Student News

Life is A Cabaret, And the IHS Cabaret is a

Fundraiser for the Fine Arts Department

"What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play, Life is a cabaret, old chum, Come to the cabaret!" Opening lyrics from "Cabaret"

Immaculate High School will hold its Annual Cabaret a little bit early this year, so be sure you don't miss it on Friday, October 27 beginning at 6pm in the Bobby Plumb Gymnasium! The Cabaret will showcase the talents of Immaculate students and all proceeds will benefit the IHS Fine Arts Department.

The Cabaret is hosted by the Tri-M Music Honors Society, which transforms the gym into a "dinner theater" style venue. Guests are encouraged to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages for their personal enjoyment and Tri-M will offer a variety of light desserts. The Cabaret offers first-come, first-served seating. Premier seating is available for $150 per table that seats 10 in the front row. Premier seating is limited, be sure to REGISTER HERE soon! Individual tickets are $10 each for students and seniors and $15 for adults.

"This is the biggest fundraiser for the musical arts program of the year, and guests will also have an opportunity to donate specific items to the music department that are currently needed," said Samantha Murtha, IHS Choral Director.

Student talent from all grade levels are featured, and all acts are auditioned."Many students choose to perform music, but in the past some kids have danced and even performed soliloquies," said Niall Reynolds, IHS Instrumental Music Director. "There is always a wide variety of acts - show tunes, rock, jazz, classical, etc. Our classes perform as well, including Concert Band, Guitar Ensemble, Concert Choir and Mixed Choir," he added.

IMMERSIVE THEATER EXPERIENCE AT IHS October 25 & 26

A Tale Of Woe: The Story of Juliet and Romeo, an immersive and original theater experience conceived and created by Matthew Farina, Immaculate's Spring Musical director/choreographer, will be presented October 25 and 26 at 8pm at Immaculate High School. Tickets are $2 and can be purchased at the door upon arrival. Doors will open for the event beginning at 7:40pm.

IHS Fall Drama is "Twelfth Night"

Be sure to attend the 2017 IHS Fall Drama "Twelfth Night" on:

  • THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 - 7:00PM
  • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 - 7:00PM
  • SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 - 7:00PM
  • GENERAL ADMISSION - $15 FOR ADULTS, $5 FOR STUDENTS/SENIORS
  • LUXURY SEATING: For 4 at $200, for 2 at $100 * both are limited availability*
  • SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE!! * see below *
  • CLICK HERE to order tickets

In a little more than a fortnight, "Twelfth Night" will be performed at Immaculate High School. The IHS Fine Arts Department has chosen this Shakespearean play but added its own special twist to the classic drama, including setting it in the American Old West.

"Chaos ensues when twins Sebastian and Viola are shipwrecked in the Gulf of Mexico and separated. Forced to assume a male disguise to protect herself, Viola, now called Cesario, goes to work on Duke Orsino's Ranch," explained Alexa Wild, IHS English Teacher and Drama Director. "The Duke, in love with the Lady Olivia, sends "Cesario" to woo his lady. But the disguise becomes a curse when Olivia falls in love with this 'young man.' Meanwhile, Olivia's uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and maidservant Maria concoct a plan to make Olivia's manager, Malvolio, look more foolish than he already does. And it only gets worse when Sebastian, thought drowned, turns up and confuses everyone and everything. Get ready for rivalry and revelry in this tale of mistaken identity transplanted to the Old West," she said.

The cast includes IHS students:

  • OLIVIA - Marina Kolitsas '18
  • VIOLA - Ilona Ludanyi '18
  • ORSINO - Peter Kent '19
  • TOBY BELCH - David Mercier '18
  • SIR ANDREW - Steve Santander '18
  • FESTE - Nicole Kolitsas '21
  • MARIA - Rebecca Wild '18
  • MALVOLIO - AJ Vitiello '18
  • SEBASTIAN - Trey Michaelsen '20
  • ANTONIA - Olivia Hynes '20
  • FABIAN - Arianna Slovak '18
  • VALENTINE - Emilia McGuinness Getzinger '19
  • PRIEST & CAPTAIN - Joseph Crowley '18

Ensemble (saloon girls and cowboys) -- Sarah Almeida '20, Adelina Fardella '21, Emily Mannion '21, Nicole Maewsky '19, Mickey Piao '18, Angelina Radeschi '20, Camille Vail '20, Lauren Pruner '21, James Vigar '19, Alexa Trimandilis '21, Dan Wroblewski '19, Erica Penny '20, Katherine Cassetta '18 and Elizabeth Varda '20

The cast is currently in rehearsals, while the crew works on set design and other tasks to make this another award-winning production. There are sponsorship opportunities, and the cast and crew would be forever grateful if you could support their artistic endeavors by considering the following sponsorships:

  • Sponsorship I: Lighting & Sound Sponsor - $1,000
  • (includes: recognition in program book, website and social media and luxury seating for four (4) for one performance on Thursday, Friday or Saturday)
  • Sponsorship II: Costume & Make-up Sponsor - $500 (includes: recognition in program book, website and social media and four (4) regular seating in front area)
  • Sponsorship III: Props Sponsor - $250 (includes: recognition in program book, website and social media and two (2) regular seating in front area)
  • CLICK HERE for sponsorships


Flyer designed by Nancy Yue '20

John Palladino, Immaculate High School Senior, Named

Semifinalist in National Merit Scholarship Competition

Marina Kolitsas, Kevin McCoy and Nicole Palmieri Named Commended Students

Immaculate High School is proud to announce that John Palladino '18 was named a Semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition. He is one of 220 Connecticut students and one of 16,000 students nationwide to have an eligibility score for the 2018 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of U.S. High School students who took the PSATs during their junior year.

Additionally, Immaculate High School seniors Marina Kolitsas, Kevin McCoy and Nicole Palmieri were named Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition. They are three of only 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation being recognized for their "exceptional academic promise" by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Semifinalists and Commended Students are placed among the top 50,000 scorers of the more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition by taking the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as juniors.

Recent graduate Nicole Dimauro '17, a Semifinalist in the 2017 competition and a 2017 National Merit Scholar, was one of an elite group of 7,500 high school graduates who received a scholarship towards college annually for up to four years, based on her PSAT/NMSQT and SAT scores. Nicole is now attending Northeastern University.

Angela Saidman Named Student of the Month

Each month the Recognition Committee asks teachers for nominations for students of the month in a certain subject area. The committee uses a blind nomination process to make their final selection based on teachers' responses. In September 2017, junior Angela Saidman was named Student of the Month for Social Studies.

Angela was chosen in part because of her ability to "always express well thought-out and constructive insights in the topics of American history," and because she "always contributes to class topics...meets deadlines...works well in groups and creatively with those around her." Most of all, she "understands that the value of learning is to build upon your knowledge and learning."

Angela feels that it is a great honor to be recognized as Student of the Month by the committee "because there are so many students at Immaculate who are deserving of this award." She loves attending Immaculate and experiencing all that it has to offer.

"The best thing about being an IHS student is all the members of the faculty and staff are very supportive in helping each student reach their goals. The teachers are always willing to provide help and answer questions during class or after school," she said. "I also like the fact that Immaculate schedules activities so students are able to play sports as well as participate in after-school clubs. This allows me and many other students to fit in three seasons of sports and still be able to participate in various clubs," she added.

Some of the extracurricular activities Angela participates in at Immaculate are Campus Ministry, Student Council, Bridge the Gap, Math Club and Newspaper Club. "While I enjoy participating in each one of these activities, my favorite is Newspaper Club because it introduced me to journalism. Interviewing faculty and staff for articles has allowed me to learn more about the people who make Immaculate the community it is. I also enjoy attending Friday Masses after school in the Chapel," she added.

Angela is also a member of the cross country, basketball and track teams. Cross country is her favorite sport to compete in, and she reported that the IHS girls' cross country team will be competing for its third consecutive State title at the end of October.

Outside of school she is a Master of Ceremonies altar server at St. Mary Parish in Bethel, and she volunteers at Bethel Health Care over the summer. After she graduates, Angela plans to study either journalism or nutrition in college and hopes to continue her running career at the collegiate level.

Angela has a message for students thinking of attending Immaculate: "I would tell students considering coming to IHS that Immaculate is a wonderful place to spend your four years of high school. It is a close community that provides the resources and opportunities to grow spiritually, academically, athletically and socially. With the great friends I have met at Immaculate, as well as the supportive and caring staff, I feel like Immaculate is my second home," she said.

Congratulations to Angela, and to the following students who were also nominated:

Freshman Lorena Jara and Mark Radigan

Sophomores Erica Penny and Analiese Seaman

Juniors Emilia McGuinness Getzinger and James Vigar

Seniors Meghan Coyle, Tiffany Saviano, John Stevenson and Joseph Suarez

Spirit Week: A Lively, Fun, Emotional and Spirited Week for the Mustangs!


Friday the 13th was a great day to be a lucky Mustang! It was the kick-off day of IHS Spirit Week 2017, including the boisterous, fun Pep Rally and a happy win at the Homecoming Football Game.

Other events included the Homecoming Dance, Pajama Day, Senior Servitude Day (this is a day when the underclassman 'bid' to have a senior be their servant), America Day (students to show their patriotism by dressing in red, white and blue) and Group Day (a group of friends dress up in a group costume that connects, such as superheroes, M&M's or characters from a movie) and Decades Day (Freshman - 90's/2000's, Sophomores - 70's, Juniors - 50's and Seniors - 80's).

At the Homecoming Dance, the homecoming court nominees were announced: seniors Helena Sabo, Audrey Sedensky, Emily Giampietro, Jillian Fredette, Matthew Georgio, William Gasparrini, Connor McNerney and Joseph Suarez. Matt Giorgio and Helena Sabo were crowned King and Queen. All nominees exemplify the school's motto of respect, responsibility and reverence. During the Pep Rally, the Immaculate Parents Association and the Mustang All Sports Club presented a check for $12,000 to upgrade the locker rooms.

All in all, it was a wonderful week that highlighted how amazing the students of Immaculate High School are, how Immaculate is there for its students, and that school spirit, as well as the Holy Spirit, live on daily in every aspect of Mustang life. Spirit Week also sends another important message: Once a Mustang, Always A Mustang!!

On Friday, September 26 the Student Council sponsored a Freshman Social for new students. Council members decorated, set up and provided snacks and ice cream for this wonderful welcoming night. Special thanks to Cheyenne James for a great music playlist!

New Video and Animation Club Produce First Spirit Week Video

New Technology, Restricted Airspace and Student Support Make This Possible

The new IHS Video and Animation Club did something that has never been achieved before at IHS!! Students produced, directed, filmed and edited a Spirit Week video to boost school spirit to new heights. Students planned and filmed for several weeks and shot footage right up until Spirit Week began.

Brian Douglas '20, who is FAA certified, brought in his drone to take things to the next level. Due to IHS being within five miles of the Danbury Airport, Brian called the airport and coordinated a day/time to restrict the airspace above Immaculate. As you will see in the video, a lot of the footage was filmed via drone. He also edited the entire video over a two days period. Outstanding job by Brian and the students who put in the time to make this video a success, including videographers Matt Christe '19, Emma Baughman '19, Zach Demko '19, Jake Payton '18 and Erica Guydan '19.

CLICK HERE to see the video. The Video and Animation Club, spearheaded and advised by Austin Alterio, Digital Media Specialist, meets every Wednesday at 2:05 in Room 213. The club also films IHS athletic games that can be streamed to your devices or TV. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Welcome to New Members of Our Immaculate Family

Assistant Athletic Director Dean White

Mr. White joined Immaculate High School as Assistant Athletic Director in the summer. He is a graduate of the IHS Class of 2010, and as a Mustang played baseball and basketball. He then went on to Post University, where he played four years of Division 2 baseball and earned a BS in Sports Management with a minor in Marketing. Dean worked an internship with the ECAC his senior year of college and was formerly the Assistant Marketing Director for the Brewster Bulldogs Pro Hockey team.



English Teacher Kathryn Fox

Ms. Fox joined Immaculate as English Teacher at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year after teaching high school English for three years. She earned a BA in Secondary Education and English from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, and is currently studying at Sacred Heart University to obtain a MA in Teaching with a Remedial Reading and Language Arts Certification. As a teacher, Ms. Fox loves seeing her students grow and improve as the year progresses.



Math Teacher Monica Ortega

Mrs. Ortega became a Mustang through coaching softball and volleyball at IHS, and she said that she feels blessed to be able to be at Immaculate daily now as a teacher. She teaches Mathematics (Algebra I Honors and Geometry CP) as well as Senior Personal Finance. Before teaching here, Mrs. Ortega taught middle school math at St. Rose of Lima School. She is certified as a CT K-12 Math teacher and Coach, and has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. "I am honored to teach in a Catholic School where I am able to teach the whole student, honoring the individual gifts and talents God has given to each of them," she said. Mrs. Ortega is a wife and mom of three children and enjoy sports, especially Mustang athletics. She is also a youth minister at St. Joseph Church in Danbury.

Meet the IPA Co-Chairs Jeannie Coleman Demko and Maureen Segreti

Jeannie is a graduate of the IHS Class of '88 and proud mom of Zachary ('19) and Allie ('21). After graduating from Immaculate, Jeannie went on to receive her BA in Psychology and her Masters' Degree in School Counseling. Currently, she works as a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. Jeannie has experienced first hand the sense of family that is ever present in the Immaculate community and is excited to share her Mustang pride in her new role as IPA Co-president.

Maureen is the proud Mom of Krista ('18) and Kaitlyn ('21). A Catholic School education is very important to Maureen and her husband, John. As members of the Immaculate Family, they are very happy with their daughters' academic accomplishments and more important their spiritual growth. Maureen graduated from Niagara University with a BS in Nursing and currently works for a biopharmaceutical company in the role of sales management and education. Maureen believes in giving and paying forward with volunteerism and looks forward to her new role as IPA Co-President.

Additional new members to the Immaculate Family will be featured in the next edition of Mustang Monthly!! We are blessed to have our newest (and returning) Mustangs and eager for you to meet them!

IHS Students Learn Just How Severe Opioid Epidemic

Is in USA -- And At Home

With the number of opioid related deaths and overdoses increasing in our part of Connecticut, as well as the entire country, the first topic presented by the IHS Awareness Program was about the Opioid Epidemic. On September 26, all students and staff took part in a sobering and factual presentation headed by Assistant US Attorney Robert M. Spector from the Human Education Action Team (HEAT) of the US Attorney's Office for the District of CT.

During his address, Mr. Spector shared some shocking facts about opioid addiction in Connecticut. More than 1,078 deaths are predicted this year from opioid overdoses - a huge increase from last year -and killing more people than car accidents and guns combined in Connecticut. The drug fentanyl will cause more than 600 deaths this year, and the death toll is expected to rise as the drug becomes more available.

Fentanyl is cheaper than heroin and is in a pill form, which makes it much more dangerous because it is sometimes confused with the oxycodone pill, but is very much more lethal. Only a tiny dose can be fatal. Mr. Spector told the story of a young adult who never took drugs, but "borrowed" what he thought was one prescription oxycodone pill from a friend for a hurt back, and died -- it turned out to be fentanyl.

Most Addictions Start at Home

Mr. Spector noted that most opioid addictions start at home --- young people will take or steal prescription medications such as oxycodone/oxycontin from their parents' medicine cabinets, or are prescribed them by their own doctors for injuries. Students will share or sell these pills, and addiction can be sudden or over a short time. To drive the point home on how easy these drugs can be found, he asked students to stand, and then be seated if they or their parents have or have had prescriptions for medications such as hydrocodone, Adderall, Valium, Xanax, Ambien, Vicodin or other related prescribed medications at home --- more than 75% of the students then sat down to confirm "yes."

With easy access to prescription medication, young people are tempted to "try it just once." But it can only take one or two times to trigger the brain into addiction. Soon, the prescription drugs become unattainable or too expensive on the street, so they the switch to heroin. These factors lead to a perfect storm of an opioid epidemic just outside of your doors.

A 2014 study showed that more than 1.4 million people abused a prescription drug for the first time, and it is was determined that one in five High School seniors reported misusing a prescription drug at least once. Each day, 44 people in the US die from prescription opioid overdoses.

CHASING THE DRAGON

To show the dangers and sad repercussions of opioid abuse, and how easy it is to become addicted, the students were shown the powerful video "Chasing the Dragon:The Life of an Opiate Addict." (CLICK HERE to see this important video.) Chasing the Dragon refers to people doing more and more of a drug or moving on to stronger street drugs, which increases the chances of death, to try to catch that feeling of their euphoric high the first time they used a drug.

"It's the Devil -- it gets you. The drug is often a temptation at a party making you want to fit in," said one person in the video. Peer pressure to try one pill is often the gateway to addiction. Just one use can cause addiction or death. Many addicts start using marijuana first. "Using to get well is what happens next," said another person in the video, explaining how addicts feel so sick when they don't use that they need drugs just to feel "normal." Nearly 75% of opioid addicts go on to use heroin.

Tori Edwards, a DEA special agent, also spoke to Immaculate students at the presentation. "You wouldn't take drugs from a dealer off the street, so don't take a pill from a friend or acquaintance," she said. She pointed out that if you get injured or have surgery you have the right to say no to oxycodone and ask for something safer. "And make sure that you stand up and speak for your friends who are using or abusing these substances," she added.

In a tearful speech, a local mother recounted the tragic death of her young adult daughter to the students. Her daughter died at age 30 after only a few years of "using." The decline of her daughter's ability to be a mother, her career, her relationships, her behavior and even her hygiene was devastating, and her death was heartbreaking. "I still struggle, knowing that I will never hug her again -- the lives impacted by her loss are immeasurable," she said. She then implored the students to offer help to their fellow students and friends who they suspect are using and shared the signs of drug abuse -- "ask to help them, don't let them isolate themselves and then lose them."

IHS Peer Leadership Club Sponsoring Red Ribbon Week

The IHS Peer Leadership Club will be organizing efforts for Red Ribbon Week, which is a substance use prevention campaign that is celebrated in schools K-12 nationally the week of October 23. Red Ribbon week is about spreading awareness, advocacy and resources about the prevention of substance use among our youth. Here's a bit on the background of the campaign and significance of the "red ribbon:"

"In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena (1985), angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. In 1988, National Family Partnership sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities."

There will be various activities in homeroom and classrooms, with teacher assistance. The theme is focusing on "natural highs" from Natural High, a group whose mission is "to inspire and empower youth to find their Natural Highs and develop skills and courage to live life well." The project is being overseen by Kelly Collier, LMSW, IHS's School Therapist.