Summer at NFA Recap
The NFA campus was alive with all kinds of programs for students and prospective students this summer.
Among the popular programs were Endless Opportunities, an enrichment camp for grades 6-8, with a little bit of everything from Chinese, to forensics, to Ultimate Frisbee. Saturday Morning Children’s Art Camp continued the school year program for students in grades 3-8, and in cooperation with the Neag School of Education at UConn, NFA’s STEM Academy offered two very popular sessions for students in grades 6-8 to combine science, technology, engineering, and math skills in project-based learning with college interns.
There was also the annual NFA Summer Band Camp for grades 5-9, and athletic opportunities aplenty in Wildcat Hoop School, Wildcat Volleyball Camp, and Summer Conditioning for NFA Student-Athletes.
Whether students wanted to improve and prepare to meet the high school challenges ahead, accelerate in science, further their musical interests, explore and enjoy learning, creating, performing and discovering new areas, skills, and ideas, or train to test their physical limits, they found opportunities to do so at NFA over the summer.
Campus also saw several facilities and improvement projects. Major projects included replacing the roof on the Bradlaw Building. Others included commercial kitchen upgrades in Tirrell, restroom upgrades in Alumni Gym, and renovation of space in the Latham Building to accommodate a new School-Based Health Center in partnership with United Community and Family Services Healthcare.
Teacher of the Year Honored
During her time as a student, Arikka Pellinen Kalwara ’91 was Homecoming and Prom Queen. Now a school psychologist at NFA since 2003, Kalwara was recognized by her peers as NFA’s 2018-19 Teacher of the Year.
Kalwara holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and mental health from Southern Connecticut State University and a Masters and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in School Psychology from Northeastern University in Boston. She has worked at Yale University’s Child Center for the Study of Learning and Attention and has held positions as a school psychologist in Marlborough, MA, and Groton, CT.
Kalawara intends to use her selection as Teacher of the Year as a forum to help others understand the role of the school psychologist. “We are the back-door helpers who support learning, growth, and development from behind the scenes,” she says. “We help students be ready to learn in the classroom and maximize their potential. A school psychologist’s day is hectic,” says Kalawara, “and we need to know a lot about a lot.”
Student Humanitarian Award Winner
During the Opening Day Ceremonies for faculty and staff on Monday, August 27, NFA Alumni Association President Leslie Lane Christie ‘82 presented Sarah Carter ‘19 with the 2018-19 George Ripley Alumni Association Student Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes a senior for leadership, service, and character, exhibiting contributions and pride to the NFA community.
Carter’s accomplishments and dedication to volunteerism at NFA and in the community include involvement in Project Outreach, a role as middle school mentor and reading buddy, service on NFA’s Career & Technical Education Advisory Panel, participation in Unified Sports, and membership on “Founded Hope Lives Here,” a student-organized group that supports homeless and animal shelters in Southeastern Connecticut.
Carter was recognized in the company of outstanding nominees Roshni Karun, Brooke Rondeau, and Alex Wicken. Congratulations to all!