Press Release from
Two Sliney Students Recognized at the Connecticut Association of Schools Thirteenth Annual Arts Award Banquet
On Monday, February 6, 2012, The Connecticut Association of Schools held the 13th Annual Elementary Celebration of the Arts at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington from 5:30-8 p.m. Students from elementary schools across the state were selected for their outstanding ability in the performing or visual arts. Their citizenship and cooperation skills were taken into consideration. Two John B. Sliney fourth grade students, Margaret Martin and Ben Clouse, were both awarded. Margaret was awarded for visual arts, while Ben for instrumental performance.
According to Sliney Art teacher, Frank Dormer, Margaret or “Maggie” as she is known in the Sliney community, “challenges me as an educator every year. She is a student who embraces art in her everyday life. Recently, we opened our weaving and sewing center. This center allows students to sew simple items like a pocket or a pillow. Maggie mentioned to me that she recently sewed a poncho that one could wear!” Dormer further explained that Martin earned the award because she “is always thoughtful with her artistic abilities, helping students who are having difficulty, or teaching them something that she has mastered. She is ever so polite and always ready to share her art making with the class.” Janet Melillo, Maggie’s classroom teacher, also attended the awards. She was pleased to share the experience with Maggie stating that “she is always very creative and meticulous in her work.”
Fellow fourth grade, Ben Clouse, was awarded for his outstanding performance in music. Music teacher, Katherine Benard shared that “Ben sets a great example during music class by being attentive and prepared to answer questions. He is always cooperative and helpful during class.” She furthered that Ben won the award because “This year he joined Sliney Singers for a second year where he has shown great leadership skills by setting a great example for the third grade students. He also joined the Sliney Singers Fourth Grade Orff Instrument Ensemble where his talent has really shined. He is able to perform the complex parts of the music.” Outside of school, Ben takes guitar lessons and Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop dance lessons. According to Benard “Ben is a well-rounded and talented musician.”
The students and their families attended a two and half hour celebration where they could have caricatures made, receive balloon animals, have their faces painted, make crafts such as carnival masks, and participate in group dances led by a professional d.j. The celebration also included a host of kid-oriented food such as pizza, pasta, tacos, salad, and ice cream. The evening ended with an awards presentation by the principal from each elementary school and a live jazz performance by the Cool Cats Jazz Ensemble with preferred seating for the award winners. Sliney Principal, Dr. Susan Iwanicki-Smith stated “It was wonderful to recognize these artistic talents of our students in an arena where they could share the experience with their families and other talented students from other areas within our state.”