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New Milford Teachers Welcome Families Back to School

Despite the oppressive heat, hundreds of students, parents, and siblings lined up yesterday afternoon outside Northville Elementary School in New Milford, eager to meet their new teachers at the preschool through second grade school before today’s first day of classes.

Second grade teachers Doranne Koval and Jenna Giudice.

“I can’t wait to get to know the kids and hear the questions they have,” said building rep and second grade teacher Doranne Koval as she prepared for the family meet-and-greet. “I try to help them discover the answers on their own.”

Soon many of her 23 students and their families were busy introducing themselves and checking out the classroom where they’ll spend this school year.

Elizabet, Eduardo, and Maximiliano Salcedo.

Maximiliano Salcedo will be one of those second-graders in Mrs. Koval’s class this year. It will also be his first year at Northville as his family just moved from another part of town.

“I’m hoping he will have fun this year and learn a lot,” says his father Eduardo.

Friends Haley and Chloe are happy to be in Ms. Koval’s class this year.

“I want to read and do homework,” says Haley, one of Koval’s students who wants to become a teacher when she grows up.


Robbie Mullin.

Second-grader Robbie Mullin, who is in Carolyn Saitta’s class says, “I’m looking forward to a lot.” His mother Emily O’Keiff said that every year at Northville has been a great year for Robbie. She hopes he’ll have another good year and enjoy starting up with reading and math again.

Art teacher Susan Waldman with Sarah Noble Intermediate School 3rd grader Adeline and 2nd grader Lydia.

Art teacher Susan Waldman says, “I love my students!” She enjoys encouraging her students’ creativity without criticizing their execution. “What matters is their intention for an assignment. It doesn’t have to be cookie cutter.”

Andrea Brunner with Maddie and Leah.

Maddie Brunner is in Catherine Russillo’s kindergarten class this year. Her mother Andrea says, “I’m excited for her to learn to read.” Her fourth grader, Leah, who attends the district’s intermediate school, is excited she can study an instrument this year. “I want to learn flute,” she says.


Kellen, Shad, and Gia Smenyak.

Gia Smenyak is off to her second year of preschool in Gail Burger’s classroom. “I’m looking forward to her becoming more prepared for kindergarten,” says her mom Kellen.

Lana Kelley meets her kindergarten teacher Catherine Rusillo.


First grade teacher Diane Smith talks with Tylea Tran.

Hadley May is in Diane Smith’s first grade class this year, while Mark Porter is starting fourth grade at Sarah Noble Intermediate School.

Jasmyn and Joshua try out the flexible seating in Randi Gray’s first grade classroom.

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