous day of friendship, food and fashion. A special thank you to our volunteers and donors of the flowers, decorations, and many amazing raffle prizes.

Click here to see more pictures from this lovely day.


Sikorsky Reps Challenge LH Students

National Engineering Week was Feb. 21-27. To participate, Claudine Phaire, Engineering Proposal Manager at Sikorsky, and Evian Crosdale visited classrooms at LH. They challenged the girls to design, construct and test the group prototype for a wind-powered crane system that could lift a certain weight of food a specified distance in the quickest time. The wind was supplied by a hairdryer to test the designs.

This was a great experience to engage with professionals for hands-on, as well as dialogue about Engineering fields and skills needed to be successful at the next level.  Ms. Phaire stressed the importance of group work and communication skills. One key point Claudine made was that the members must be able to work with everyone - most of the time you don't have control over who is selected for your team.  The ability to work with varied skill sets and personalities is important to the success of the project and the team.



LH Receives Monarch Recovery Garden Grant

Just recently, the National Wildlife Foundation, The Lego Community Fund, and Connecticut Forest and Park Association awarded Lauralton Hall a grant of $500.00 to turn its butterfly garden into a Monarch Recovery Garden and habitat. Additionally, two LH teachers will be provided with a $100 stipend to participate in a day-long professional development training program and will receive free curriculum materials. A number of school-based Habitat Stewards will also be trained under this program, allowing the school to have on-the-ground support for their garden.

Back to Guatemala for Twenty-two LH Students

This past February, twenty-two Lauralton students and three volunteer teacher chaperones flew to Guatemala to continue their mission work with the School the World Organization. Although this trip was completely independent of Lauralton this year, they returned to two locations in Guatemala where Lauralton students had previously built schools.

School the World works with the parents in the community to encourage a healthy dialogue on the importance of education and the value of continuing education. Since the organization has worked with the community for five years, the playgrounds that were built were a reward to the community for their involvement and support of education. They train the parents and the teachers, as well as provide support for the school by doing weekly checks, providing reading supplies, introducing reading programs and much more. The students worked in the communities of Choaxan and Cacabal II, both schools that were built by Lauralton students in the past. The girls worked hard for 8 days to construct, decorate and install the different pieces of their playground, as STW recognizes that play is an important skill that teaches students in Guatemala to break gender roles and creates an equal opportunity for all. In addition, students are taught life skills through the equipment and organized games that accompany this. Then they gain the confidence and the hand-eye coordination through play, in addition to being provided the opportunity to just be kids.

Visit their website to see all the wonderful things that School the World provides for the communities. www.schooltheworld.org 


Lauralton Hall Transforms its Stairs to an Interactive Piano

LH has taken music and engineering to another level. The Mercy Hall staircase has been transformed into a musical instrument with the help of science teacher April Kelley, LH computer specialist Charles O’Donnell and senior Kelly Aarons.

Last June, Mrs. Kelley attended the Innovation Institute at Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, FL where they were introduced to the Makey Makey kit. The Makey Makey is essentially a micro-controller which allows inventors to turn everyday objects into touch pads. By combining the Makey Makey with a computer via a USB cable, you can "trick" the computer into thinking everyday objects are keystrokes that correspond with a computer command. One common Makey Makey activity is to turn everyday objects into musical instruments. When music teacher Margy Sargent, heard this, the first thing she asked was, "Can we make a musical staircase?" The response was, "Of course we can!" quickly followed by, "Umm...how?"

Kelly Aarons ’16 stepped up to the plate and volunteered to take on the project with Mrs. Kelley and Mr. O'Donnell's help. Kelly first had to learn about basic electronic circuitry and then research similar projects online. After reviewing multiple YouTube videos and reading many blog articles, flaws were uncovered in their first prototype step attempt. Kelly and Mrs. Kelley spent a few free periods designing, testing, and redesigning step constructions until finally, they had a working prototype. They learned that by using a pressure plate design to force two copper wire loops to come in contact with one another completing an electric circuit would in turn "tell" the computer to play a musical note. Each of the steps will play a different note in the scale. 

Kelly and Mrs. Kelley installed five musical stair treads on the marble staircase in Mercy Hall. It took the pair about 1 hour to install the project, which Ms. Kelly characterized as "pretty straightforward." Mrs. Sargent was the first to test the stairs and declared them to be, “Amazing, the notes were right on pitch!” Soon, the students learned to play familiar tunes and the staircase became an instrument as they hit the steps on the way to their classrooms.

Lauralton continues to be in the forefront of encouraging young women to enter into the sciences and technology fields. Several future STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) projects are in the works to continually encourage students to think of new ideas utilizing the Makey Makey kit. It is a great hands-on opportunity for participants to engage in creative, interactive experiments while applying the basic themes of science that they are learning in their classrooms.


Campaigning for Cells

Our science faculty April Kelley, Erin Pinsince, and Sue Cavar collaborated to host its 2nd annual political campaign at Lauralton. All Junior Honors Biology classes ran a   political campaign for best cell organelle.

Their extensive assignment was to research their cell part, design campaign posters, run a mudslinging campaign, create campaign speeches, participate in a debate, and write a political platform with a running mate. Posters adorned the hallways of our school teaching others about the facts of cell organelle. While the students learned about cell organelle, they also learned how to run an entire electoral campaign. The students went above and beyond to fight for their cell by creating campaign ads and negotiating endorsements from everyone they meet (from their siblings, to strangers on the train, to Dr. Toni herself). 

This project was a fun, creative way to ensure the students understand how complex cell structure is and the consequences of malfunction. However, just as critically,  this project forces our students to practice important 21st century skills such as effective communication, media literacy, collaboration, and  community involvement. This created an invaluable platform for learning.


To see more Cell Posters Click Here.

Lauralton Hall hosts several events for Class of 2020

Incoming students of the Class of 2020 and their parents have enjoyed several events over the course of the month of January. Our Director of Guidance and College Planning offered two before work coffees and help eased parents minds about their daughters transition to Lauralton Hall.  LH Student Ambassadors hosted a Bingo Bash on Thursday, January 14 for the newest members of the Class of 2020.  This event was a way for students to meet their classmates, have fun and win some Lauralton prizes.  Parents at the same time were chatting with the President Dr. Toni Iadarola and Principal Ms. Cynthia Gallant in the Mansion. Dr. Toni and Ms. Gallant were so impressed with the parents and the many questions they asked. Several current parents were also on hand to mingle and answer questions. 

The incoming Class of 2020 looks like a fun class already and we look forward to more events in the future.

Click to see the pictures from this fun night.

Freshman Physics — EGG-STRAVAGANZA

Freshman Physics embarked on a very important engineering challenge. Their task was to design, build, and test a car to transport an uncooked egg a certain distance in the least amount of time.

The goals were to:
1. Design and Build a car to transport and uncooked egg.
2. The car had to travel at least 4 meters.
3. The car should travel as fast as possible to the terminal barrier without breaking the egg.

The rules were:
1. No electrical device for propulsion.
2. No pushing or pulling the car.
3. Cannot use packaging to protect the egg
4. The egg must be in the front 1/3 of the car.
5. You could modify the track if needed. 

Scoring was based on testing the car over two trials on competition day. The best running time of the two runs was calculated for the final score. Lowest score wins. This project was a great example of putting fun and physics together. It challenges the students to showcase their creativity and engineering skills.






Students on ORTV Radio to Celebrate Catholic Schools


The Archdiocesan Office of Radio and TV asked Lauralton students to help celebrate Catholic Schools Month in a special way. They invited students to participate in recording a series of radio messages on WJMJ to be aired throughout the month of January. Three Lauralton students Maggie Keary '16, Janae Staltaro '16 and Katherine Simonetti '17, along with alumna Kathleen Sargeant '58 were eager to share their stories of why Lauralton is special to them. 

Below are some exerpts of their stories:


"...By participating in many school-wide events offered at Lauralton, I have been given opportunities to try new things and find out more about myself. One of my favorite clubs I joined was Music Ministry. Alongside the other club members, we lead the school in multiple songs, many of which have become school anthems. It is not uncommon to hear classmates singing ‘Lord I Need You’ or ‘My Lighthouse’ in the hallway. Lauralton Hall encourages its students to join as many activities as possible and take advantage of becoming a part of the wonderful community that Lauralton offers..." — Maggie Keary '16

"...Being taught through an all-girls education has made me so confident in myself and has introduced to me a whole new way of thinking. A Lauralton education is one-of-a-kind. It's a place where you will find challenging courses and the teachers have a way of bringing out the best in us...They continually teach us what mercy means and that is something I will take with me where ever I go..." — Janae Staltaro '16

"...The Lauralton community is very tight-knit and we all feel like family. The day I shadowed here as an 8th grader, I immediately felt like I belonged. I knew this was the perfect place for me to spend the next 4 years of my life...There is no specific course on leadership here, but it is just something you learn from being around the great teachers and all the different girls that surround you daily...the Mercy values are instilled in us and that is evident everywhere you go..." — Katherine Simonetti '17

"...Looking back, Sister Bartholomew, the past principal of Lauralton Hall encouraged, in all of her students kindness, honesty, learning a love of God and a love and respect of self, always remembering that we were Lauralton Ladies...As we see the goodness of Catholic education continuing, we see it as an investment for our students future, as they successfully move forward through all the trials and tribulations of life..." — Kathleen Sargent '58

The annual student-directed production of “The Harvey Girls” is in full swing.

Lauralton Hall is excited to announce this year’s annual student-directed play will be ‘The Harvey Girls” by Julie Jensen, about Fred Harvey's famous Harvey House waitresses. This year’s director is Mary McMullen, '16 of Stamford. The production is entirely student run and includes duties such as choosing the show, casting, props, costumes and keeping the entire cast focused during the 8 hours of afterschool rehearsal a week.

Fred Harvey pushed his chain of restaurants farther and farther west along the lengthening tracks of the Santa Fe. He brought with him one of the first civilizing forces this land had known — the Harvey Girls.

As the story unfolds, it's an ordinary day at the Harvey House Restaurant along the Santa Fe Railroad in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The six people on the staff of the restaurant are engaged in their usual struggles and ordinary duties. Mary wants to run things because she's smarter than the others. Effie takes her on at every turn. Whistle, a young native girl, thinks the white people talk too much and eat entirely too much. Miss Mecham wants them all to remember that women with jobs are much better off than women with children. Bachmann, the German chef, makes rules that few people follow. Then word reaches the restaurant that there's a fugitive woman roaming around town, having been a part of a train holdup earlier that morning. Mary is terrified, Whistle oblivious, and Effie so curious that when she meets the armed woman, she invites her to apply for a job as a Harvey Girl.

As director, Ms. McMullen certainly has her hands full. She works with her group of students including her assistant director, Hope Hottois, of Monroe, lighting and sound crews and stage crews, and the actors themselves to bring this 1946 play “The Harvey Girls” to life.

“This is a lot of work but so worth it. I love being the director on this play because it is a great way to work together, form friendships, respect each other and bond while producing something we are all very proud of,” states director Mary.

The production will premier Friday, February 5th at 7:00pm, with additional showings Saturday February 6th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. (Snow date Sunday, February 7, 7:00 pm). The play will take place at Lauralton Hall’s Claven Auditorium, 200 High St, Milford. Tickets will be available at the door - $10 general admission and $7 for students and senior citizens. Refreshments will be sold at intermission.




Participating in the Hour of Code Movement

The Hour of Code is a global movement that reaches tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. The idea behind the movement is that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Code.org organizes this nationwide event and offers tutorials and lesson plans, and even finds educators an expert who can help design and present the hour. As stated by code.org, "Learning computer science helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path."

At Lauralton, several math classes have already had their hour while others will be held in January. As one example of a classroom lesson, Mrs. Noel invited Mark Ahrens, one of Code.org’s experts, to deliver an Hour of Code to some of her classes.  Mr. Ahrens is the Owner/Director of Mathnasium of Milford, and co-Director of First Choice College in Milford, and has worked extensively in the private sector using technology to solve problems for large companies, including Nielsen.  He has taught many coding classes and has held coding camps as well.  During Mrs. Noel’s classes, students utilized problem solving skills, logic, creativity, and collaboration to work through varied activities using blocks of programming code.  Next, Mr. Ahrens explained how those blocks connect to programming languages.  Students worked hard and had fun at the same time.


Christmas Stocking Drive for the Mercy Learning Center - A Huge Success!


Lauralton Hall and the National Honor Society sponsored the Christmas Stocking Drive for the Mercy Learning Center of Bridgeport this week. Throughout December, the homerooms have been coordinating the donations to make this a school-wide event. Stockings were stuffed for mothers and children and they will be delivered to the center, along with Christmas cards containing gift cards to Stop and Shop. Also donated were 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 48 stockings, 40 Christmas bags, 25 gift cards, candy books and filled candy canes were collected! A special thank you goes out to all who helped make this charitable donation such a success.

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

LH Teams with Fairfield Prep for Environmental Science Field Trip

Early in November, Lauralton Hall and Fairfield Prep participated in a joint professional development day for faculty during which Lauralton Hall AP Environmental Science teacher April Kelley spent some time speaking with Fairfield Prep’s Environmental Science teacher Bob Ford.  Quickly realizing that they shared the same philosophy of “learning science by doing science”, they hatched a plan to have their students work on a project together.  And thus was born the idea of a joint field trip to Roosevelt Forest in Stratford, CT.

On November 24th, Lauralton Hall students and Fairfield prep students met up with Christina Batoh, Stratford’s Conservation Officer, to learn about beaver ecology at the site of a recently constructed beaver dam in Roosevelt Forest.  Christina believes that a pair of juvenile beavers began constructing the dam in early June after having been kicked out of their parent’s lodges to make room for the next set of kits.  The dam stretches across Pumpkin Ground Creek and is approximately sixty feet long.  The construction of the beaver dam has resulted in a wetland lake covering roughly four to six acres of former hardwood forest and marsh.  Students set out to answer the question, “Does the presence of the beaver dam impact stream water quality?”  To do this they tested water samples from an upstream site, the dam itself, and a downstream site.  Lauralton Hall students instructed their Fairfield Prep counterparts in how to conduct tests for dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, turbidity (sediment load), and pH.  Students then analyzed their test results and concluded that the presence of the beaver dam does indeed impact stream water quality with water downstream having better quality than the water upstream or at the dam site. One Prep student hypothesized that this was due to the dam acting as a filter for upstream impurities. Lauralton students countered with a hypothesis that the preponderance of newly rotting vegetation in the wetland lake contributed to poor water quality upstream.  Could both be right? Only future testing will tell.

Next, it was Fairfield Prep’s turn to instruct the Lauralton Hall students in how to conduct forest biodiversity tests using a technique known as transect sampling.  Transect lines were set up in the lowland forest next to the newly created lake and in the upland forest well away from any beaver activity.  After sampling trees in both areas, students concluded that the upland forest was more diverse with four commonly identified tree species then the lowland forest with only three different tree species.  This information will be especially important to forest managers as they continue to monitor the effects the beavers will have on forest succession in this corner of Stratford.

Overall both classes seemed to enjoy the experience and April and Bob are already discussing a similar joint field trip to the Charles Wheeler Salt Marsh in the spring.


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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