Canton Today Magazine • March 2019

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CANTON TODAY All Canton, All The Time

A Monthly Magazine MARCH 2019

Mother-Daughter Spark Boosts Canton Firm Carol and Amanda Colewith Lead Fast-Growing, Family-First Team Seeing Wildlife Wide-Eyed Wonder Local Photographer Captures Rare Images of Natural World


CCHF aims to enhance well-being of Canton residents Nonprofit has given nearly $150K in past 5 years

Nonprofit — Canton Community Health Fund Lynn Miner, immediate past chair, answered this Q-and-A on behalf of CCHF. Location — Canton, Connecticut Website — When was your nonprofit established? Canton Community Health Fund (CCHF) was established over 50 years ago, and our roots go back to the Canton Visiting Nurses Association and its commitment to the health of the citizens in our town. What is your nonprofit’s mission? Today we continue that mission, promoting the health and well-being of Canton residents by distributing grants to nonprofit organizations in our town that are similarly focused on maintaining and enhancing the well-being of those in our community. We also provide annual scholarships for students or residents pursuing a health-related career. In the past five years, CCHF has distributed almost $150,000 to numerous community organizations and scholarship recipients. What is the most fulfilling aspect of your nonprofit’s work? Knowing that we help the town with AED (automated external defibrillator) machines, fuel, food, police signs, pool shades, therapeutic horse riding and healthy snacks for preschoolers ... and many, many more worthy causes! What is the biggest obstacle you face in your work, and how can you overcome it? Not being able to provide for all grant requests we receive, but with more financial help from donors we can do more! We believe that if more people in our town were aware of the great work we do for the benefit of our town, we would have additional funds to distribute back into the community. What is your nonprofit’s most satisfying accomplishment in recent years? Every one of our grants every year is most satisfying to all of us! What are your goals for the next five years? To increase our funds and have all people in town be aware of us!

“We believe that if more people in our town were aware of the great work we do for the benefit of our town, we would have additional funds to distribute back into the community.” — Lynn Miner

HS Students Scholarship Application Deadline – April 1 Community Groups Grant Application Deadline – April 30


What volunteer opportunities are available with your nonprofit? We are always accepting volunteers as other board members are retiring from the group, as I am. Please share an anecdote that provides a window into your nonprofit’s work: Our board is the best to be on because everything we do is focused on distributing money to nonprofit organizations working to make Canton better. It is a very rewarding feeling! Besides donations, how is your nonprofit funded? Solely through donations! This is why it is so important that our citizens know about our work. What are the most interesting stats and numbers associated with your nonprofit? We average 8-14 grants and 1-4 scholarships a year, with a total average of $32,000 a year. We do not release the specific amounts of any grants. It is important to know that 100% of the donations we receive go back to our community. Our board members are all volunteers, and our expenses are limited to maintaining our website ( and our annual fundraising letter. Does your nonprofit work closely with town organizations and/or other local nonprofits? Yes, we work closely with the high school guidance department for our scholarships, and frequent recipients of our grants include the Canton Police Department, our town Parks and Recreation Department, the Canton Emergency Fuel Bank and our schools. Nonprofit Officers — Lynn Miner, immediate past chair • Ann Bryan, incoming chair • Rich Albrecht, treasurer • Sara Scott, secretary Board Members — Janot Bente, Meghan Casey, Sue Casey, Heidi Garrity, Jim Gavin, Alecia Plourde, Kathy Wood, Lorri Zils Employees — None • 12 volunteer board members What do you appreciate most about Canton? I grew up in Canton and love the beauty of the town and seeing it grow! + Lynn Miner’s husband, John Richard Miner Jr., is a cousin of David Miner of signature Canton business Miner’s Inc.

A STAR IS BORN Displaying several original paintings, Jennifer Minietti was one of the stars of the recent Alchemy of Imagination art show at Favarh’s Canton headquarters. She is served by Favarh, a nonprofit that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “The hidden talents of people with disabilities can be discovered through art, music and other creative outlets,” says Favarh executive director Stephen Morris. Photo courtesy of Favarh 2



A Wild Response


FROM THE PUBLISHER’S DESK TO SAY THAT WE RECEIVED a positive response to our February cover story is like saying Patriots fans had a positive response to the team’s recent Super Bowl victory. The February issue of Canton Today Magazine featured the stunning wildlife photography of Wendy Rosenberg. The Canton resident’s exquisite, close-up nature photos graced our pages and were displayed at the Canton Public Library through February. Readers wrote to us, sounding a common chorus: “Spectacular photos” ... “wonderful prose and layout” ... “magnificent wildlife photographs” ... “What a delight to see Wendy Rosenberg’s vivid nature photographs.” Thank you for your kind words and your encouragement about our efforts. Our goal remains the same — to bring exceptional community journalism to Canton each month. And we’re working to introduce print-and-digital magazines in Avon and Simsbury too. Contact me to learn about an ad package featuring a print circulation of 24,500 for Avon Today, Canton Today and Simsbury Today — and a digital footprint of multiple links to advertiser websites. Peace! +


Bruce Deckert • Publisher + Editor-in-Chief 860-988-1910 •

Carol and Amanda Cole didn’t exactly plan to helm a fast-growing real estate company, but their family-friendly culture has drawn women to the firm.

Find the digital edition of Canton Today Magazine at


9 — Multiple First Responder Hats

Facebook —

Before JT Lederman became a Canton police officer, he served as a volunteer firefighter in town.

Advertising — Contact the publisher


Contributing Writers — Carol Cole, Stephanie Derkovitz, David Leff

10 — Music Called Early to Antonucci

“I knew from sixth grade that I wanted to teach music,” says Canton High director of bands Rachel Antonucci.

Editorial Associate — Kayla Tyson Photographer — Seshu, Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 •


News Deadline — April 1 for the May issue

13 — Physician, Trailblazer, Humanitarian

Town Historian David Leff celebrates the life of Ida Gridley Case, Canton’s first female doctor.

Cover Photo by Connecticut Headshots — Carol and Amanda Cole



15 — Two Presidents, Two Perspectives

“I love being a police officer. This is, in my opinion, the greatest and most rewarding job in the world.” — JT Lederman • Canton Police Department

An election-day quirk resulted in two student council presidents at Canton Middle School. Vive la différence!



Funds given annually by Canton Community Health Fund

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When Carol Cole (left) became a licensed Realtor in 1999, her daughter Amanda (right) was in grade school.

Photos by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 •

Mother-Daughter Team Sparks Canton Company Furnishing Family-First Culture, Carol and Amanda Cole Lead Fast-Growing Firm By Bruce Deckert Canton Today Editor-in-Chief


ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE and Google search results indicate that the father-son business team is more common by far than the mother-daughter partnership. But Carol Cole and Amanda Cole are making a statement for the value and promise of a motherdaughter vocational connection. Carol established her Canton-based company — Carol Cole Real Estate, LLC — in January 2016. Initially, her business plan was modest. “It was just myself and my daughter,” Carol says, “and we were going to live happily ever after as a mother-daughter team.” A funny thing has happened in the three-plus years since then: It turns out that other women have been drawn to a company culture that values relationships in a family-first atmosphere. Along the way, Carol Cole Real Estate has grown swiftly to become a group of eight independent contractors (including Amanda) plus Carol. “I have not been actively recruiting, but because of the culture of my company women seem to seek me out,” Carol

says. “Each one of them was carefully selected to join our team. The culture of our company is about kindness, caring, support for each other, and a good work ethic. It’s about family first and then production— don’t get me wrong, we always work very hard for our clients and get the job done, but our meetings are in the evenings when spouses can be home to watch the children or babysitters are available.” A Canton resident, Carol cites the growth in numbers as her young company’s most satisfying accomplishment and aims to “empower all eight women to grow their individual businesses.” “The whole company is geared toward these women and their lives,” she says. “I care about them and where they are in their lives.” While all of her associates so far have been women, that isn’t by design — she’s open to men joining the team. “Millennials are coming to the company because they’re getting one-on-one coaching and mentoring,” Carol says. “We’ve been a magnet for people who are looking for a kind culture, not



a typical corporate culture. ... There are advantages to a smaller boutique company as opposed to a bigger company, but I tell real estate agents who express interest in us: Please interview with other companies to make sure you’re making the right decision.” Carol’s team is comprised of sales associates Amanda Cole of Unionville; Amy McCallum, Aimee McNally and Rania Menoutis, all of Canton; Renee Roche of Farmington; Sasha Suto of Cromwell; and referral agent Felicia Jordan of Canton. (The eighth associate prefers not to be named due to a contractual agreement.) “Originally, when Amanda and I started the company, we thought it would be solely a mother-daughter company,” says Carol, who was born in Bridgeport and raised in Fairfield. “But we learned very quickly that coaching and training the new sales associates brings us great joy. ... There are times I feel so proud

or appetizers. “There’s no need for office space, unless I get to the point that it’s beneficial,” says Carol, 58, whose family moved from Fairfield to Canton in 1998. While Carol notes that the income for a real estate agent “can be lucrative if you focus on it,” she says that the most satisfying aspect of her work reduces to one word: relationships. “It’s all about relationships — caring about each other, caring about the client,” she affirms. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the relationships.” Her business relationships come in three key categories. “How lucky am I that I have such an amazing motherdaughter working relationship with Amanda and that we are in business together,” Carol says. “I get to watch her grow her business and succeed in her career. My relationships with my sales associates are so important and meaningful to me. ... My

“The culture of our company is about kindness, caring, support for each other, and a good work ethic.” — Carol Cole of my sales associates, it’s as if I’m a proud mom of them as well. Their excitement as they grow their business is contagious and so uplifting.” While Amanda, 30, was growing up, she was sure of this: Real estate was not for her. “I grew up watching my Mom work so unbelievably hard in her career, with the phone constantly ringing for her — there was never a dull moment,” Amanda says. “I specifically remember thinking, Well, at least I know the profession I do not want to go into.” Amanda says she began to reconsider the real estate path about two years after she graduated from Keene (N.H.) State College.


“My Mom tells me that she patiently sat back and waited for what she thought would be the right time for her to pitch her grand idea of me becoming a Realtor,” Amanda says. “She certainly must have caught me at the right time!” Mom’s pep talks conveyed a confidence boost for her daughter. “She kept telling me I have what it takes to succeed in this business,” Amanda recalls. “I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but what I did know is that if I didn’t take the plunge to become a Realtor with her I would be missing out on a huge life opportunity. I am so thankful every day that this is the path I have chosen, and I would not be remotely where I am today without her guidance and motivation.” Amanda admits she was “a bit hesitant” when she and her mom first discussed adding associates at Carol Cole Real Estate — “we were initially supposed to be a company of two.” Hindsight reveals that expansion has been the right move. “Bringing other Realtors on board could not have been more of a success,” Amanda observes. “It makes me so happy to watch her in action doing what she does best, coaching and helping others to obtain their goals. ... Growing our company together has been an amazing experience.” Since 2016, the firm’s sales are up 53% and production is up 50%, according to Carol. The company has no central office — Carol and her associates work from their homes. Meetings are held in Carol’s Canton residence, preceded by a communal dinner

relationships with my clients also mean the world to me.” Sometimes people purchase a home because they got married or their family is growing. But sometimes a home sale is due to a death in the family or a divorce. “The happy reasons bring me such joy when I can be a part of my client’s happiness,” she says. “But when my clients are going through a difficult time, I feel so grateful I can do my part to help ease their pain. ... I care about them very much. It’s the relationships that mean the most to me.” Amanda says the most challenging aspect of working in the real estate realm is just such a difficult situation. “Not every transaction is a joyful transaction for our clients,” she notes, adding that “our job is to go above and beyond to be there for our clients during their difficult times [and] to be understanding of each individual’s unique circumstances.” The flip-side experience is rewarding in a different way — that is, being part of major life milestones such as handing a couple the keys to their first home. “The feeling I get when I am able to witness the joys of others as their dreams are coming true right before your eyes ... is a feeling unlike any I have ever experienced prior to my real estate career,” Amanda underscores. “It’s a huge honor.”


Naturally, there are impediments on the road to real estate bliss. The main one, Carol notes, can be compared to an amusement park ride: “The biggest obstacle is the emotional roller coaster any sales associate experiences. ... For example, the sales associate may have been working with a client for over a year, showing them 30 homes. They go to contract on a home and perhaps it terminates because of inspections and the client decides not to purchase a home after all.” Another scenario: A broker has a listing for six months with no offers and recommends a price reduction, but the seller switches to a different broker — thinking the Realtor is the problem, not the price. The new broker promptly lists the home at the reduced price the previous broker had recommended ... and it sells in one week. To help her associates overcome such disappointment, Carol employs some time-tested psychology. “I tell my associates that this is part of our business and they should allow themselves time to grieve over the loss — but try to TODAY PUBLISHING • • MARCH 2019


Carol and Amanda Cole went into business together in 2016 — and Carol Cole Real Estate has grown quickly since then. give it 24 hours and move forward,” Carol says. “That’s my Dr. Phil approach! At times, I find 24 hours is not even needed. Sometimes more time is needed. But in the end it’s important to be resilient and stay positive.” Carol started her real estate career at William Raveis in 1999 and then moved to DeWolfe, which was later bought out by Coldwell Banker. The reason for her move — no surprise here — was family-related. “DeWolfe was 10 minutes closer to my home,” Carol says, “and I had to be at the end of the driveway to get my children off the bus. I told my children if I missed getting them off the bus, I would come get them at school and it was a guaranteed trip to McDonald’s.” Once Carol missed being home at the bus drop-off time to meet her youngest daughter, Jessica. “I was so worried she would be upset,” Carol recalls. “When I arrived at school, she had a huge smile on her face because she knew we would be getting french fries and chicken nuggets.” Carol left Coldwell Banker when she was offered ownership at Keller Williams Realty. 6

“I learned a lot about the various models,” Carol says, “and for my company, I took what I like the most from each company, added what I think really matters in a brokerage, and created my own model.” An essential component of that model is having fun and spending time together socially. “When we unplug together, it lifts our spirits, which in turn continues to motivate us to work hard for our clients,” Carol observes. In the past year, her group has dined together at area restaurants, attended a Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball game, and jointly managed a fantasy football team in a random online league. “The fantasy football team was really fun,” says Carol, who has been a licensed Realtor since January 1999. “I would love to start a league next year with either Canton businesses or local real estate brokers.” Carol’s son Greg provided guidance as the team manager. Her family is comprised of her husband of 32 years, • continued on page 12


Make It GF: free food

MAKE IT GF will offer free food samples at ShopRite of Canton and The Shoppes at Farmington Valley on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Route 44, Canton). A family-owned business, Make It GF offers gluten-free pizza dough, bread, pasta, pastries and more online and at its Canton shop (50 Albany Tpk., Route 44). Meanwhile, Make It GF is introducing gluten-free pie crusts and pies to celebrate Pi Day on Thursday, March 14. The Canton business opened its doors in December 2017. Info: 693-1300

Bridge Street Live back after winter break

BRIDGE STREET LIVE and The Green Door Restaurant will reopen March 15 after a two-month winter hiatus. The celebrated Bridge Street Live venue has a full schedule of concerts and other events in March. See Canton Today’s Calendar on page 14 for event details. Events on sale now: 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville • 693-9762

The team: Felicia Jordan, Rania Menoutis, Amy McCallum, Renee Roche, Carol Cole, Amanda Cole, Aimee McNally, Sasha Suto

Quick Questions for Carol Cole

Real estate firm seeks to bring ‘amazing experience’ to clients Business — Carol Cole Real Estate, LLC Year Established — January 4, 2016 Address — 25 Pond View Drive, Canton, CT 06019 Phone — 860-212-0687 Email — Website — Owner and part-owner Carol Cole and Amanda Cole Number of independent contractors: 8 plus Carol What is your company slogan and mission? Carol Cole: Our slogan is — Your Key to the Local Experts. At Carol Cole Real Estate, LLC, we understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: It’s a life-changing experience. That’s why our team of highly seasoned real estate professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service for all of our clients. We take great pride in the relationships we build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. Our team of experts represents the best and brightest in the industry, and we’re always striving to lead the field in research, innovation and consumer education. Today’s buyers and sellers need a trusted resource to guide them through the complex world of real estate. With our extensive knowledge and commitment to providing only the best and most timely information to our clients, we are

your go-to source for real estate industry insight and advice. Our mission statement: Our philosophy is simple — clients come first. We pledge to be in constant communication with our clients, keeping them fully informed throughout the entire buying or selling process. We believe that if you’re not left with an amazing experience, we haven’t done our job. We don’t measure success through achievements or awards, but through the satisfaction of our clients. What are your goals for the next five years? Carol Cole: The goals for the next five years are to continue to increase sales volume and the number of units sold each year. I would also like to continue to grow the company with more sales associates who fit our culture. What do you appreciate most about the business climate in Canton? Carol Cole: We are all supportive of one another and really root for each other’s success. What constructive change would you like to see regarding Canton’s business climate? Carol Cole: None, really. Which business leader today inspires you most? Carol Cole: I asked the fabulous women in my company who inspires them. With one exception they said Joanna Gaines. It’s so fitting — she represents what our company’s culture is all about. The one exception was Amanda, who said: “You, Mom!” +



Entrepreneur’s road leads to home sweet home Real estate becomes sweet spot for Canton businesswoman By Carol Cole Special to Canton Today

Canton resident Carol Cole owns Carol Cole Real Estate, LLC. ORIGINALLY, I didn’t plan to become a real estate broker. But looking back, this made perfect sense for who I am and my personality. I love working with people and have always loved the idea of growing a business. When I was a child, I would buy

of science degree in clinical dietetics in 1983 and wanted to sell pharmaceuticals when I graduated. I recall my advisor recommending that I begin my career at a hospital and not in sales. I enjoyed working with people and my career as a nutritionist, but it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave five years later that I got that passion, motivation and enthusiasm again for growing a business. While on maternity leave, I began a business called My Own Menu (MOM).

BUSINESS BEAT VIEW FROM THE OWNER’S SEAT were settled in our new home, and when my children (going into fourth grade, first grade and age 2) were settled, I would get my real estate license and sell a few homes a year to furnish our new home. We purchased our home in Canton and moved here from Fairfield in August 1998. I was working at the UConn Health Center in oncology when I became a licensed

We needed to sell our home, so I decided to challenge myself and tried to sell our home myself. I loved it! gum at Grand Central Market on Stratfield Road in Fairfield for 5 cents and wrap each one individually and sell it for 10 cents. I guess I was an entrepreneur before I ever knew that word existed. My mom taught me and my siblings about the importance of a good work ethic. My father ran his own business, a television repair company, out of our home, so having my own business seemed natural. I always had a job growing up as well. I had a newspaper route, I babysat, I was a custodian at the schools during the summertime, I worked at McDonald’s and Stop & Shop. In college at the University of Connecticut, I was a cocktail waitress while studying to become a nutritionist/ registered dietitian. I earned my bachelor

I developed personalized, safe meal plans for women who were nursing their babies and wanting to lose weight safely and slowly. I also had a small private practice where I counseled people for weight loss, taught prenatal classes, and was a nutrition consultant for local nursing homes. Then one day my husband accepted a job at a private law firm in Hartford. We needed to sell our home, so I decided to challenge myself and tried to sell our home myself. I loved it! I will say, the offers were lower than the fair market value, so we hired a Realtor and right away received offers much higher. I immediately saw the value Realtors bring. So I decided that once we

Realtor in January 1999. I listed my first home in Canton and it sold in one day! I was so motivated to grow my business that I won the Rookie of the Year Award in my first year at the William Raveis Real Estate annual awards ceremony. I knew then I was meant to do this full time. I always knew my daughter Amanda had all the necessary qualities to be a great Realtor. She is smart and very organized, has so many friendships, and has the ability to relate to young and old. After she earned her degree from Keene State College, I began to plant the seed. She has a successful career and is now beginning her fifth full-time year in the real estate business and has been instrumental in growing the company. +

Renowned Hitchcock Chair Company offers Canton location THE HITCHCOCK CHAIR COMPANY has opened a location in Canton in The Shoppes at Farmington Valley on Albany Turnpike (Route 44). A historic Connecticut company, Hitchcock Chair continues a 200-year tradition of quality, hand-crafted home furnishings. At Hitchcock, quality hardwoods and experienced craftsmanship blend to produce classic furniture and more — from tables and chairs to accents and bedroom pieces ... items for any room in the house. In 1818, Lambert Hitchcock established an inventive chair company in the northwestern hills of Connecticut, creating beautiful hand-stenciled furniture in a town that would become known as Riverton. Hitchcock closed its doors in Riverton in 2006, and for four years the renowned name lay dormant. Customers who sought 8


Hitchcock’s quality and craftsmanship could find restored Hitchcock furniture via Still River Antiques, owned and operated by Rick Swenson. In the spring of 2010, Swenson and business partner Gary Hath purchased the Hitchcock Chair name, plans and artwork, continuing the company’s innovative legacy. Hitchcock Home Furnishings at The Shoppes in Canton opened in 2018 shortly before the holidays. Store hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. • Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The Hitchcock factory store is located at 13 Riverton Road in Riverton. Store hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. • Sunday, noon-5 p.m. + Info: 860-352-2458 • 860-738-9958 •

Lederman familiar with first responder role Police officer says he has ‘greatest job in world’


These events allow the public to provide us with useful feedback and/or suggestions. JT LEDERMAN IS NO STRANGER to the CTM: Please share an anecdote that concept of being a first responder. Before provides a window into your police work: becoming a Canton police officer, he served Lederman: I love being a police officer. as a volunteer firefighter in Canton. This is, in my opinion, the greatest and Born and raised in Farmington, Conn., most rewarding job in the world. Being Lederman moved with his family to Canton in law enforcement has provided me in 2005 when he was a teenager. with experiences that most will never be His first role with the Canton Police subjected to, and as such has taught me Department was as a public safety dismany invaluable lessons. patcher from 2010-13. In April 2013, he This is one job where we will certainly was hired as a Canton police officer. never know everything, and we will never Lederman, 28, addressed a range of “see it all.” Police officers are constantly issues in his Q-and-A with Canton Today: learning new laws, techniques and Canton Today Magazine: What motiimproved ways of serving our community. vated you to pursue a police career? One of the most important lessons I JT Lederman: Prior to becoming a have learned as a police officer is to always police officer, I was employed as a public put your family first. Being a police officer safety dispatcher and served as a firefighter goes beyond just carrying a badge and with the Canton Volunteer Fire & EMS gun. Being a police officer also means Canton police officer JT Lederman Department. working long hours on holidays, missing During that time, I regularly worked Photo by Connecticut Headshots • 860-593-0850 birthdays, family events and vacations. side by side with police officers and quickly It means being ordered into work realized that it was the career I wished to pursue. One of the most and having to suddenly leave your family. Your family is often intriguing aspects of this job is that you rarely experience the subjected to most of the same stressors as you are. For that same situations day to day, and I still find myself as excited to go reason, I do my best to separate home life from the stressors to work as the first day I started. of work. It is important to always make time for family, and CTM: What is the most enjoyable part of your work with the remember that they are the real reason that you do this job. police department? CTM: Of the movie or TV crime dramas you’ve watched, which Lederman: The most enjoyable part of my work is interacting one best reflects police work? one-on-one with the public during community- and townLederman: The Wire on HBO and Blue Bloods. organized events. Fill in the blank: The best thing about Canton is _______. CTM: What is the most challenging aspect of your police work, Lederman: The great community and residents we serve. and how are you able to meet that challenge? Fill in the blank: The main thing I’d like to see change in Lederman: Unfortunately, one of the most challenging aspects Canton is _______. of police work is that we often have to see and interact with Lederman: More businesses on Albany Turnpike and people at their “worst.” Police officers see anything ranging from improvements/developments to the Collinsville Axe Factory. domestic violence and/or abuse victims, to severe injuries or Favorite spots in Canton: Dogology, Black Sheep Sweet death resulting from accidents. I feel that the best way to work Treats, America The Beautiful Country Store through these challenges is to talk-out these incidents with Favorite books: The Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy your co-workers, rather than bottle up your emotions. We are Favorite TV shows: Homeland, The Wire + fortunate to have a close-knit department, where we trust each other and can rely on each other for help if need be. No police officer should ever be ashamed to ask for help. CTM: What are the most important attributes for a police officer to possess? Lederman: Police officers should have excellent communication skills, since we are often put in uncomfortable and difficult situations. It is also important to remain both physically and mentally fit for the job. Above all else, however, I believe that the most important attribute a police officer must possess is integrity. CTM: What are the top two or three ways residents can work together with police to enhance safety in Canton? Lederman: (1) Initiate “Neighborhood Watch” type programs and report suspicious behavior. (2) Participate in any community policing events that we are involved in (i.e., Coffee with Cops). Canton Today Staff



Teaching in Canton: Music to Antonucci’s ears CHS band director affirms importance of having faith in students Canton Today Staff


Photo courtesy of Rachel Antonucci

TEACHING CLEARLY runs in the blood for Rachel Stevens Antonucci and her family. Her mom and aunt were both educators, and her husband James teaches at Hall High School in West Hartford. Antonucci was hired this past summer as the Canton High School director of bands and K-12 music supervisor. James is also an instrumental music teacher. They moved to Simsbury with their two daughters in late September. Antonucci, 40, was born in New Britain and raised in Southington. She taught music at Cooperative Arts & Humanities Magnet High School in New Haven from 2009-18. From 2005-09, she was the band and jazz band director at Mansfield Middle School in Storrs. From 2001-2004, she taught band and jazz band at Memorial Middle School in Region 15 (Middlebury/Southbury). In a wide-ranging interview, Antonucci offered her perspective on a variety of topics: Canton Today Magazine: What prompted you to pursue a career as an educator? RachelAntonucci: My mom and my aunt, who is also my godmother, are retired educators — my mom taught grade 3

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mostly, and my aunt taught elementary school visual art. I set up many classrooms with my mom over the years and helped with many bulletin boards. I’m one of the oldest of my cousins and took to a teaching role as a mother’s helper, a babysitter in my neighborhood, a clarinet lesson teacher, and first and foremost, a big sister. When I started band in fourth grade, I really connected with my teacher, who saw something in me, and I knew from sixth grade that I wanted to teach music. CTM: Who were your favorite teachers from your school days? Antonucci: Hands down, Sharon Vocke. She was my first band teacher at what was then called Central Elementary School in Southington, Conn. (now Derynoski Elementary). Sharon was a clarinetist and saw something in me. She also worked a few days of the week at my mom’s school across town, so she connected with my mom and helped me to find my “thing” in music. I walked to her home after school for clarinet lessons in middle school, and she put together a clarinet quartet for a few of us in her studio. Sharon works in the Bristol Public Schools now and recently was awarded Teacher of the Year. Well-deserved and overdue! CTM: What are the most important attributes for an educator? Antonucci: Faith and listening skills. A student can “pop” in instrumental music at any time. Sometimes it’s based on the instrument because the learning curve for flute is at the outset and the learning curve for other instruments comes later, when certain notes and techniques are introduced. Sometimes students make great gains when you least expect it, like midway through seventh grade or in ninth grade when band meets daily. ... Teachers need to see the long game, have faith in each student, listen and support them when they struggle, and know that sometimes kids will learn something when they are ready to rather than when the curriculum requires it. CTM: What do you see as the greatest challenge facing students today, and how can educators help students meet that challenge? Antonucci: Continuous partial attention. With the pressures of social media and the immediacy of smartphones, students are growing up in a world that tells them that they can and should multitask. There is so much research to support single-tasking, and in the arts students will not experience the true heights possible when they achieve a state of flow if they are constantly being interrupted by status updates and the like. It is so important for teachers to talk to students about the responsible use of technology and smartphone addiction. I once read that constantly checking a phone for a message or email operates the same way as a slot machine on the brain. I believe it. CTM: What is your take on the smartphone revolution and its impact on education today? Antonucci: This winds up being similar to my answer above. There are so many amazing tools and apps such as music theory

trainers, tuners, metronomes and authentic source recordings available on YouTube. We have to help students use smartphones responsibly as the tools that they are. CTM: Please share an anecdote that gives a snapshot of your work in education: Antonucci: In my previous position, I worked with students in a variety of settings. Daily in our arts-themed magnet school, at Neighborhood Music School as a conductor of the honors concert band, in the summer at Yale’s Morse Summer Music Academy, and on the weekends teaching private lessons and co-managing the Shoreline Jazz Collective with my now husband (this was a jazz education nonprofit organization we started in Guilford).

teacher. He teaches the bands and jazz bands at Hall High School in West Hartford. My daughters Rose (4) and Grace (2½) are forces of nature. ... My mom is a retired teacher. My dad, who owned an auto repair shop in Plainville, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2012. My brother is a Web cartoonist, and my sister is a baker/pastry chef. An eclectic lot. The best thing about Canton is... — The feeling of community I have gotten in the short time I have been here. People are genuinely kind and caring. Conversations are rooted in what is good and healthy for kids. Favorite spots in Canton — I’m new to this end of the state, but one of the things that sold me on moving up this way was the

“Teachers need to see the long game, have faith in each student, listen and support them when they struggle.” — Rachel Antonucci I knew many of my students from age 12 on and spent quite a bit of time with them throughout the year. I worked with lots of wonderful adults to get across the message that we are all on the “path” as we pursue music. Some of us are farther down the road than others, but we are all working at something. Last spring, we hosted the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Ellen Rowe, who teaches from a similar viewpoint. We had a side-by-side where the diverse group from Michigan played with and for the diverse group from Co-Op. Each time we stopped, the students interacted and the college students automatically began mentoring the high school students. The high schoolers were open and excited to get feedback from young people who were just a little farther down the path. It was a truly exciting and inspiring day. A highlight for my career, truly. Classes, clubs+ — At CHS, I teach Symphonic Band (grades 10-12), Freshman Band, AP Theory and Honors Composition during the day. In the evening, I teach Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop. Each February, band students plan and design a special Prisms Concert where seniors compose, arrange and conduct. Each May, the band students serve our community by participating in the Memorial Day Parade to honor those who gave our country the ultimate gift in service. The Jazz Ensemble is preparing for upcoming performances, including the first annual UConn High School Jazz Festival, the Essentially Ellington Regional Jazz Festival in Greenwich and our districtwide Jazz Concert featuring guest bassist Henry Lugo on April 3. Family — My husband James is also an instrumental music

bike trail through Canton, Burlington and Farmington, ending with lunch at LaSalle. Looking forward to learning more about the community. Favorite books — Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (by Barbara Kingsolver) • The Kite Runner (by Khaled Hosseini) • South of Broad (by Pat Conroy) Favorite TV shows — Law and Order: SVU, Chicago P.D., This Is Us (but not a ton of time to watch grown-up TV with two toddlers at home) Favorites music artists — Ella Fitzgerald, anything conducted by Frederick Fennell (especially played by the Eastman Wind Ensemble), John Daversa and his Progressive Big Band +

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Storyteller’s Cottage: Events

Memoirs of a Geisha: Literary Dinner Party Friday 3/1 — 7 pm $60 • 3 course dinner, themed decor, discussion & games Mary Poppins Tea Party Club Sunday 3/3 — 2 pm $15 • Story time for kids, crafts & tea party with snacks Book Riot: It’s Lit Teen Book & Writing Club Tuesday 3/5 — 7 pm $10 • Book discussion: Changing Ways by Julia Tannenbaum Harp & Fiddle Concert & CD Release Party Saturday 3/9 — 7:30 pm $35 • Live harp & fiddle concert, wine & dessert party, free CD Author Salon: Jacqueline Sheehan Thursday 3/14 — 7 pm $5 • Live discussion & book signing with author, reception The Dread of Winter: Candlelight Spooky Stories Saturday 3/16 — 7 pm

$15 • Creepy storytelling by candlelight, includes hot chocolate Dungeons & Dragons Day Sunday 3/17 — 1 pm $40 • 5-hour campaign, separate games for kids & adults St. Patrick’s Night Limerick Contest Sunday 3/17 — 7 pm $20 per team of 2 • Guess how your partner will complete limerick, win prizes Author Salon: Deborah Levison Thursday 3/21 — 7 pm $5 • Live discussion & book signing with author, reception Murder on the Orient Express: Live Murder Mystery Saturday 3/23 — 8 pm $50 • Live murder mystery party includes food & drinks All-Access Authors: Echoes of the Past Thursday 3/27 — 7 pm $5 • Live discussion & book signing with three authors, reception Storyteller’s Cottage • 860-877-6099 750 Hopmeadow St. • Simsbury

• CAROL COLE — continued from page 6 lawyer Michael Cole; Amanda; Greg, 27; and Jessica, 22. Carol’s father, Henry Kirschblum, was a World War II veteran who died in June 2016 at the age of 100. Her mom, Sylvia Nezvesky Kirschblum, was 97 when she died in November 2018. They were married for 73 years. Carol is the youngest of five children. “I postponed starting my own company ... because I wanted to be available for my children and aging parents while growing my real estate business,” explains Carol, who graduated from UConn in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in clinical dietetics. As a full-time nutritionist and registered dietitian for the first 15 years of her career, she worked at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, the Community Health Care Plan in New Haven, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London and elsewhere. Fast-forward to today: After such rapid growth for Carol Cole Real Estate, how big would Carol like to see her company grow?


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Winter Music Series: KC Sisters, Caryn Lin The KC Sisters • 2 p.m., Saturday, March 2 • Canton Public Library From Avon, Conn., these five multi-talented sisters showcase vocal harmonies, a cappella hymns, pop, jazz, country, old favorites and originals. They play violin, bass, guitar, piano and drums. Their newest EP “Walk With Me” and other merchandise will be for sale. The KC Sisters have appeared on Fox 61’s morning show and New York’s The Real Radio Show. Caryn Lin • 2 p.m., Saturday, March 9 • Canton Public Library Classically trained, now an electric violinist, Caryn Lin brings the threedimensional sound effects of her violin, voice and percussion in what has been called a “one-woman musical extravaganza.” She has been featured on MTV’s “The Real World” and on 150 international radio stations. Both concerts are free • Info: 693-5800

“When I stop enjoying it, I’ll know we’ve gotten too big,” she says. “It’s about enjoying what we do, and it’s so enjoyable right now.” Amanda has been there every step of the way — first as a young daughter observing her mom’s career trajectory, and now as part-owner of her mom’s firm. “I am beyond thankful, happy for and proud of my Mom,” Amada says. “This is a woman who, when out to lunch, you turn your back on her for one minute and the next thing you know you find her in a booth sitting with an elderly couple thanking them for their service in World War II and paying for their lunch anonymously. This is just one of the many examples of kindness and gratitude that she shows on a regular basis.” The philosophy of this Canton entrepreneur can be summed up in a Golden Rule of life and business: “I try to be kind to everyone,” Carol says, “and hope for the same in return.” Amanda plans to pay it forward: “Besides the fact that she is an amazing Realtor, broker and coach, she has an absolute heart of gold — and I aspire every day to follow in her footsteps.” +

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Celebrating the life of Canton’s first female doctor Ida Gridley Case lauded as humanitarian By David K. Leff — Canton Town Historian

after a few years, quite unusual in those days. A newspaper reported that “those who hate divorce on general principles say ‘If divorce is ever right she ought to have one.’ Sympathy is with her generally.” Dr. Case died at age 41 after a weeklong bout with pneumonia. She “was held in the highest esteem in this community,” The Times wrote. “She was known for her practical sympathy for the poor and distressed, and many poor people have had the benefit of her professional skill and knowledge without her service costing them anything. ... Her death is a decided loss to the community.” Another writer observed that “a more ideal woman as a humanitarian never lived. ... What a happy and ideal world this would be if all its inhabitants were of the mental and moral makeup of Ida Gridley Case.” U.S. HISTORY • MARCH 1904 — American children’s author Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Mass. He died in 1991. WORLD HISTORY • MARCH 1904 — The Japanese fleet bombards Vladivostok, the major Russian port on the Pacific, on March 6. David K. Leff is an award-winning author of 10 books.

Photo courtesy of Canton Historical Society

CANTON HISTORY • MARCH 1904 — Female doctors were rare in the late 19th century, so it’s remarkable that Ida Gridley Case not only practiced medicine in a small village like Collinsville, but that she was a native of Canton. She was born in 1862 and died on March 11, 1904. Case became a member of the Canton Center Congregational Church in 1876, graduated from Collinsville High School in 1880, and then from Wesleyan University in Middletown in 1884. She taught at a private school in Canton Center for a while and then began studying medicine with a couple of Collinsville doctors. Case attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Boston and later did postgraduate work at the College of Physicians in New York. She specialized in diseases of the eye and ear and “was considered by the profession one of the best experts in the state,” according to The Hartford Times. She presented papers on her specialty at meetings in New York, Philadelphia and Hartford. On her return from New York, Dr. Case set up practice in Collinsville and joined Trinity Episcopal Church. Around 1882 she married Oliver Case. Their daughter Ella was 10 years old at her mother’s death. The marriage was not a happy one and ended in divorce


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Concert: The KC Sisters Canton Public Library Saturday 3/2 — 2 pm Free • Multi-talented Avon sisters: varied harmonies, genres Concert: Caryn Lin Canton Public Library Saturday 3/9 — 2 pm Free • Classically trained violinist plays electric violin and sings The Scholarly Hour Canton Senior Center Friday 3/1 + 3/8 — 10 am Brief History of the World Free • anyone 55+ • 693-5811 Dog & Decor Event Ethan Allen, Canton Saturday 3/9 — 1-4 pm Famed pet artist Scott Kenyon, Petals & Paws treats • 693-8372 Themed Exhibit: Winter Blues Gallery on the Green, Canton Thru Sunday 3/10 Free • Solo shows by Stephanie Rogers and David Owen Town Historian Office Hours Canton Public Library Tuesday 3/12 — 4-6 pm Free • David Leff talks history, answers questions Kindness Rocks Canton Senior Center Wednesday 3/13 — 10 am Free • Join national craze: paint rocks, hide ‘em for others to find Teen Short Story Workshop Canton Public Library Thursday 3/14 — 1 pm Thursday 3/21— 3 pm Free • Learn storytelling skills, techniques • Register: 693-5800 Legally Blonde: The Musical Canton High School Friday 3/15 — 7 pm Saturday 3/16 — 7 pm Sunday 3/17 — 2 pm CHS Musical Theatre • 693-7707 Come & See, Come & Hear Five Points Gallery, Torrington Saturday 3/16 — 1-4 pm Free concert • Host: Collinsvillebased Shepherd Arts Fund Comedy Night: Vic Henley Bridge Street Live, Collinsville Saturday 3/16 — 8 pm $18-$27 • 30-year comedy vet, co-author of best-selling book Comedy Night: Gaelic vs. Garlic Bridge Street Live, Collinsville 14

CALENDAR Send your events to — Sunday 3/17 — 7 pm $15-$25 • Comedians Mark Riccadonna, Tom Briscoe + The World Gone Crazy Duo Meeting: Friends of Library Canton Public Library Tuesday 3/19 — 7 pm Visitors welcome, learn about volunteering+ • 693-5800 Choosing the Right Supplements and Why Transition Fitness Center, Canton Thursday 3/21 — 6:30 pm Free seminar, first 20 to register reserve seats • 860-398-1449

Straight Shooter: Bad Company Tribute Bridge Street Live, Collinsville Saturday 3/30 — 8 pm $20-$27 • High-energy show with faithful song renditions A Matter of Balance Canton Senior Center Starts Thursday 4/4 — 10 am-12 Free • Award-winning program of FV Health District • 8-week class Discussion: School Shootings Tunxis Com. College, Farmington Monday 4/8 — 1:15 pm Free • Wheeler Clinic experts on school shooting victims/families

Concert: Big Brother & The Holding Company Bridge Street Live, Collinsville Thursday 3/21 — 8 pm $49-$64 • Psychedelic San Fran band, a la Grateful Dead


Trip to Bountiful Farmington Valley Stage, Collinsville Saturday 3/23 — 8 pm Sunday 3/24 — 2 pm Friday 3/29 — 8 pm Saturday 3/30 — 8 pm Sunday 3/31 — 2 pm $19.50-$23 • By Horton Foote Directed by Chris Bushey

Homework Help Canton Public Library Thursdays — 3-4:30 pm Drop-in help from NHS students

Canton Land Trust Dinner Seasons Restaurant, Avon Old Farms Hotel Tuesday 3/26 — 6 pm Annual event • Info + RSVP by 3/5 at Political Discourse in 21st Cent. Tunxis Com. College, Farmington Thursday 3/28 — 11:40 am Free • Lecture: J.R. Romano, CT Rep. Party chair • Info: 773-1300 Concert: Vanessa Collier Bridge Street Live, Collinsville Friday 3/29 — 8 pm $15-$25 • Multi-instrumentalist, master musician, soulful vocals Rotary of Avon-Canton Tastes of Valley Fundraiser Farmington Gardens, Route 4 Saturday 3/30 — 6-10 pm Call 693-0405 to buy tickets AARP Safe Driving Program Canton Community Center Friday 4/12 — 9 am-1 pm $15-$20 • Register — 693-5811


Canton Veteran Coffee House Canton Community Center Second Monday — each month Connect with area veterans, talk about issues, resources • Free

Friday Family Movie Matinee Canton Public Library Fridays — 3 pm Free • Recent G or PG movie, for movie title call 693-5800 Open Mic Night LaSalle Market, Collinsville Fridays — 6-10:30 pm To perform, call ahead or come at 5 • 693-8010 MORE LIBRARY PROGRAMS Canton Public Library • 693-5800 Art in the Afternoon: Grade 4+ Mondays — 3 pm Technology Help Drop-In Mondays — 3 pm Drop-In Story Time: Age 3+ Tuesdays — 10:30 am Little Builders: Age 3+ Tuesdays — 1:30 pm Teen Crafternoon: Grade 4+ Tuesdays — 3 pm Fairy Tale Fun: Age 3+ Wednesdays —1:30 pm Strategy Games: Grade 4+ Wednesdays — 3 pm Baby and Me Story Time Thursdays — 10:30 am Little Artists: Ages 3+ Thursdays — 1:30 pm Toddler Story Time Fridays — 10:30 am

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Middle school making most of two-president system By Stephanie Derkovitz Canton Middle School Correspondent

LIKE MOST SCHOOLS, Canton Middle School has a student council. Elections were held at the beginning of the school year, when students ran for positions such as secretary, public relations and, probably the most popular, president. But the election results weren’t what the school was expecting. There was a tie, and president became plural. Presidents Emma Mason and Brandon Powell have two very different perspectives on the student council. While some may have been concerned about having two people holding this position, especially with such different perspectives, they have come together in order to keep the student council running, and it seems to be bringing new life to the student council. Their differences, it turns out, make them stronger. Brandon is driven by his connections with people. In his speech on election day, he promised to keep the student body involved and to make sure new ideas are

brought up at every meeting. To prove this, he asked students to raise their hands to give ideas during his speech. His speech was interactive and full of humor, not something often found in student council speeches. By comparison, Emma strives to be straightforward and methodical. In her election day speech, she took a real chance: She addressed some common requests from the student body (such as vending machines) and detailed why such proposals were unrealistic. No false promises here! She then turned to her vision of what CMS could be and convinced the crowd that she could get it done. Serving in the role today, Brandon and Emma are showing their different but complementary leadership styles. When Brandon runs meetings, he keeps the group moving at a fast, productive pace. When Emma runs meetings, she takes a slower approach and has a creative outlook. She tries to find the best possible ideas in order to keep the student body happy and entertained.

SCHOOL SCOOP Together, the pair is able to please everyone in student council. One specific example of their two opinions working together is CMS Spirit Week. Brandon wanted to use pop culture to inspire the different days, such as Meme Day. Emma wanted more traditional spirit days, such as Ugly Sweater Day. They worked together, talking to teachers, students and student council members, and came up with a new idea of putting out a poll for the students. This way, all the students had a voice in the process. Spirit Week ended up being successful, with the halls full of people dressed as memes and in ugly sweaters. Overall, the student council of Canton Middle School has started to change the basic stereotype of the positions. Between Brandon and Emma, CMS has plenty of ideas for the future. + Stephanie Derkovitz, a seventh-grader at Canton Middle School, serves on student council as public relations representative.




A catbird in flight was captured by photographer and Canton resident Wendy Rosenberg. Her photos graced the pages of the February issue of Canton Today Magazine. To see the digital edition:


Editor’s Note — The February issue of Canton Today Magazine featured the amazing nature photography of Canton resident Wendy Rosenberg, including a cover story by editor Bruce Deckert. Wendy’s photo exhibit was at the Canton Public Library in January and February.

Bruce, I just flipped through the pages of Canton Today! AM I DREAMING? You did an AMAZING job! I am beyond humbled! Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined having the opportunity to share my passion for photography in this way. I never actually thought of myself as a “photographer,” rather, just a person who loves capturing nature with my camera lens. Thank you, thank you for giving me this incredible opportunity! Canton is so lucky to have your Canton Today! Wendy Rosenberg • Canton What a delight to see Wendy Rosenberg’s vivid nature photographs gracing the pages of the February issue of Canton Today. Her images urge us to get outside and explore the wonders all around us. I hope you will include more of her work in the future. David K. Leff • Collinsville I wanted to write a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed the recent issue. I have


LETTERS known Wendy Rosenberg for over 15 years and was so happy to see her beautiful photography and story of perseverance shared in wonderful prose and layout in your Canton Today publication. Thank you for capturing the character and creations of many of our town’s talented residents, and best wishes for continued success with Canton Today! Kristina Oswald • Planning Partners, LLC Collinsville • 693-9916 Just opened your February edition and read the article and saw the pictures by Wendy Rosenberg. Spectacular photos! They truly capture some of the beauty we encounter in Canton every day. I’ve now planned a trip with my grandson to the Canton Library to see more. The rather large bear on the back page in particular has caught the interest of everyone in my family. As our seasons change, please keep those pictures coming, Mrs. Rosenberg! Louis M. Daniels • Canton CEO, Call A Doctor Plus My wife Pat and I have been proud residents of Canton for over 30 years. One of the things that attracted us to the community is the


rural surrounding and open space — and of course the wildlife. I enjoyed very much your most recent edition that included a number of magnificent wildlife photographs by Wendy Rosenberg. Seeing those photos reminds us how very fortunate we are to live side by side with so many of God’s beautiful creatures. As a former director on the Canton Land Trust, I have participated in a number of projects to promote land conservation and wildlife habitat in our beautiful town. Many thanks to Wendy for sharing her amazing talent for wildlife photography, and to you and your publication for promoting the beauty of the Farmington Valley. Scott McAlindin • Canton Just read the latest issue of Canton Today. Love the magazine and articles. Keep up the good work! Eric Greenberg • Canton

FACEBOOK PRAISE • Very nice magazine, Bruce. Beautiful pictures of wildlife there. Thanks for sharing. • Those pictures are wonderful! • Great job! Canton Today Magazine on Facebook