Wilton students head back to school Sept. 6

In 12 days, students say goodbye to lazy summer days and long summer nights, and hello to textbooks, teachers and classrooms when Wilton public schools open their doors Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Among the doors opening will be Miller-Driscoll School, which has been the site of virtually non-stop renovation work since classes let out more than two months ago.

First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice visited the school Tuesday, Aug. 23, to see how work was progressing. Touring the site with Turner Project Manager Mike Douyard and Chris Burney, Wilton’s director of facilities and energy management, she saw classrooms nearing completion and extensive progress made on the building’s exterior and grounds.

With movers coming in today, Aug. 25, to begin putting classrooms back together, Vanderslice said, “You can feel confident this is going to be done.”

“You can see dramatic change every day,” Burney said.

“It looks good. People don’t need to worry,” Vanderslice said. “Parents don’t need to worry.”

There have been concerns expressed by parents about whether or not the school, and the kitchen and cafeteria in particular, would be ready when children return. But a tour of the school showed the Miller-Driscoll kitchen and cafeteria outfitted for the first day of school. Occupancy inspections are taking place this week.

On the first day of the 2016-17 school year, classes officially begin at 9:05 a.m. for Miller-Driscoll students, with drop-off lines ending at 9; 7:40 for Cider Mill, 8:20 for Middlebrook and high school freshmen, and 10:20 for sophomores through seniors.

Student enrollment

The Wilton Public School District’s October 2014 projections estimate that the following number of students will attend each of the four schools this year:

  • Miller-Driscoll: 774.

  • Cider Mill: 981.

  • Middlebrook: 1,015.

  • Wilton High School: 1,351.

The complete count of enrolled students this year will not be available until fall. The district uses Oct. 1 as the official enrollment date.

Staff changes

Miller-Driscoll, Middlebrook, Wilton High School and the central office will see changes in staff this school year.

Middlebrook will welcome Lauren Feltz as its new principal and Toby Kawulicz as interim dean of students this fall. Feltz is replacing Maria Coleman, who left the principal position to become the district’s human resources director following the retirement of Susan Paley. Kawulicz is replacing Nancy Hasenauer, who retired after 18 years at Middlebrook School.

Kathryn Coon will begin her first year as Miller-Driscoll’s new principal this fall. She replaces Bernadette Hess, who became the school’s interim principal in December 2015 following the retirement of long-time principal Cheryl Jensen-Gerner.

Cider Mill library media specialist Sara Sved is taking a leave of absence this school year.

Rich Sanzo has been appointed principal of New Fairfield High School and will not return to Wilton High School as associate principal this year.

Wilton High School will have three new associate principals this fall — former social studies teacher Donald Schels, former computer science teacher Amy Korn, and former assistant principal Greg Theriault.

Other changes at the high school include the elimination of a 0.2 full-time equivalent (FTE) social studies position, previously filled by Marc Feeley; and a 0.8 FTE English and language arts position, previously filled by Ioanna Opidee.

Richard Huot will serve as the district’s interim financial director following Ken Post’s resignation this summer, and Mathew Hepfer has been reassigned from the district’s technology director to its data analytics and assessment officer.

Also in the central office, the following positions have been eliminated this year:

  • Building technology supervisor (1.0 FTE), previously filled by Rebecca Wood.

  • Data systems analyst (1.0 FTE), previously filled by James Mizera.

  • Testing coordinator, previously filled by Lynn Driver.

Over the summer, 21 Wilton public school employes retired and nine resigned .

Wilton High School

A freshman and new student orientation will be held at Wilton High School on Friday, Sept. 2.

On the first day of school, Sept. 6, freshmen will report to their homerooms and do locker checks from 8:20 to 8:55 a.m., followed by classroom visits from 8:59 to 10:15.

Seniors will enjoy a welcome back breakfast from 9:45 to 10:15 that day, and all students will report to their homerooms between 10:20 and 10:45.

Regular lunch waves will not be scheduled for the first day of school. Instead, students will eat lunch during free period or study hall.

Wilton High School will have an open house on Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m.


A New Parent Coffee will be held Thursday, Sept. 1, from 10 to 11, in Middlebrook’s media center, followed by seventh and eighth grade walkthroughs from 11 to noon. A sixth grade walkthrough will be held later that day, from 1 to 2.

Middlebrook will host open houses on the following days to give parents the opportunity to learn this year’s school curriculum and meet their children’s teachers:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 14: Parents of eighth graders, 7-8 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: Parents of seventh graders, 7-8 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 27: Parents of sixth graders, 7-8:30 p.m.

Photo day at Middlebrook is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16.

Cider Mill

On Thursday, Sept. 1, Cider Mill will have a Meet the Teacher Day for Cannondale and Kent from 10 to 11, and for Belden Hill and Nod Hill from noon to 1.

Cider Mill will also hold a New Parent Coffee event with Principal Jennifer Mitchell in the cafeteria on Thursday, Sept. 8, beginning at 9:15 a.m.

Cider Mill will have a parent open house for Cannondale and Kent on Monday, Sept. 12, from 7 to 8 p.m. A parent open house for Belden Hill and Nod Hill will take place Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 7 to 8.

Photo day at Cider Mill is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13.


Meet the Teacher day is Sept. 1 from 9 to 9:45 for pre-k and kindergarten, and 10 to 10:45 for first and second grades.

Miller-Driscoll will have open houses on the following days:

  • Monday, Sept. 19: Parents of first graders.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 21: Parents of kindergarteners.

  • Monday, Sept. 26: Parents of second graders.

All three open houses will take place in the Miller-Driscoll gym at 7 p.m.

Miller-Driscoll will also have a New Parent Coffee event with Principal Kathryn Coon on Thursday, Sept. 22, beginning at 9:30, and a Reading Curriculum Night for first and second grade parents on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7.

Photo day at Miller-Driscoll is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29.

Board of Education

The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., in the Wilton High School Professional Library.

Information and updates on the Wilton Public School District: www.wilton.k12.ct.us.
— Jeannette Ross contributed to this story.