Bristol Gifted Program: Poetry & Pasta Night

Middle and high school students from the Bristol Public Schools Gifted Program who participated in the Annual Poetry & Pasta Night which took place at Nuchie’s.

The Annual Poetry & Pasta Night was held recently at Nuchie’s and featured middle and high school students from the Bristol Public Schools. This year, the event was sponsored by generous grants from the Pat and Bob Wollenberg Family Fund for the Community, and the Main Street Community Foundation.

The evening began with a welcome from Alan Theriault, Citywide gifted teacher, and remarks from Superintendent Dr. Sue Moreau. Bristol teachers and gifted coaches Gale Dickau and Vince Jennetta shared poems with the audience prior to dinner being served to the talented poets and their guests.

At the conclusion of dinner, Dr.Ken Cormier, creative writing professor from Quinnipiac University, who conducts yearly workshops with Bristol students shared an innovative and unique audio recording accompanied by spoken word.

Student poets next shared their original works with a highly attentive audience consisting of parents, siblings and friends.

Additionally, the following Bristol Public School staff took the time to come out and encourage the young writers: Dr. Sue Moreau, Superintendent of Schools;  Dr. Catherine Carbone, Deputy Superintendent of Schools; Mariliz Fitzpatrick, Principal of Chippens Hill Middle School; Gale Dickau, Bristol Central Gifted Coach; Joanne Peluso, Bristol Eastern Language Arts teacher;  Toni Simpson, Northeast Middle School Language Arts teacher; Lindsay Revoir, Chippens Hill Middle School Gifted Coach; and Vince Jennetta, Northeast Middle School Gifted Coach.

Thirteen middle school poems and 18 high school poems were shared. At the conclusion of each reading, students were presented with a certificate and a writing journal, while being encouraged to continue their passion for writing.

When all students were finished sharing, judges awarded prizes for best poem and for best performance at both the middle school and high school levels.

Middle School Best Poem

First-Ava Gesner-Northeast

Second-Chance Hagey-Northeast

Third-Alexaria Chavarria-Greene Hills

Middle School Best Performance

First-Liam Gagnon-Northeast

Second-Lia Pena-Tejada-Northeast

Third-Haley Kuehn-Northeast

High School Best Poem

First-Iris King-Bristol Eastern

Second-Jillian Elsner-Bristol Eastern

Third-Alaina Gouin-Bristol Central

High School Best Performance

First-Anna Jane Santacroce-Bristol Eastern

Second-Kai Palmieri – Bristol Eastern

Third-Kel Catalano-Bristol Eastern

“This yearly event never fails to amaze, as our young poets share deeply personal and moving words that leave the entire room mesmerized. We are so thankful to the Wollenberg Family, the Main Street Community Foundation, and to all of our wonderful writers for a truly memorable evening!” – Alan Theriault, Citywide Gifted Teacher

The Bristol Public Schools Gifted Program strives to enrich the educational experience for all students. Formally identified students are included in pull-out sessions at each school every week. Students work on projects which include research, critical thinking and creativity.

Each school also has a gifted coach, who is a regular classroom teacher that also aids in the enrichment process. Coaches work directly with teachers to customize learning for students, and also run before or after school activities that benefit both identified and non-identified students.

For more information about the Bristol Public Schools Gifted Program, visit


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