NCES prepares for transition
North Canaan Elementary School Principal Alicia Roy, right, paused recently for a photo with technology staff member Beth Johnson, who will become principal following Roy’s planned retirement. Photo submitted

NCES prepares for transition

NORTH CANAAN — North Canaan Elementary School (NCES) principal since 2018, Alicia Roy is planning the transition to new leadership following the  announcement that she will retire on June 30, 2024.

During the transition year, the North Canaan Board of Education has named Beth Johnson, NCES Technology faculty member, to the position of Assistant Principal. Upon Roy’s retirement, will take over the top job.

A key challenge during Roy’s tenure was shepherding NCES students and staff through the pandemic years and the ensuing return to in-person learning.

In a statement, Region 1 District Superintendent Lisa Carter highlighted Roy’s achievements on behalf of NCES students ensuring that the pandemic did not adversely affect their progress with learning.

North Canaan Board of Education Chair Erin Drislane also praised Roy for moving NCES to a higher level of academic achievement.

Reflecting on her 36 years of experience in education, Roy expressed gratitude for her NCES experience and returned the praise to her students, their families, faculty, board members and Region One administration. She plans to remain in North Canaan following her retirement.

Asked about her NCES achievements on Monday, Feb. 27, Roy said, “I am proud of the changes we have made and our commitment as a staff to inquiry teams, professional learning communities, Morning Meeting, Closing Circle, restorative practices, Bridges math, and now the science of reading recommendations.  Our state assessment scores show that everyone’s hard work is resulting in strong student achievement, the goal of all of our changes.”

Johnson offered comment on Friday, Feb. 24.

“I have been at NCES for 20 years. I am also the daughter of an NCES graduate with three children who have and are attending this school. Having roots in this town means I have connections with the students and their families. Dr. Roy has set us on path with a solid curriculum, Responsive Classroom routines such as Morning Meeting and Closing Circle and teachers who work closely in teams to monitor student achievement. I plan to continue the hard work Dr. Roy has begun as we work with these students who have experienced a global pandemic. I look forward to leading the exceptional NCES staff as we work together with our young, skilled learners. I am excited for this opportunity to give back to a community which has given so much to me.”

Looking to the future at NCES and beyond, Roy said, “I am confident that Mrs. Johnson will be a strong leader at North Canaan Elementary School and will continue to ensure that students are at the center of all of her decisions.  Having the opportunity to work side-by-side with her for a school year is an ideal situation that will make my retirement a bit easier, knowing that the school that I love is in capable hands.”

Latest News

Walking among the ‘Herd’

Michel Negroponte

Betti Franceschi

"Herd,” a film by Michel Negroponte, will be screening at The Norfolk Library on Saturday April 13 at 5:30 p.m. This mesmerizing documentary investigates the relationship between humans and other sentient beings by following a herd of shaggy Belted Galloway cattle through a little more than a year of their lives.

Negroponte and his wife have had a second home just outside of Livingston Manor, in the southwest corner of the Catskills, for many years. Like many during the pandemic, they moved up north for what they thought would be a few weeks, and now seldom return to their city dwelling. Adjacent to their property is a privately owned farm and when a herd of Belted Galloways arrived, Negroponte realized the subject of his new film.

Keep ReadingShow less
Fresh perspectives in Norfolk Library film series

Diego Ongaro

Photo submitted

Parisian filmmaker Diego Ongaro, who has been living in Norfolk for the past 20 years, has composed a collection of films for viewing based on his unique taste.

The series, titled “Visions of Europe,” began over the winter at the Norfolk Library with a focus on under-the-radar contemporary films with unique voices, highlighting the creative richness and vitality of the European film landscape.

Keep ReadingShow less
New ground to cover and plenty of groundcover

Young native pachysandra from Lindera Nursery shows a variety of color and delicate flowers.

Dee Salomon

It is still too early to sow seeds outside, except for peas, both the edible and floral kind. I have transplanted a few shrubs and a dogwood tree that was root pruned in the fall. I have also moved a few hellebores that seeded in the near woods back into their garden beds near the house; they seem not to mind the few frosty mornings we have recently had. In years past I would have been cleaning up the plant beds but I now know better and will wait at least six weeks more. I have instead found the most perfect time-consuming activity for early spring: teasing out Vinca minor, also known as periwinkle and myrtle, from the ground in places it was never meant to be.

Planting the stuff in the first place is my biggest ever garden regret. It was recommended to me as a groundcover that would hold together a hillside, bare after a removal of invasive plants save for a dozen or so trees. And here we are, twelve years later; there is vinca everywhere. It blankets the hillside and has crept over the top into the woods. It has made its way left and right. I am convinced that vinca is the plastic of the plant world. The stuff won’t die. (The name Vinca comes from the Latin ‘vincire’ which means ‘to bind or fetter.’) Last year I pulled a bunch and left it strewn on the roof of the root cellar for 6 months and the leaves were still green.

Keep ReadingShow less
Matza Lasagne by 'The Cook and the Rabbi'

Culinary craftsmanship intersects with spiritual insights in the wonderfully collaborative book, “The Cook and the Rabbi.” On April 14 at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck (6422 Montgomery Street), the cook, Susan Simon, and the rabbi, Zoe B. Zak, will lead a conversation about food, tradition, holidays, resilience and what to cook this Passover.

Passover, marked by the traditional seder meal, holds profound significance within Jewish culture and for many carries extra meaning this year at a time of great conflict. The word seder, meaning “order” in Hebrew, unfolds in a 15-step progression intertwining prayers, blessings, stories, and songs that narrate the ancient saga of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. It’s a narrative that has endured for over two millennia, evolving with time yet retaining its essence, a theme echoed beautifully in “The Cook and the Rabbi.”

Keep ReadingShow less