Fairfield celebrates first day of school

FAIRFIELD — After a restful summer, students headed back to school Thursday.

It’s a new year indeed for Fairfield, with new Superintendent Mike Cummings moving into his new position just two weeks ago. Cummings has had his hands full already with fill testing at all the district’s fields and playscapes.

Despite field and playground closures, schools were able to open as scheduled, with athletic and physical education schedules being adjusted accordingly.

Warde is starting a new chapter with the introduction of headmaster Paul Cavanna. Warde also gained Elizabeth Costen in physics and chemistry, John Kassay in tech education, Jessica Sauro in business education and Lori DeGroat in FCS.

Ludlowe welcomes many new teachers as well, including: Amelia Collison in chemistry, Jillian Combis in math, Elise Dardani in English, Lynne Forte in French, Roy Spalding in social studies and Tracey Ormond in tech education. Sean Colley also began as a housemater, and Paula Kotara as school counselor. Julie Hallama will teach music at both Warde and Ludlowe, and Katherine Smith will teach math at both Ludlowe and Tomlinson.

Walter Fitzgerald also brought on new teachers, including Sean Murphy in social studies and Jarden Russell in math.

The middle schools have gained a few new teachers of their own; Tomlinson welcomed Kevin Buno in music and Timothy Lewis in band, Roger Ludlowe brought on Kathy Reddy in art and Fairfield Woods gained Maxine Minalga in English.

Burr also has a large group of new teachers starting: Leslie Gorzkowski in first grade, Cinzia Bruno in third grade, Alexander Ludel in fifth grade and Katharine Balzano in the library.

Other new elementary school teachers include Katherine D’Angelo for music at Sherman, Jennifer Restepo for fifth grade at Stratfield, Beth Almore for music at Mill Hill and Holland Hill, Valerie Saltzman for STEAM at North Statfield and Jennings and Katty Quezada in the library at McKinley.

The district also hired new physical education and health teachers to cover multiple schools, including Phillip Huydic and Bridget Toothaker.

The district welcomed new special education coordinator Michael DiStefano this year, as well many new special education teachers: Emma Kong and Jean Parkin for Warde, Erin Wielk for Ludlowe, Alyson Gunn for Walter Fitzgerald, Roxana Miranda and Kaitlin Zold for Tomlinson, Kelly Lindine for Roger Ludlowe, Brendan McGill for Burr, Chelsea Celentano-Reed for Osborn Hill, Danielle Wood for both Osborn Hill and Riverfield, Monica Gorton for North Stratfield and Kayla Liggins and Amanda Vaccarella for the ECC.

The district also hired many new speach and language pathologists: Karen Bassilakis started at Mill Hill, Dana Nixon and Eleni Turner at Osborn Hill, Alexa Pfohl at the ECC and Lindsie McLean at the Community Partnership program.

A group of new school psychologists also started this year, including Jason Martin for Roger Ludlowe, Aubrey Colleen Dayton for Dwight, Nolan for Riverfield and Lindsay Feducia for both Riverfield and Osborn Hill.

Arlene Gottesman also took over as interim Deputy Superintendent.