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June 2017

2016-2017 Highlights

Superintendent Dr. Marty Semmel

This school year has been tremendously successful.  This column does not offer enough room to review all the accomplishments of all of our staff and students but I do want to highlight a few.  You can check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/plymouthctschools/) or our website (http://www.plymouth.k12.ct.us/home) to see more.  First, in August I asked that this community commit to the importance of attending school.  I can tell you that across every building our attendance rates have improved from the prior year.  While this is positive news, we need to continue to make attendance a high priority.  We also made the launch of Readers and Writers workshop in the elementary schools a main concern.  This work has increased our student engagement with literacy and our students are making excellent gains in their reading and writing skills.  We also began a new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class at ETJMS this year with great success.  In addition to developing their presentation skills and understanding how to be good digital citizens, students are learning to think critically and problem solve as they work to learn computer-coding language.  The work at the high school has also been impressive as the team added a new Advanced Placement English class for our rising Juniors for the coming school year.  This course will engage our students in college level work earlier in their high school career.  The middle school and high school have also worked to build our students financial literacy through activities and presentations and have worked with students on building their resumes and interviewing skills.  Additionally, we are looking forward to growing the number of opportunities that our high school students have to shadow and intern with businesses in and around their town.  The high school also saw significant gains in the recent SAT testing for all juniors.  

Beyond all of the great work completed in our buildings, we also celebrated four staff members who received the coveted Plymouth 212° this year.  The winners of this award truly emulate the values of our school district.  We believe in a strong work ethic, caring about every child, and truly making a difference in the lives of our children.  This year, the award went to Marc Coer (Head Custodian – ETJMS), Judith Cumiskey (Library Tutor – FES), Dave Morrell (Teacher – PCS), and Vicki Rees (Teacher - FES).  These four individuals are outstanding representatives for all of our staff.  Each person is committed deeply to the mission of our schools and our values.


Last, but certainly not least, is our Teacher of the Year.  This year we asked for nominations from the students and parents in our community as well as from our staff.  After an extensive application process, four finalists came before a selection committee composed of teachers who have previously received this award.  The committee is excited to announce that the Plymouth 2018 Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Denise Seamour.  Mrs. Seamour has taught in the Plymouth Public Schools for 27 years at the elementary level and is currently a fourth grade teacher at Fisher Elementary School.  In her interview she shared that what she loves most about teaching in Plymouth is watching her students grow and opening up the world for them.  Denise gave an example of teaching her fourth grade students about major historical events through fiction and shared how she stays in contact with many of her former students.  Denise was asked how her colleagues would describe her and she said, “Cheerleader, once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader.”  Her nomination supports this when it states “Denise not only brings the students together, but also colleagues.  She is a team player.  She has taken the lead of the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) committee and can be found leading many of our school’s town meetings.”  It is with great pleasure that we celebrate Mrs. Seamour at our June 14th Board of Education meeting and wish her luck as she moves on to the statewide competition.


We are excited about our final celebratory activities with our students for the year and we are especially proud of the THS seniors who will be graduating in a few short weeks.  They are ready for the next stage in life and we are thrilled to see the great work they will accomplish!

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