Community news: Westport Staples 2021 sal, val announced

Staples High School 2021 salutatorian, valedictorian announced

Konur Nordberg is the valedictorian, and Hannah Even is the salutatorian for the Staples High School Class of 2021, the Westport school district has announced.

Nordberg and Even will deliver speeches during graduation ceremonies scheduled for June 17 on the school’s football field, with a rain date of June 18.

Nordberg attended Saugatuck Elementary School,. and Bedford Middle School. Nordberg was also an avid soccer, and basketball player while younger. At Staples High School, Nordberg played soccer, and ran track for three years, and raced on the ski team for two years.

He was also a member of the school’s Service League of Boys and participated in a variety of community projects, including clean up efforts, soup kitchens and fundraising.

COVID-19 disrupted that environment, beginning last spring. Sports had always provided a balance to Nordberg’s school day, and helped him manage his time. Instead Nordberg ran on his own, and adjusted to distance learning.

Nordberg is heading to Duke University in the fall.

Even also is a product of the Westport school system. At Long Lots Elementary School, she participated in Math Olympiad; at Bedford Middle School she captained her Science Olympiad team to the national competition.

Even continued Science Olympiad at Staples, and was again captain. Even is also vice president of the Science National Honor Society at the school and a member of its math counterpart. Even is also captain of the math team, works on the STEM Journal, and tutors with Top Hat.

Even plans to study engineering at Princeton University.

Memorial Day weekend book sale at the Westport Library

The Westport Library and Westport Book Sales Ventures are having a 2021 Memorial Day Weekend Book Sale inside the library, at 20 Jesup Road, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 29, and from noon to 5 p.m. May 30. The library will also be open for normal operations that Friday and Saturday. COVID-19 health, and safety measures, including social distancing and mask wearing, will be required.

The sale will have thousands of gently used books in over 40 categories, and audio books, CDs, and DVDs available for purchase.

Email volunteers@westportbooksale.org to volunteer. Visit the Westport Book Sale website at https://www.westportbooksaleventures.org/, or follow the Westport Book Sale on Facebook and Instagram, to keep up with the latest about the Book Sale and the Westport Book Shop.

French astrophotographer next science lecture series speaker

Thierry Legault, a French astrophotographer, is the next speaker in the Westport Astronomical Society’s free virtual science lecture series’ Zoom webinar, and YouTube livestream.

The program, “Capturing the Most Elusive Objects in the Solar System,” will take place 8 p.m. May 18. The staff at the Astronomical Society will not open the observatory for the virtual event.

Westport school board announces new assistant principal

The Westport Board of Education announced Parthena Penny Proskinitopoulos will be the new Staples High School assistant principal, effective July 1.

Proskinitopoulos was a social studies teacher with the Fairfield Public Schools from 2006 to 2014, when she assumed the role of technology integration specialist. This past year, Proskinitopoulos served as an interim assistant principal at Roger Ludlowe Middle School.

Westport residents launch CBD dog treat brand

The Connecticut-based venture, YUP PUP, has announced the launch of its all natural hemp derived CBD (cannabidiol) dog treat with YUM.

Two Westport residents launched the brand. The debut coincides with the increasing boom in consumer investment in pet wellness as well as many dog owners’ returns to the office, which, according to the company, is a significant source of anxiety for the pets.

The pet care industry as a whole has shown exponential growth in recent years, with demand for premium care products as one of the main drivers. The U.S. pet care market was $99 billion in 2020 with CBD pets having a 45 percent compound annual growth rate, in one year closing out 2020 at $563 million.

Toy company co-founder launches wellness ecosystem

LifeLines.com, a new wellness ecosystem, that is designed to support people on their journeys towards mental health, and authenticity, is offering a lineup of free daily community events for Mental Health Awareness month, which is May.

Melissa Bernstein, the co-founder of the Melissa & Doug toy company, and her husband Doug Bernstein have launched LifeLines in March 2021. Melissa revealed she has struggled with severe depression and anxiety her whole life in her new book, titled “LifeLines,” and on the television show “CBS Sunday Morning.”

LifeLines’ events for the month include yoga, meditation and creative expression session, as well as conversations surrounding the struggles of depression and anxiety.

Westport prevention coalition ‘06880’ postcard campaign launched

Westport Director of Human Services Elaine Daignault has announced that the Westport Prevention Coalition has launched its new “06880” Postcard Campaign to educate parents and youth.

Additional information, statistics, and resources will be available by scanning the QR code or visiting westporttogether.org/prevention-coalition.

The coalition is a subcommittee of Westport Together, focused on preventing misuse across the general lifespan. Visit westporttogether.org and follow on Instagram and Facebook @westporttogether for resources about parenting topics, programs, and other supports. Email Kevin Godburn, the youth services program director in the Westport Department of Human Services, at westporttogether@westportct.gov to join the effort.

Exhibit features art made from flies and other odd items

The art exhibition “John Knuth: “The Dawn” is opening at the Hollis Taggart art gallery in Southport from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Knuth will be present at the event. The exhibition will then be on view through July 3, at the art gallery.

The art exhibition is going to feature extraordinary works made with the help of household flies, snake venom and horseshoe crabs.

Hollis Taggart Southport is located at 330 Pequot Ave., in Southport.