Friday, September 30, 2022

North Haven Courier Person of the Week

North Haven Courier

Randall Mena has turned his love and talent for photography into outstanding portraiture to celebrate the life and work of first responders—like police officers and firefighters—in sincere appreciation for the risks they take serving the community. Photo courtesy of Randall Mena

Randall Mena: Portraits of First Responders

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

In Randall Mena’s desire to support the local community around New Haven he volunteers his professional photographic talents to create portraits of police officers and firefighters who risk their lives each day to save the lives of others.

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North Haven Courier

Chris Roush is the dean of the School of Communication at Quinnipiac University, just published a new book, and makes North Haven his home. Photo courtesy of Chris Roush

Chris Roush: Business and Journalism 101

Published July 06, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When Chris Roush accepted the position of dean at Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications in 2019, he chose North Haven as his home so he could be close to the university’s Hamden campus.

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Harbor News

After a 22-year career at Shore Publishing/Harbor News, former editor Brian Boyd will join the staff at the Vineyard Gazette, a storied 176-year-old weekly on Martha’s Vineyard, as the editor. Photo courtesy of Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd: Hail and Farewell

Published June 29, 2022 08:30 a.m.

I am going to break some time-honored rules about how to write a news story. In fact, I did it with the first word, I. In a news story, as opposed to a column, you never use I. If you have to refer to yourself, you do it in the third person: a reporter asked, not I asked.

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North Haven Courier

At the age of 90, North Haven resident Peter Balisciano earned his GED. Peter also recently received a certificate from the State of Connecticut in recognition of his military service during the Korean Conflict and the Cold War. Photo courtesy of Peter Balisciano

Peter Balisciano: It’s Never Too Late

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Some people embrace the idea of always seeking knowledge and growing as a person, no matter their age. One such person, Peter Balisciano, lives in North Haven and earlier this year he earned his GED at the age of 90. His love of life, people, and learning are infectious.

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North Haven Courier

It’s little wonder that Pat Brown looks at the world through the lens of science and scientific research since she loves to learn new things. She equally loves to volunteer to support the North Haven community. And she loves boxers, like her current four-legged companion, Cooper. Photo courtesy of Karen Smith

Pat Brown: The Importance of Science and Volunteerism

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Behind Pat Brown’s pleasant personality and cheerful smile is the razor-sharp mind of a scientist and researcher. The Napa, Calif. native first came to Connecticut in 1988 with her then-husband, Thomas, when he was recruited to join the faculty at Yale University.

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North Haven Courier

Hannah Auddino was named the valedictorian of the North Haven High School graduating class of 2022. As she prepares to enter Duke University on a pre-med track, she reflects on the fact that neither of her loving parents went to college, which drove Hannah to study hard in high school and pursue a college degree. Photo courtesy of Hannah Auddino

Hannah Auddino: Valedictorian of the NHHS Class of 2022

Published June 08, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Each year the graduating high school senior with the highest academic record is named the school’s valedictorian. For the North Haven High School class of 2022, the person to earn this honor is Hannah Auddino.

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North Haven Courier

In teaching English to non-English speaking students in North Haven, Nadia Gonzalez says it takes one to three years for a person to become proficient in what she calls social (conversational) language and five to seven years before developing an academic level understanding of English that non-English speaking students will need to excel in school. 

Photo courtesy of Nadia Gonzalez

Nadia Gonzalez: English Learner Teacher Connects People

Published June 01, 2022 08:30 a.m.

As the English Language (EL) district coordinator for grades K-12 in the North Haven Public School System, Nadia Gonzalez helps children new to the English language adjust to their new lives in town and strengthens bonds between families and the community in the process.

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North Haven Courier

Civilian dispatcher Christine Midolo has served the people of North Haven for the past 29 years. At the end of May, she will retire and set about on a new chapter of her life with her husband, Salvatore, and spend more time with family. Photo courtesy of Andrew Stavrides

Christine Midolo: The Person Before the First Responders

Published May 25, 2022 08:30 a.m.

“911, what’s your emergency?” That’s the phrase Christine “Chris” Midolo has spoken as a civilian dispatcher at the North Haven Police Department for the past three decades.

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North Haven Courier

Autism comprises a wide and diverse spectrum. Helen Pappas focuses her creative abilities through her Nikon camera to capture the emotion of her subjects in still life photography. Photo courtesy of Helen Pappas

Helen Pappas: Living Big Through Still Life

Published May 18, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Objects, landscapes, animals, and people have a state of existence mostly invisible to the non-artist. For the artistic mind, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. For Helen Pappas, the lens through which she witnesses and celebrates life is two-fold enhanced, one through the lens of her camera, the other, through the lens of autism.

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North Haven Courier

Rob Deko, Jr., credits his mother and father for a childhood filled with life lessons about helping others and the importance of giving back to one’s community. Photo courtesy of Rob Deko, Jr.

Rob Deko, Jr: Heroes Helping Heroes

Published May 11, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Rob Deko, Jr., comes from a family of helpers, in the form of public service providers via firefighting through his father and nursing via his mother. Born and raised in East Haven, Rob spent his early years serving his local community but now helps in North Haven, North Branford, and beyond.

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East Haven Courier

Lynn LaFogg rides her motorcycle with Bikers Against Animal Cruelty, Inc., to raise funds and awareness to fight against animal cruelty and neglect. She also volunteers to help cook for and serve both the homeless and senior citizens through St. Bernadette Church in New Haven.

Photo courtesy of Lynn LaFogg

Lynn LaFogg: A Two-Wheeler Supports Four-Leggers

Published May 04, 2022 08:30 a.m.

East Haven native Lynn LaFogg grew up loving animals. Today, when not caring for and enjoying her own dogs—Diva, a blue heeler-Chow mix, and Gunner, a Labrador retriever mixed with three other breeds—she volunteers to help both abandoned pets and feral animals through the organizations she supports.

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North Haven Courier

As an educator with a keen interest in American history, Kimberly Carew is excited to see the return of the North Haven Mayflower Society’s annual banquet, to be held on May 15 at Cascade in Hamden. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Carew

Kimberly Carew: For the Love of History

Published April 27, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Where history, community, and children converge you will find Kimberly Carew. She has a long history of service to North Haven children as a teacher and in her efforts to help preserve the town’s history through her work with the Mayflower Society of North Haven.

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North Haven Courier

After four attempts, Rudy Vener finally won first place in the Connecticut-based Tassy Walden Awards children’s book writing competition last year. Leila, the tortoiseshell cat, functions as a “mews” when he writes. Photo by Gina Vener

Rudy Vener: The Art of Perseverance

Published April 20, 2022 08:30 a.m.

The famed science fiction writer Ray Bradbury wrote in his advice to writers, “To fail is to give up. There is no failure unless one stops. Not to work is to cease, tighten up, become nervous and therefore destructive of the creative process.”

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East Haven Courier

Kalie Peccerillo is an adjunct professor of U.S. healthcare and cultural competence in health care at the University of New Haven. She also finds time in her busy schedule each day to help refugees in Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Kalie Peccerillo

Kalie Peccerillo: Gathering Donations for Ukraine

Published April 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When tragedies occur and people step in to help the victims a snowball effect can form. The outpouring of aid in times of emergency is encouraging and heartwarming.

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East Haven Courier

Claudia Giulietti believes in the power of volunteerism. If something needs doing in town, Claudia is likely to be lending a generous hand. Photo courtesy of Claudia Giulietti

Claudia Giulietti: The Joy of Life-Long Volunteering

Published April 06, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Claudia Guilietti may prefer to avoid the spotlight and remain behind the scenes with all the volunteerism she does, but it is precisely her devotion to helping others that makes the world a better place.

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East Haven Courier

Aaron Marcel believes in the holistic philosophy of medicine, which treats the whole person and not the disease. His additional efforts to help children ages 5 to 12 through sports is a natural extension of his empathy for others. Photo courtesy of Aaron Marcel.

Aaron Marcel: Hockey Haven Founder Helps Underserved Youth

Published March 30, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Aaron Marcel, a native of the South Shore region of Massachusetts, arrived in North Haven last fall to begin his medical studies at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University on his way to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

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East Haven Courier

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee says of the Irish American Community Center and its annual Connecticut Irish Festival, “It’s a great place if you’re interested in Irish culture. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to learn about Irish culture.” Photo courtesy of Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee: Celebrating Irish-American Traditions

Published March 23, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee’s family history drives her love of the Irish American Community Center (IACC), which makes its home on Venice Street in East Haven but serves the entire Greater New Haven area.

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North Haven Courier

George Ambel never leaves home without donning one of the 15 military hats he owns. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years before his honorable discharge. Today, George helps fellow veterans in all branches of the service obtain the maximum disability compensation allowed by law. Photo courtesy of George Ambel

George Ambel: Helping Disabled Veterans

Published March 16, 2022 08:30 a.m.

George Ambel, 83 years young, likes to remember only the good things related to his career in the U.S. Air Force and his time serving his country during the Vietnam War. Today, with boundless positive energy, George helps other military veterans obtain all the federal help they deserve, but often don’t know they are entitled to receive.

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North Haven Courier

Since a young age, Kathy Rocklin has seen the importance of giving back to the community and has volunteered in many roles in education in town over the years, most recently with the North Haven Education Foundation. Photo courtesy of Don Rocklin

Kathy Rocklin Feels Fortunate to Volunteer for North Haven Schools

Published March 09, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Kathy Rocklin has lived in North Haven for more than four decades and has been volunteering in some capacity for North Haven Public Schools nearly the entire time she has lived here.

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North Haven Courier

North Haven resident Julie Mountcastle taught at Ridge Road Elementary School for more than a decade and is now the head of school and a teacher at Slate School. Photo courtesy of Julie Mountcastle

Julie Mountcastle’s Passion for Collaboration Fuels Success at Slate School

Published March 02, 2022 08:30 a.m.

North Haven’s Julie Mountcastle is now 20 years into the second career in her life. Julie taught at Ridge Road Elementary School for more than a decade and is now the head of school and a teacher at Slate School.

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North Haven Courier

Gabriella Brand is North Haven’s first-ever poet laureate. Photo courtesy of Gabriella Brand

Gabriella Brand Brings Years of Experience as Town’s First-Ever Poet Laureate

Published Feb. 23, 2022 08:30 a.m.

While Gabriella Brand has been a poet since she could talk and her fiction and poetry have now appeared in more than 50 literary magazines, she has not always been comfortable sharing her work.

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North Haven Courier

Kathryn Speeg, a teacher in North Haven High School’s family consumer science program, volunteers her time to help with costume design for the school musical, which will be held the first weekend in March. Photo courtesy of Kathryn Speeg

Kathryn Speeg Brings NYC Fashion Experience to NHHS Stage as Costume Designer

Published Feb. 16, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Growing up in Wallingford, Kathryn Speeg always was intrigued by fashion and design. After graduating from Marist College’s fashion program, Kathryn spent more than 10 years working as a women’s sportswear designer in New York City.

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North Haven Courier

David Quijano—pictured with adoptable Luna and his children David Jr. and Valentina—and his family have been fostering dogs with Where The Love Is for the past six months. Photo courtesy of David Quijano

David Quijano and Family Helping Foster Dogs Find Forever Homes

Published Feb. 09, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Growing up in Colombia, David Quijano always loved animals and had different pets. After going to college, David moved to America when he was 18. A few years later, he met his wife, Christen, and the couple married in 2007.

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North Haven Courier

Lori Mansur has worked in the healthcare field for the past eight years and is now getting her master’s in nursing. Photo courtesy of Lori Mansur

Lori Mansur ‘Born to Be a Nurse’

Published Feb. 02, 2022 08:30 a.m.

After graduating high school in 1996, Lori Mansur tried a few different jobs, but it wasn’t until 2004 that she found her calling.

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North Haven Courier

Elijah Amendola recently returned from Africa, where he was deployed with the National Guard since last March. Photo courtesy of Elijah Amendola

Elijah Amendola Thankful for Community’s Support During His Deployment

Published Jan. 26, 2022 08:30 a.m.

North Haven resident Elijah Amendola left his home in March 2021 to serve with the Connecticut National Guard 1-102 Infantry on a deployment to Africa.

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North Haven Courier

Curt Andrews recently retired from the Northeast Volunteer Firehouse after being involved in different capacities for 34 years. Photo courtesy of Curt Andrews

Curt Andrews Celebrates More than Three Decades of Volunteering with Northeast Co. 4

Published Jan. 19, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Even though Curt Andrews had joined the West Ridge Volunteer Fire Association when he was 16 years old because “it was a cool thing to do,” it wasn’t until years later that he became fully involved as a volunteer.

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The Sound

Susan Mulqueen has seen Nonnie’s Toy Closet, which was formed in honor of her late mother, grow over the past six years as it’s been supported by her family and the community at large. Photo courtesy of Susan Mulqueen

Susan Mulqueen Honors Late Mother with Nonnie’s Toy Closet

Published Jan. 12, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When Carol Mulqueen passed away in March 2016, her daughter Susan Mulqueen wanted to find a way to channel her grief to keep memories of her mother close.

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North Haven Courier

When PJ Morgan moved in with fiancée Margo Faherty, he brought his love of holiday decor and the couple has since expanded on their light display at their home on Kings Highway. 

Photo courtesy of PJ Morgan

PJ Morgan Shares Love of Christmas through Lights

Published Jan. 05, 2022 08:30 a.m.

What started with a few lights at PJ Morgan’s parents’ house has since grown into a glowing display at the home he shares with his fiancée, Margo Faherty. Their home at 92 Kings Highway has drawn visitors throughout the holiday season.

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North Haven Courier

Steve Paik has joined the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University as associate dean for student affairs and associate professor of medical sciences. 

Photo courtesy of Quinnipiac University

Steve Paik: Meet a New Dean at the Frank Netter School MD of Medicine

Published Dec. 22, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As the new dean of student affairs at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine on the North Haven campus of Quinnipiac University, Dr. Steve Paik, MD, EdM, is excited to bring his experience and passion for medicine and teaching to the institution.

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North Haven Courier

Annetta DePino (right) and her husband Todd partnered with the Red Cross to bring a blood drive to North Haven on Sunday, Dec. 19 in honor of their daughter Amelia (left), who passed away from leukemia. Photo courtesy of Annetta DePino

Annetta DePino Honors Daughter Through Blood Drive

Published Dec. 15, 2021 08:30 a.m.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wakely Community & Rec Center will honor Amelia DePino, a 2017 North Haven High School graduate who passed away on April 15, 2019 after a two-plus year battle with leukemia. Her parents, Annetta and Todd, saw the need for blood and platelets firsthand during Amelia’s treatments.

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