2022

  • September

    Cadence Pentheny of the Triangle Community Center and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Kojo Clarke

    NCCS Parent DEI Taskforce Hosts LGBTQ+101: An Introduction for Parents and Caregivers

    The Country School Parent DEI Taskforce hosted part 2 of the 2-part series, LGBTQ+101: An Introduction for Parents and Caregivers, Sept. 22. Cadence Pentheny of the Triangle Community Center explored how LBGTQ+ youth in Fairfield County feel as they navigate life in our region in a 45-minute presentation, followed by opportunities for small break out conversations and a Q&A segment.
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  • Country School Eighth-Grader Collects and Donates 6,000 Books to Horizons

    Country School eighth-grader Michael Bria of Wilton will deliver 6,000 books Saturday, Sept. 24 to the Horizons at New Canaan Country School community (which serves students grades K-12)  as part of an Eagle Scout project he has been working on for several months. The idea of sharing his love for reading began at a much earlier age however.

    “When I was younger, I participated in a buddy program which paired me with a Horizons student, and we became good friends. That’s when I first realized that not everyone had access to books or the ability to take them home and cherish them, the way that I did,” said Michael. “Later, in the sixth grade, I was helping to set up a fundraiser at my school, and I became familiar with the idea of used book fairs. I thought - this is a great idea! If everyone just donated and recycled their books, other people could enjoy them too. So I held onto that idea.”
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  • Eighth and Ninth Graders Seek Challenge, Find Community in Adirondack Adventure

    Eighth and ninth graders had the opportunity to practice skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, courage and resilience Sept 13-16 during their adventure trips in the Adirondack mountains. 

    Eighth graders traveled to Camp Dudley, located on the banks of Lake Champlain in Westport, New York where they worked on team building projects including day hiking, low and high ropes courses, repelling, scaling the “The Wall,” personal and group goal setting, nightly circle conversations and confidence exercises.
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  • Country School Opens the School Year with Flag Raising

    New Canaan Country School, 570 students and 161 faculty and staff, came together around the flagpole to officially celebrate the start of the school year, Sept. 9.
     
    As is the school’s tradition, one student from the three older divisions raised the flag along with Head of School Aaron Cooper. This year’s students were:  fourth-grader Desmond Springer representing Lower School, sixth-grader Ava Dell'Aquila representing Middle School and ninth-grader Capone Andrade representing Upper School.
     
    Mr. Cooper addressed the gathering, “I am so grateful to be here with you all today as one large community. I would like to wish you a happy Friday and congratulate you on a wonderful first week. Raising this flag is a symbolic gesture of new beginnings and with this flag now raised, I wish you all a wonderful 2022-2023 school year.”
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  • New Canaan Country School Welcomes New Faculty & Staff

    New Canaan Country School welcomes several new faculty and staff members this year. “We have attracted a very talented group of educators with an impressive array of professional experiences who are passionate about children’s growth and development,” said Head of School Aaron Cooper.
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  • June

    New Canaan Country School Holds Closing Exercises

    At New Canaan Country School’s Closing Exercises Tuesday, June 14, Head of School Aaron Cooper encouraged the members of the Class of 2022 to draw upon the many strengths they developed during their tenure at the Pre-K through Grade 9 school, particularly the skill of leaning in to challenge. The graduates, their families, faculty and staff gathered on the front lawn of the school’s campus for the outdoor ceremony.

    “Lean into tension even as it might be uncomfortable. Lean into stress even as it does not feel good. Lean into the new ideas you will encounter in your classes, even when they don’t make sense. Lean into the perspectives of your new classmates, even if you at first disagree. Lean into sharing your own beliefs, in class and with your peers, even if they are first met with silence. Lean into the losses as much as the wins, taking what you can learn from them. It will serve you well in the next several years and in the next several decades.”
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  • Young Alumni Achievements

    Congratulations to our young alumni on their academic, athletic and character achievements and recognitions! Do you have alumni news to share? Please send it to alumni@countryschool.net




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  • New Canaan Country School Celebrates Eighth Graders

    At New Canaan Country School’s Celebration of Eighth Graders, Monday, June 13, Head of Upper School Karl Palmgren recognized the 61 members of the Class of 2023 as kind, genuine and talented.

    In his remarks, he told the students that he is confident they will do great things with their lives. He also reminded them that academic preparation isn’t all they learned or all that they will need moving forward. “Skill and knowledge without courage is like a car without gas, it won’t go anywhere. You can come to a conclusion as to the next best step about a very difficult decision, but without courage, without that gas, you will be stuck.” He encouraged them to remember that they also learned how to be bold and resilient. Read Karl Palmgren's remarks.
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  • Fifth & Sixth Grade Performing Arts Students Produce Original Play: "The Quest for the Sceptor"

    Fifth and sixth grade performing arts students presented their original play "The Quest for the Scepter" to audiences of Middle School classmates, family, faculty and staff during a dress rehearsal and performance held in the school’s auditorium the week of June 3. The production was entirely student-conceived, choreographed, designed and performed by the ensemble cast of 21 students over the course of the spring trimester.
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  • First and Second Graders Produce and Perform Original Art and Dance in Annual "Arts Assembly"

    First and second grade students performed original dances on a stage decorated with their own artwork in the school’s auditorium, June 9. 

    The Lower School “Arts Assembly” as it is known, is a beloved Country School tradition, a kind of creative rite of passage for students in which first and second graders create the set and choreograph all of the dances themselves for a one-hour performance. They performed earlier in the week for peers and younger students during a dress rehearsal, and then held this performance for family.
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  • Two Career Educators Take on New Administrative Roles

    We are pleased to announce that this summer Beth O’Brien, who has been our Head of Early Childhood for the past 10 years, will take on the role of Director of Enrollment Management, and alumna Jeannie Staunton Bean '83, who has been a member of the Early Childhood teaching team for the last 15 years, will take on the role of Head of Early Childhood.
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  • May

    New Canaan Country School 4th Graders Restock River with Salmon

    New Canaan Country School fourth grade students traveled to the Salmon River State Forest in East Hampton, Conn where they carefully released baby salmon— or fry—into the river’s tributary, May 26. The salmon release was the final step in a scientific study of salmon, ecology and environmental issues.


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  • New Canaan Country School Sixth Graders Present Persuasive Speeches

    For the last few months, New Canaan Country School sixth graders have been working hard to research, write, and rehearse argumentative and informational speeches. Each student selected a topic about which they are passionate, including topics related to their families, communities and the world. They then memorized their speech and delivered it in front of a live audience in the school’s auditorium, May 17-24.
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  • NCCS Students Stand with Ukraine

    Led by students, the New Canaan Country School community engaged in a multitude of grassroots activities in an ongoing display of support for the people of Ukraine during the past few weeks. Lower School students Kai and Keilani Gokgol-Kline of Norwalk and Ben Kelsey of Darien have been particularly proactive in rallying classmates to be aware of the impact the Russian aggression has had on Ukrainian children.
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  • New Canaan Country School Students Earn National Recognition on World Language Exams

    Students from New Canaan Country School’s Upper School division (grades 7-9) participated in the 2022 National World Language exams in March and April yielding 52 medals of honor as well as state and national distinctions of merit. Of particular note, eighth-grade French student Anna Zhuperina of Greenwich and seventh-grade Latin student Lucy Ward of Darien each received first-place recognition nationally as a result of their perfect scores.
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  • A Fair To Remember! NCCS & Horizons Gather for 75th Frogtown Fair

    Over 800 members of the NCCS and Horizons community gathered to enjoy a picnic lunch and a variety of activities designed for the young-at-heart at the 75th annual Frogtown Fair, held on the school’s front lawn, May 14.
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  • Athletics & Wellness Center Formally Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    On Friday, May 13, the new Athletics and Wellness Center was formally opened with an official ribbon cutting ceremony. More than 170 alumni, parents, parents of alumni, current and former faculty and staff, and Trustees joined Head of School Aaron Cooper to honor teachers and staff - including several retiring teachers and staff members - and to officially cut the ribbon.
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  • Former and Current Faculty & Staff Honored During Evening Celebration

    More than 170 members of the school community gathered in front of the Athletics & Wellness Center May 13 to celebrate the faculty & staff, reflect upon the unprecedented trials and triumphs of the profession during the past three years and to pay tribute to those who have recently or will retire in June.

    “Our school has had a leading voice in childhood education from the very beginning,” said Head of School Aaron Cooper. “From its progressive roots a la Maria Montessori and John Dewey in 1916 through the 1960s and pre-civil rights integration and the founding of the Horizons program, to the turn of the current century as a pioneer in non-cognitive skills measurement and social-emotional learning.
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  • Grade 6 Math Classes Hold Probability Fair

    New Canaan Country School sixth grade math students hosted a Probability Fair, offering small prizes to participants willing to try their luck at home-made games of chance. The annual event, a Middle School tradition, featured 55 games including well-known favorites: Plinko, Spin-to-Win and the dice game “PIG,” and was held in the School’s Susan Haigh Carver ’51 Dining Hall, May 13.





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  • Oh, What A Night! Parents’ Association Hosts Amazing Outdoor Party

    NCCS parents, faculty and staff gathered for an evening of adult good cheer, food trucks and fun in the Grace House Circle, April 30. Campfires blazed while friends old and new celebrated the arrival of spring at “Back in Bloom,” a community party hosted by the school’s Parents’ Association.
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  • April

    New Canaan Country School Holds Kyle A. Markes Day of Service

    New Canaan Country School and Horizons families came together to serve the wide-ranging needs of 15 local non-profit organizations on the school’s campus and throughout Fairfield County, April 23. They were participating in the eighth annual Kyle A. Markes Day of Service, named in honor of an NCCS student who passed away in 2013 and is remembered for his commitment to community service. 



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  • "Let Us Gather" - Early Childhood Holds Community Gathering

    Students in Beginners 3/4, 4/5 and Kindergarten practiced their greetings and welcomed one another to their Early Childhood Community Gathering Wednesday morning, April 20, in the Thacher Motor Skills Room. Everyone was pleased that the beloved tradition of coming together — which had been temporarily suspended during pandemic safety protocols — had returned.
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  • Announcing Our Interim Head of Early Childhood

    On Tuesday, April 12, New Canaan Country School announced that Jeannie Staunton Bean '83 will be our Interim Head of Early Childhood beginning July 1, 2022. 

    Jeannie has been a valued member of the Early Childhood team for the last 15 years. An alumna of Country School’s Class of 1983, Jeannie returned to NCCS in the Beginners program in 2008 as an Assistant Teacher, and in 2011 moved into her current role as a Lead Teacher. 

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  • Seventh Graders Discuss Climate Change, Ocean Chemistry and Coral Reef Health with Chemical Oceanographer

    New Canaan Country School seventh-grade science students discussed ocean acidification and the impact of rising CO2 levels on the Earth’s atmosphere, plantlife and oceans with chemical oceanographer and Texas A&M Oceanography Professor Dr. Katie Shamberger on April 11. 
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  • First Graders Celebrate Chinese Traditions, Culture in “Peacock Dance”

    As part of their yearlong interdisciplinary study of China, first graders performed a traditional “Peacock Dance” in honor of the Lunar New Year at a community assembly, held April 7. In welcoming remarks, Head of Lower School Meaghan Mallin explained to the many parents and family members who attended in-person and via livestream that the assembly was particularly meaningful in that it was the first in-person Lower School gathering since the pandemic hit.
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  • March

    NCCS Faculty & Staff Embark on a Journey of Wellness

    According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “well-being includes people's physical, mental, and social health, and the opportunities they have to create meaningful futures.” Whether on-site blood-pressure check-ups, free chair massages, financial advisors, or social outings such as bowling, baseball games, museum visits or surprise Grammy-winning concerts, Country School has a long-standing history of supporting the health and well-being of our faculty and staff. This past fall, we rededicated our efforts by launching several new programs to cultivate employee wellness, especially given the nature of this extraordinary time. This initiative was spearheaded by long-time faculty member and Director of PLUS Program Kathy Kravec. View photo gallery.
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  • Congratulations to Horizons Fifth Grade Student Cybil JeanFils!

    Congratulations to Cybil JeanFils, a fifth grade student in the Horizons program who published her first book, “Labor Day Adventure". Cybil said, "I wrote this book because I love adventure and mystery books. So, one day I combined mystery, family, and hope into a single book."

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  • Lower School March Math-ness: Let the Games Begin!

    The arrival of March meant only one thing for New Canaan Country School’s Lower School (Grades 1-4) families: March Math-ness! Designed to engage family and friends of all ages in a celebration of math fundamentals, the daily activities were held at home with video tutorials and a packet containing necessary materials provided in advance.
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  • NCCS Early Childhood Educator Shares Parenting Strategies at New Canaan CARES Event

    New Canaan Country School Head of Early Childhood Beth O’Brien shared strategies, tips and practical wisdom in her presentation based on the book How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen at a parent education event sponsored by the non-profit organization, New Canaan CARES, held on the school’s campus on March 3.
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  • Country School Students Perform 'Beauty and the Beast'

    New Canaan Country School seventh and eighth grade drama students performed the musical “Beauty and the Beast” for members of the school community, family and friends in the school’s auditorium, Feb. 28 - March 1. 

    The shows were the culmination of a trimester-long study of the production of a musical and provided students with opportunities to further their development of vocal, dance and acting skills. The 16-member cast and crew also worked on choreography, set design and construction, solo and ensemble singing, positional awareness, pacing and scene transitions.
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  • Ninth Graders Beat Faculty, Staff & Apprentices by One Point in Annual Basketball Game

    A long-standing Country School tradition, the ninth-grade competed against the school’s faculty, staff and apprentice teachers in a basketball game held, Feb. 28. The Class of 2022 eked out a one-point win, besting the adults 36-35. 
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  • February

    New Canaan Country School Fifth Graders Present Multi-Visual Showcase of Lewis & Clark Expedition

    New Canaan Country School fifth graders invited parents, teachers and younger students to an experiential simulation of the Lewis & Clark Expedition on Feb. 16 as a culmination of their social studies unit. The students created an array of hand-made visual displays, short speeches and essays to showcase the Corps of Discovery Expedition. Visitors were invited to follow the trail of tables sequenced in a loose timeline to represent the expedition across the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purchase, and explore important stops along the way. Guests also crossed a suspension bridge contributed by ninth-grade woodshop students which served as the Gateway to the West.
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  • Mary Birnbaum '99 Produces the World Premiere Performance of ‘In the Grove’

    NCCS alumna Mary Birnbaum '99 recently produced the world premiere performance of ‘In the Grove’ by the Pittsburgh Opera. Based on a short story of the same name by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, ‘In the Grove’ follows seven witness testimonies to a murder, each clashing in perspective, offering a searing investigation into the impossibility and elusiveness of truth. 

    “Director Mary Birnbaum's concept for In a Grove takes inspiration from James Turrell and Fujiko Nakaya, artists whose work renders subtle changes in perception,” said Broadway World.
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  • Police Officer with NCCS Ties Receives New Canaan's Officer of the Year Award

    NCCS is pleased to congratulate New Canaan Police Officer Kelly Coughlin who was named the 2021 Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year in recognition of her exceptional work, integrity, and overall service. Officer Coughlin works as the school liaison officer for the New Canaan Country School in addition to overseeing numerous community outreach programs in her role as the department’s Community Impact Officer (CIO).

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  • Mackenzie Family Gift Supports STEM

    The intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is embodied in countless creative ways by our teachers and students at Country School, and thanks to a generous donation to the Boldly Forward Capital Campaign from NCCS parents Susan and Roy Mackenzie, it will continue to grow and thrive here. The Mackenzie family recently made a six-figure gift to establish the STEM Futures Fund, which will create new learning opportunities for all students at NCCS across all grade levels – and, as a permanent part of Country School’s endowment, the fund will impact future generations of students in perpetuity.
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  • January

    A.J. Mleczko '90 Shattering the Ice Ceiling!

    Trailblazer A.J. Mleczko ’90 discusses her journey from Country School's skating program to becoming an Olympic gold-medal winning athlete and ESPN and MSG ice hockey analyst in Bedford New Canaan Magazine's Jan-Feb '22 issue.  A.J. will be presented with the school's Alumni Award and share highlights of her career with students, alumni and guests in May.
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  • Lower School Students Reciting

    Country School Community Honors Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The New Canaan Country School community celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 14 in a variety of ways including student assemblies and an alumni panel.

    As is school tradition, members of the Lower School community (Grades 1-4) participated in a group recitation of a portion of Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” speech followed by words of reflection on the importance of diversity, equity and inclusivity from Head of Lower School Meaghan Mallin. Fourth grade students who participated in the group recitation included Vivian Kanter, Reece Lenhard and Victoria Shaw. Additional assembly readers included second-grade students Amelia Grant, Walter Lapidus, Hope Gale, Finley Richards, Evvie Lasko and Henry Rust.
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< 2022
New Canaan Country School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin and are afforded all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or disability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid policies or any other school-administered programs.