Hail to the Champions! Girls Lax Wins Class M Title

by Bill O'Brien | Jun 16, 2017 8:16 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Last Saturday the no. 4 ranked Branford Lady Hornets stopped a 23-year streak of missing a SCC school win a girls’ lacrosse championship when they defeated no. 1 Pomperaug 15-8 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

Bill O'Brien Photo Before a raucous crowd of supporters from both teams, the Lady Hornets dominated the game from the middle of the first half to the very end. The victory was sweet revenge from an earlier loss to the Panthers on the road, 13-12, in overtime in the rain last month. Here team members show their championship medals as the coach holds the title plaque.

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Graduation 2017: “Be the Pebble that Starts the Ripple of Change”

by Bill O'Brien | Jun 14, 2017 7:16 am

Bill O'Brien Photo The decision to hold the high school graduation on the beautiful Branford Green last Friday was held off until late morning due to the threat of thunder showers. As luck would have it, the weather cooperated for the 250 graduates of Branford High School.

Bill O'Brien Photo It turned out to be a perfect evening and a large crowd of families and friends filled the green to witness the event, the awarding of their diplomas to the class of 2017.  Principal Lee Panagoulis (pictured) led the march in to the stage.

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BOE: “Continuous Growth” Despite Lower Enrollment

by Sally E. Bahner | May 31, 2017 10:15 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner Photo At the May Board of Education meeting, Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez (pictured) presented his Annual Report, which had “Continuous Growth” as its theme, despite declining enrollment. The report is an overall look at the status of the school district.

Statistically, Hernandez reported that there are 2,976 students, down from 3,300 seven years ago. The number includes 1,124 elementary students, 51 at Indian Neck Resource Center, 872 at Walsh Intermediate School and 929 at Branford High School.

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Winning Season for Golf Team

by Bill O'Brien | May 29, 2017 8:37 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Branford boys’ golf coach Jen Kohut and her team are having a successful season and they’re peaking at the right time with the conference tournament coming up Tuesday followed by the CIAC state tournament.

Bill O'Brien Photo “I’m thrilled with this team,” said Kohut. “They were committed to having a successful season from the beginning and so far so good.” On Tuesday, the Hornets defeated both North Haven (168-190) and Jonathan Law (168-170) in a dual match and on Wednesday they split, defeating Guilford by (166-170) and bowing to Hand (158-166). The Hornets finished the regular season with a 16-4-1 record.

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Softball Picks Up Third Win Over Hillhouse

by Bill O'Brien | May 24, 2017 8:21 am

Bill O'Brien Photo The Branford Hornet’s softball team had an easy time in their recent game against the visiting Hillhouse Academics when they pulled off a 17-5 lopsided victory in an abbreviated five-inning game. The SCC has a “Mercy Rule” to end a game when a team is ahead by 12 runs after five innings.  Here Marissa Minore makes perfect contact on one of her two home runs in the game.

Bill O'Brien Photo “It’s nice seeing our players get a lot of hits and score a bunch of runs,” said coach Chuck Reale after the recent Hornets win. “Those things help when you’re having an off year.”  And here Minore is shown rounding third on her way home. She had 6 RBIs in the game. 

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Branford’s Bullying Concerns Resurface

by Sally E. Bahner | May 17, 2017 7:28 am | Comments (5)

What programs are in place within the Branford school district to combat bullying?

Although towns locally and nationwide have specifically addressed the problem and abundant resources are available, Branford’s programs, if any, lack transparency – all in the name of allegedly protecting the privacy of students.

Bullying at Branford schools was back in the news recently after the mothers of two children who were bullied – one at Tisko Elementary School and another at Walsh Intermediate School – contacted WTNH television to openly discuss their cases.  Their hope was to call attention to the ongoing school bullying problem and their frustration with the school district.

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Red Hot Hornets Nine on Eight Game Winning Streak

by Bill O'Brien | May 16, 2017 7:23 am

Bill O'Brien Photo When the Branford baseball team started out this season 4-5, there might have been some naysayers who said, “Here we go again.” The Hornets had losing records the past three years finishing with 7-13, 8-13, and 8-13 records. Now they are hot. Really hot. Yesterday was sweet revenge as they defeated rival East Haven 5-3.

Bill O'Brien Photo Some on the other hand may have said, “Hey, we lost four of those games by a total of only five runs. A hit here or there and we could have been 7-2.” Not only that, the offense sputtered during that stretch and the Hornets only scored a total of five runs in the five losses.

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RTM Adopts Whopping $111.8 M School-Town Budget

by marcia chambers | May 15, 2017 8:04 am

Marcia Chambers Photo The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) last week adopted a whopping $111.8 million school-town budget, the result of a state financial crisis that drove the legislative body to adopt a town budget increasing the taxpayer’s bill by 5.33 percent. Last year’s school-town budget was $105,891.217. But the process isn’t over.

“We are basically trying to assess the impact on us based on what we know, and we have made provisions to deal with it,” despite enormous uncertainty, Finance Director Jim Finch told the Eagle in an interview last week. The next and final step takes place a week from today, on May 22, when the Board of Finance (BOF) meets at Fire Headquarters to set the mill rate. At this juncture, the mill rate is currently estimated at 28.87 mills, but it could go lower if the BOF acts to do so. Last year’s mill rate came in at 27.41

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Girls’ Tennis Looks For Strong Finish

by Bill O'Brien | May 11, 2017 7:53 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Last year after their first eight tennis matches, the Branford Lady Hornets were looking good and were off to a 6-2 start. This year, after the loss of several key players to graduation, they stand at 1-7 after their first eight matches, but are optimistic about how they will finish. Indeed yesterday they beat Lyman Hall 4-3 in what was the team’s best match so far.

Bill O'Brien Photo “It’s exciting and a lot of fun to watch the players develop their technique and match play skills over the course of the season,” said coach Jim Cole.

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Ongoing Election Reflection: Teens’ Perspectives, Part 2

by Sally E. Bahner | May 10, 2017 8:50 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo The Eagle interviewed five Branford High School seniors, Spencer Mariotti, Jack Nelson, Hilliard Wolfe, Sean Williams, and Mauro Aceves, who shared their thoughts on the 2016 election and concerns moving forward.  Part 2.

Two of the five, Mariotti and Williams, were able to vote in the November election. But three others, who were not eligible to vote –  Wolfe, Nelson and Aceves – were articulate and have formed educated opinions about the outcome and the future.  Unfortunately, although we reached out to the teens in general, no young women were present due to scheduling conflicts. Click here to read Part 1.

All five are senior presidents of the 2017 Model Congress (there are 12 in all), in which students take on various political roles and debate other high school students from all over the country on topics related to democracy. Their advisor is James Petela, a social studies teacher.


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