NFA World

About all things NFA, and published in the Sunday edition of the Norwich Bulletin, NFA World is a weekly column written by Geoff Serra,  Director of Communications and Public Affairs.  Check back each week for a new posting.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Whale Watch a Success

“We saw three different species and approximately 15 whales. We were also privileged to encounter a 25 foot basking shark and a few white sided dolphin,” said science teacher Roy Wentworth of a whale watch trip, May 18. “Unfortunately, some of our students and faculty discovered that they are land lovers while out to sea. Most recovered by the time we returned to NFA.”
Wentworth and his science colleagues Michele Bealieu and Sara Leistein with parents and interns as chaperones took approximately 150 tenth grade biology students for a day trip out of Gloucester, MA. They explored Skowhegan National Preserve, a shallow area of water about 15 miles off the coast of Cape Ann. This area is major feeding territory for many organisms that guard the Massachusetts Bay.
The whales sighted were of three different species – mostly humpback, one fin whale, and one sei whale. These are three of the four largest whales, with the blue whale being the largest.
This is the 10th year biology students have taken this trip to tie together their learning about the diversity of live, variations within species, and evolution and natural selection.

Spanish Honor Society Sponsors Vet Project

In April, the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica" (National Spanish Honor Society) sponsored a "Clover Cookie" fundraiser for a social action project to benefit veterans at the Brunell House, part of the VA Hospital in New Haven.

Many of the veterans at Brunell have been homeless in the past and are working with social workers, health care workers and job coaches to transition into community life to become productive workers and citizens. Proceeds from the cookie sale purchased a computer to help veterans in their job search.
The Honor Society continued their support by soliciting contributions to create a welcome basket for a former homeless Connecticut Vet. The group collected kitchen and general household items to  help the Vet for the establish himself in an apartment and begin a new chapter in his life.
Spanish teacher Ellen De Leon is adviser of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica.

Accounting Award Winners

Seniors Kevin Chu and Rui Zheng received the CT Outstanding High School Accounting Student Award and the CT Outstanding High School Accounting Student Scholarship, respectively, from the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. Chu was nominated for the award by accounting teacher Penny Walczyk, who also helped Zheng complete all requirements for her scholarship application. Both Chu and Zheng will attend UConn in the fall.
Each spring The Connecticut Society of CPAs offers awards and scholarships to seniors planning to pursue a career in accounting. Selection is based upon a process involving faculty recommendation and approval of the Society’s Educational Trust Fund.
Chu received a certificate from Head of School, David Klein, and  Rui will receive her scholarship May 28 in a ceremony at the Aqua Turf Club. Both students are in Accounting teacher Penny Walczyk’s class.


Last month, the Mr. NFA contest took place before a delighted crowd. The annual extravaganza is a popular event; senior boys compete for the title in four categories:  school spirit, beach attire, talent, and formal question and answer.
Contestants this year included Nahuel Bahl, Jody Bilda, Colby Coombs, Joseph Dipietro, Logan Hansen, Daniel MacLean, Tristan Malone, Normand Manning, Corey McCaslin, Farid Noujaim, Gregory Turcotte, Sinarea Tyler, and Hector Vargas
Judges included physical education teacher Jason Bakoulis, English teachers Christopher Brown, Jeffrey Joyce, and Thomas Teixeira; Student Affairs Secretary Laura Howe; Campus Safety Officer Bryan Lawson, and mathematics teacher Joanne Ladd.

After a fun filled competition, Joseph Dipietro took first place in the formal question and answer competition, and was named Mr. NFA. Colby Coombs won first place in the school spirit category, Corey McCaslin in beach attire, and Jody Bilda in talent.

Pops Concert

Join the NFA Performing Arts Department for the 3rd Annual Pops Concert 6. p.m., May 28, on the front lawn. Bring a lawn chair and picnic blanket for this free public evening of music and dance. NFA Band Boosters will be selling hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, soda, water, and candy during the performance.
The concert will feature performances by the Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Dance Company, Concert Band, Women's Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Ambassadors, Orchestra, Jazz Dance II Ensemble, and Chamber Choir.


There is no school Monday, May 2S, Memorial Day.
Information for seniors and their families is available at Find information about all summer programs at NFA on the homepage; scroll down to Summer at NFA. Find the final exam schedule on the NFA Parent tab. Click on any date for the full exam schedule that day.
FINAL THOUGHT:  An Irish headstone reads “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

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Since 1856, Norwich Free Academy has adhered to the philosophy of its founder to "return to our hamlets and our homes its priceless freight of youthful minds, enriched by learning, developed by a liberal culture, refined by study of all that is beautiful in nature and art, and prepared for the highest usefulness and the purest happiness"

Founder, John P. Gulliver,
NFA Dedication Ceremony (1856)

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