The Buzz
School Community News
Issue #1
Welcome to our new newsletter!
This weekly newsletter will keep The Gilbert School community informed of student, faculty, and alumni news. For summer 2020 we will recap the stories and achievements that took place during school year 2019 - 2020, along with updates on preparations for the fall 2020 semester.  The Buzz  will also include profiles and interviews with members of The Gilbert School community to inform and connect us.  
We are all VERY proud of all of you!
Graduation will be held at the Pleasant Valley Drive-in on Tuesday, June 16 at 5 p.m.!

School News
Class of 2020 Valedictorian Sydney Kolosky
Sydney Kolosky has been named the Valedictorian for the Class of 2020. Her parents are Peter and Laurie Kolosky. Sydney is an ambitious and well-rounded student who has achieved many major accomplishments during her time at Gilbert. Some of her major accomplishments include receiving the Harvard Prize Book Award of the Harvard Club of Northern Connecticut, the AP Scholar with Honor Award, and the Litchfield County Superintendent’s Award. Her hard work and dedication to academics have earned her many academic achievement awards from her classes during her time at Gilbert. Sydney is the co-president of the National Honor Society, Vice-President of the senior class, the Secretary of the Leo Club, and a member of Peers.
She is also a student-athlete, participating prominently on Gilbert’s volleyball team, and briefly in basketball and track and field. Sydney said that, after she graduates, she will always carry with her great memories from her time at Gilbert.

“My favorite memories of my teachers revolve around having conversations with them and connecting with them on a deeper level,” Sydney said. “For instance, having a conversation with Mrs. Bannon after school, discussing different topics with Mrs. Gilley during my study hall, visiting Mrs. Wood before school, or talking with Mrs. Vinnikova in the morning.” Sydney said that one of the most important lessons she will always remember is to make the most out of all experiences. “As we all know, time can fly by and unexpected circumstances can arise,” she said. “It is important to live every day to its fullest and to not take those days, and the experiences they hold, for granted. High school and college are only a fraction of our lives, but they hold memories that we will cherish for years to come, which is why I want to make the most out of my college experience and everything that comes with it.” Sydney said that, during her time at Gilbert, she learned how to step out of her comfort zone to achieve great things. “I also learned to consider every opinion equally, and to stand up for what I believe in,” she said. “Most importantly, Gilbert has taught me that we can do anything if only we put our mind to it, which is something I will value forever.” As for advice to future Gilbert students, Sydney said that they should not be afraid to take risks. “Don’t be afraid to broaden your minds in a way that you wouldn’t have thought possible,” she said. “Be kind to one another and push yourselves to be the best you can be, and understand that the choices you make today will impact your future tomorrow.” Sydney plans to attend the University of Connecticut in the fall as a pharmacy studies major.
Class of 2020 Salutatorian Maryellen Marino
Maryellen Marino has been named the Salutatorian for the Class of 2020.
Her parents are Concetto and Ellen Marino. Maryellen is a hard working student who is dedicated to her academic studies having earned high honors in her classes throughout her high school career. During her time at Gilbert, she has received numerous honors and awards including an AP Scholar award, Rensselaer Medal, Bausch & Lomb Science Award, Trinity Book Prize, U.S. Marines Distinguished Athlete, AP Computer Science award, Army S.T.A.R. Achievement award, Outstanding Achievement in Accounting, and an Outstanding Student Ambassador award. She was named a Student Representative for the Berkshire League School Mental Health Conference and is a member of the National Honor Society, Ambassador Club, and the National Spanish Honor Society.

Along with her many academic achievements, Maryellen earned varsity letters for softball and basketball. Maryellen said that she will take many great memories of her time at Gilbert after she graduates. “One of my favorite teachers is Mr. Affie because he got me interested in computer science,” Maryellen said. “He went out of his way to let me into the class. Honestly, every teacher has been so supportive throughout my time at Gilbert. There has never been anyone who has said ‘no you can’t do this.’” Maryellen said she made a lot of great friends at Gilbert over the past four years. “There’s a lot of nice people at Gilbert,” she said. “I received a wonderful education at Gilbert and that’s due to the friendly people there. I was pretty shy when I first arrived at Gilbert. Over time, I was able to get involved with clubs, sports, and activities. I think that the biggest thing for me at Gilbert was that I was able to come out of my shell and get to know other people. I was given the opportunity to speak at events and put myself out there. It was new for me and scary, but it is what benefited me the most.” As for advice for future students, Maryellen said that perseverance is valuable. “If anyone tells you that you can’t do something, just know that there will be someone else that will tell you otherwise,” she said. “You have to keep fighting if you really want something. You just have to go for it.”

Maryellen will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute upon her graduation and will be dual majoring in computer science and mathematics.
Gilbert's Teacher of the Year
7th grade Social Studies Teacher Charley Harbach has been named Gilbert School's Teacher of the Year for 2020! In a video announcement to The Gilbert School community, last year's Teacher of the year, English teacher Katie Wood, said that Mr. Harbach received many nominations from his fellow teachers. "He has tremendous rapport with past and current students," Wood said in her announcement, reading off comments that teachers made about Mr. Harbach. "He is always positive and greets people with a hearty handshake. Mr. Harbach is very accepting and understanding and goes above and beyond for everyone." To see the video announcement, click here.
School Views
Seventh Graders Learn about Día de los Muertos
Back in November, creative seventh grade Social Studies students in Charley Harbach’s class took part in a project that taught them about Día de los Muertos (translated to English: Day of the Dead). Día de los Muertos is a traditional three-day holiday in Mexico that starts on October 31 and ends on November 2. It has been reported that the tradition started more than 3,000 years ago and is a way not to mourn someone's death, but instead to celebrate their life .
“Día de los Muertos is a much different way than we in America honor the dead,” Mr. Harbach said. “Americans mourn and grieve, but in Mexico, they have a huge celebration for those who have died. The first day is a day of preparation, the second is a day to honor children who passed away while the third day is to honor adults who have died.” As part of Mr. Harbach’s class, students created Día de los Muertos “altars” that were on display in Gilbert’s library on November 1.
Each student created their altar from recycled boxes and decorated them with various items including pictures, flowers, candles, and other materials. Some students decided to honor relatives who passed away including grandparents, while others decided to honor pets. Others honored famous musicians, Hollywood stars and athletes.
Postcards from The International Program

The Gilbert School Class of 2020 will include 11 international students. Two of our proud graduating seniors are Danielle Dao and Andrew Shi.
Danielle Dao, (Dan Thuy Dao) from Vietnam was with us for one year and wishes she was here at The Gilbert School longer. Danielle was the first Vietnamese student that has attended our international program and was an amazing, happy, positive spirit at Gilbert. She is ending this semester with all A+'s. She will be attending Eastern Connecticut State University and was awarded a $12,000 scholarship from them. She was also the recipient of two W. L. Gilbert Trust scholarships. She will study Science. For the past four years Danielle has studied violin and while she attended The Gilbert School, she took lessons from an accomplished instructor from The Hartt School of Music. She felt blessed to have this opportunity. Danielle can be seen as one of the students featured on our school’s website homepage video.
Andrew Shi, (Enzhou Shi) from Shanghai, China joined The Gilbert School in January 2018 from the ACES program in New Haven as a transfer student. Andrew was an active member of our Boys Tennis team for two years. He has been a joy to have as a student and was a Dorm Leader in the male residency program. Andrew was accepted to many outstanding colleges but decided to attend The University of Buffalo to study Business Management. We are sure that Andrew will be a wonderful university student and future successful business professional.

The international team wishes all eleven international graduates the very best as they move on to their next educational journey. We thank them for all that they took part in as members of our school plays, chorus, sports teams and for sharing their culture with all of our students. We have all gained wonderful experiences in having them as integral members of our Gilbert community. 
Attention Gilbert Alumni! We want to stay in contact with you!

The Gilbert School
200 WIlliams Avenue
Winsted, CT 06098