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Home Care in Lebanon, CT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Lebanon, CT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Lebanon, CT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Lebanon, CT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Lebanon, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Lebanon, CT

Types of In-home Care in Lebanon, CT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Lebanon, CT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Lebanon, CT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Lebanon, CT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Lebanon, CT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Lebanon, CT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Lebanon, CT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Lebanon, CT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Lebanon, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Lebanon, CT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Lebanon, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Lebanon, CT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Lebanon,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Lebanon, CT

10 corn mazes in Connecticut to explore during the fall

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateCorn is all the rage this fall — it even has its own viral song on TikTok.But as the harvest season begins at farms in Connecticut, farmers are turning this crop into mazes in the shape of everything f...

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Corn is all the rage this fall — it even has its own viral song on TikTok.

But as the harvest season begins at farms in Connecticut, farmers are turning this crop into mazes in the shape of everything from a castle to Benjamin Franklin.

Here are 10 corn mazes to explore in Connecticut during the fall:

The six-acre corn maze, found at 150 Exeter Rd., has opened for its 2022 season.

The maze includes activities like finding three hidden pumpkins, as well as kids games like a bean-bag toss and checkers, according to its website.

From Sept. 3 until Oct. 30, visitors will be able to explore a corn maze with a "deep sea" theme and go apple picking at Scott's Yankee Farmer, according to its website.

Fair Weather Growers ushers in the fall season by letting guests explore its 16-acre corn maze on Fridays and the weekends. The maze starts in the middle of September and runs through the end of October, its website states.

Guests can navigate the four-acre maze, which is made in the shape of Benjamin Franklin, from Sept. 3 to Nov. 6, according to its website.

The first 50 explorers to make it out of the maze will win a kite and a skeleton key a la Franklin's famous thunderstorm experiment.

Fort Hill Farms will have its 7-acre corn maze, based on the tree of life, open from Sept. 6 until Oct. 31, according to its website.

Bishop's Orchards. will open the gates to its maze on Sept. 10. The maze will close on Halloween weekend, an employee told Hearst Connecticut Media.

The corn maze at March Farm is open on weekends in September and October, starting Sept. 15, its website states.

Guests can navigate the over two-mile maze with trivia questions scattered throughout.

Foster Farm's corn maze will be open on weekends starting Sept. 17 and will be open every day in October.

This year, the theme of the maze is "Our Beautiful Earth...Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!," according to its website.

The corn maze at the Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm will open around the middle of September and run until the end of October, the farm told Hearst Connecticut Media Group. The maze will be open on weekends only.

Made in the shape of a castle, the 7-acre corn maze at Castle Hill Farm opens on Oct. 1, according to its website.

Lebanese families file lawsuit against army for boat sinking

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateTRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — Survivors and families of the victims of a sunken migrant boat off the coast of Lebanon on Thursday said they have filed a lawsuit accusing the military of detaining two missing survivors.The boat that sank in April carried dozens of Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians trying to migrate by sea to Italy. It went down more than five kilometers (three miles) from the port of Tripoli, following a confrontation with the country's navy.Su...

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TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) — Survivors and families of the victims of a sunken migrant boat off the coast of Lebanon on Thursday said they have filed a lawsuit accusing the military of detaining two missing survivors.

The boat that sank in April carried dozens of Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians trying to migrate by sea to Italy. It went down more than five kilometers (three miles) from the port of Tripoli, following a confrontation with the country's navy.

Survivors say the Lebanese navy rammed their vessel, while the military claims the migrants' boat collided with one of their ships while trying to get away. The captain of a submarine mission last week said they found the remains of at least 10 migrants and the wreckage of the sunken boat with dents and damages.

Now, the survivors say the army has been holding two survivors who have been missing since the night of the sinking and has refused to reveal footage of the wreckage from the submarine mission. They also say the military barred them from attending a press conference with the submarine's captain and navy officials.

The military says the investigation is ongoing and the footage from the submarine investigation has been transferred to the military probe.

“We’ve been waiting for you and the state for four months throughout this whole turmoil,” Amid Dandachi, a survivor of the doomed boat whose three children and wife drowned, said at the news conference. “I challenge you to show us the videos of the pursuit of the boat.”

Ten bodies were recovered the night the boat sank — including one of a child — while 48 survivors were pulled from the Mediterranean. According to navy estimates, 30 people were believed to have gone down with the boat.

The wreck remains some 450 meters (about 1,470 feet) below the surface.

The survivors' lawyers have blasted the authorities' sluggish investigation. Diala Chehade, one lawyer representing the survivors and victims' families, urged authorities to retrieve its wreckage.

“A key reason of the submarine mission was to try to recover what remains from the bodies so their loved ones can mourn them in dignity and pray for their souls,” Chehade said at the press conference. “But there is also another key reason, which is to find and retrieve the drowned boat and forensically examine it.”

Chehade also called for transferring the probe from the military tribunal to a civic court, claiming it would be more transparent and impartial for such a case.

The April sinking was the greatest migrant tragedy for Lebanon in recent years and put the government further on the defensive at a time when the country is in economic free fall and public trust in the state and its institutions is rapidly crumbling.

With a population of about 6 million people, including 1 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon has been mired since 2019 in an economic meltdown that has plunged three quarters of the population into poverty.

Once a country that received refugees, Lebanon has become a launching pad for dangerous migration by sea to Europe. As the crisis deepened, more Lebanese, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees have set off to sea, with security agencies reporting foiled migration attempts almost weekly.

Jenna Mazzilli Named Interim Assist Principal at New Lebanon School, Effective Immediately

Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced on Tuesday the appointment of Jenna Mazzilli as interim assistant principal at New Lebanon School, effective immediately.Ms. Mazzilli replaces Ms. Lindsey Eisenstein, who was named acting principal of New Lebanon until Principal Alexandra Michaelson returns from her leave of absence.New Lebanon, one of Greenwich Public School’ four magnet elementary schools, is an authorized International Baccalaureate World School offering the Primary Years Programme....

Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced on Tuesday the appointment of Jenna Mazzilli as interim assistant principal at New Lebanon School, effective immediately.

Ms. Mazzilli replaces Ms. Lindsey Eisenstein, who was named acting principal of New Lebanon until Principal Alexandra Michaelson returns from her leave of absence.

New Lebanon, one of Greenwich Public School’ four magnet elementary schools, is an authorized International Baccalaureate World School offering the Primary Years Programme.

Mazzilli will assist Acting Principal Lindsey Eisenstein in organizing and fostering a positive, safe environment that is conducive to best meet the needs of all students, staff, and parents at New Lebanon.

This includes such responsibilities as leading, directing, and supervising a variety of personnel and programs; creating effective parent, teacher, and child communications; supporting, encouraging, mentoring, and evaluating staff; and fostering teamwork between teachers and among staff and parents.

“It is especially gratifying for us at Greenwich Public Schools to watch our own students become teachers and administrators in our district to serve their hometown community,” Dr. Jones said in a relase. “We are so proud and excited to have Jenna Mazzilli rejoin New Lebanon School as she continues to excel at GPS.”

Ms. Mazzilli has been with Greenwich Schools since 2011, most recently as a third and fourth grade teacher at Julian Curtiss School where she was a member of MTSS Leadership Committee, TEPL Committee, and School Data Team. For the past two summers, she first served as an assistant site supervisor and then as elementary site supervisor for GPS’ summer school. Ms. Mazzilli has also held positions at GPS’ Parkway, Hamilton Avenue, and New Lebanon Schools as well as elementary schools in Wilton and Norwalk.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Jenna Mazzilli to New Lebanon School where she began her career,” Acting Principal Eisenstein said. “She has vast experience in curriculum and instruction that spans K-5 and has been a staple on various district-wide committees. Her familiarity with the New Lebanon and the Byram community, along with her extensive knowledge of Greenwich Public Schools, will serve our students, staff, and families as we embark on the 2022-2023 school year.”

“I am honored and excited to be re-joining the New Lebanon community as the interim assistant principal,” Mazzilli said in the release. “Having grown up here in Greenwich, being able to continue my career as an administrator in our prestigious school system is an absolute dream. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work with the New Lebanon community previously as a teacher and I look forward to working collaboratively with the staff, families, and students in a new capacity. I hope to continue to promote the positive school community they have created here and help our students grow.”

Mazzilli holds a bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies, Early Childhood Development and Education from the University of Connecticut, a master’s in Teaching, Childhood Education, Grades K-6 from Manhattanville College, and a master’s in Educational Administration from Mercy College. She holds a professional certificate in Childhood Education, a provisional certificate for Elementary (013), an initial certificate for NYS School Building Leader and an Intermediate Administration or Supervision (092) certification.

Greenwich names interim assistant principals at New Lebanon, Western Middle schools

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateGREENWICH — Greenwich Public Schools announced the appointment of two interim assistant principals, continuing a string of hiring decisions prior to the school year’s start.Jenna Mazzilli, a former New Lebanon School educator, is returning to the school as interim assistant principal, effective Tuesday.Erin M...

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GREENWICH — Greenwich Public Schools announced the appointment of two interim assistant principals, continuing a string of hiring decisions prior to the school year’s start.

Jenna Mazzilli, a former New Lebanon School educator, is returning to the school as interim assistant principal, effective Tuesday.

Erin Montague will serve as Western Middle School’s interim assistant principal, beginning Friday.

Jenna Mazzilli

Mazzilli is filling Lindsey Eisenstein’s role while Eisenstein leads the school as acting principal. (Principal Alexandra Michaelson is currently taking a leave of absence.)

“We are thrilled to welcome back Jenna Mazzilli to New Lebanon School where she began her career,” acting principal Eisenstein said in a news release. “She has vast experience in curriculum and instruction that spans K-5 and has been a staple on various district-wide committees.

“Her familiarity with the New Lebanon and the Byram community, along with her extensive knowledge of Greenwich Public Schools, will serve our students, staff, and families as we embark on the 2022-2023 school year,” Eisenstein said.

“Having grown up here in Greenwich, being able to continue my career as an administrator in our prestigious school system is an absolute dream. I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work with the New Lebanon community previously as a teacher and I look forward to working collaboratively with the staff, families, and students in a new capacity,” Mazzilli said. “I hope to continue to promote the positive school community they have created here and help our students grow.”

Mazzilli joined Greenwich Public Schools in 2011 and has worked at New Lebanon, Parkway, Julian Curtiss and Hamilton Avenue schools.

She most recently taught third and fourth grade at Julian Curtiss School, where she also served as a member of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Leadership Committee, Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning Committee and the School Data Team.

She has served as an assistant site supervisor and an elementary site supervisor during the past two summer school programs.

“It is especially gratifying for us at Greenwich Public Schools to watch our own students become teachers and administrators in our district to serve their hometown community,” Superintendent Toni Jones said. “We are so proud and excited to have Jenna Mazzilli rejoin New Lebanon School as she continues to excel at GPS.”

Mazzilli earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies, early childhood development and education from the University of Connecticut. She holds a master’s degree in teaching, childhood education, grades K-6 from Manhattanville College and a second master’s in educational administration from Mercy College.

She also earned a professional certificate in childhood education, a provisional certificate for elementary, an initial certificate as a New York State building leader and an intermediate administration or supervision certification.

Erin Montague

Montague is taking on the duties of Kerry Gavin, who was recently appointed interim principal at Cos Cob School. She is no stranger to Western Middle School, for she has been a WMS Wildcat for eight years.

“Ms. Montague is the consummate professional and I look forward to having her formally join our leadership team,” principal Gordon Beinstein said. “In her eight years as a school counselor at Western, she has proven herself to be a voice of reason and calmness for parents, a sounding board for staff and administration, and, most importantly, a rock for her students. Her skill set as a counselor and student advocate and the leadership experiences she pursued while at Western will translate well to the role of a school administrator.”

Montague has worked as a school counselor at Western since 2014. Additionally, she co-chaired the WMS Systems Committee, was a Section 504 case manager and the AVID site coordinator.

In 2020, Greenwich Public Schools named Montague one of six Distinguished Teachers, and the district selected her to represent GPS for the Connecticut State Department of Education’s 2021 Connecticut Teacher of the Year Program.

“We are so pleased to appoint Erin Montague as the interim assistant principal at Western Middle School,” Jones said. “Her dedication and commitment to the entire Western community is a true testament of her devotion to her students and co-workers.”

Montague earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human development and family studies from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in school counseling from Fairfield University. She holds an administrator certification from Sacred Heart University and a sixth-year certificate from the University of La Verne.

“I am overjoyed to accept this opportunity to stay at my home, Western Middle School, to join an amazing leadership team, and to continue to work alongside our dedicated and passionate staff,” Montague said. “I look forward to strengthening my connections with our wonderful students, families, and the greater Western community.”

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The Big E announces 2022 foods, including waffles, espresso martinis and vegan burgers

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigateThe Big E has always been a prime destination for caloric fair food. After all, its vendors have successfully deep-fried butter, Kool-Aid, pop tarts and even a martini.Allison Vaughan said she reached out to fair organizers once she noticed there w...

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The Big E has always been a prime destination for caloric fair food. After all, its vendors have successfully deep-fried butter, Kool-Aid, pop tarts and even a martini.

Allison Vaughan said she reached out to fair organizers once she noticed there wasn't a vegan vendor, and was thrilled to get a response. The truck will be parked at the Front Porch, a new site inside Gate 5.

On Thursday, the Vaughans served up samples of their signature burgers: a spicy peanut butter and jelly burger with jalapeños, and a Soul Burger with jerk sauce and plantains.

"About 80 percent of our clientele isn't vegan," Allison Vaughan said. "They just want a good burger. That's what we pride ourselves on. It's not a vegan burger, per se, it's just a burger."

Sassy's Catering of Thorndike, Mass., which will be set up on East Road, is focusing on loaded baked sweet potatoes in both savory and sweet preparations, with toppings like cranberry orange compote and pecans, baked beans, vegetarian chili and even pineapple guava relish with coconut flakes. Owner Mary Beth Caldwell had her niece in mind, a stage four cancer survivor, when she prepared her healthier menu items.

"You have to have a balance," she said. "A person who has dietary concerns shouldn't be afraid to go to something like this because there's nothing for them to eat."

The fair also welcomes new vendors with multicultural menus: Las Kangris, a Latin food truck based in Springfield, which served arroz con gandules and pernil Thursday; Cha Feo, serving Asian boba and milk teas and BoardWok Noodles, with rice bowls and yakisoba noodles. Villa of Lebanon, based in South Windsor, will serve Lebanese and Greek fare like baba ganoush, baklava, falafel, hummus, meat and spinach pies and tabouli.

Las Kangris, Cha Feo and Villa of Lebanon will be in the Young Building, while BoardWok will be at the Front Porch.

Here's a preview of what you'll find at the fair, running Sept. 16 to Oct. 2.

The Place 2 Be, located at The Front Porch: No stranger to Connecticut diners, Gina Luari's brunch restaurant expanded to Springfield in June and will be on site at the fair for the first time with its food truck. The truck will serve breakfast all day: mini fruity pebble/berries and cream pancakes, mini Nutella and coconut pancakes and milkshakes topped with waffles and pancakes.

The Big E Bakery, known for the fair's signature cream puffs, has introduced a chocolate-flavored cream filling as this year's special flavor. Last year's was pumpkin.

"Each year we're going to rotate a different flavor," said vendor EJ Dean. "And so this year just knowing how popular chocolate is by nature, we want to add that." The chocolate cream puff coated with chocolate ganache is referred to as the "chocoholic," he said.

Find the cream puffs and eclairs at three locations: The New England Center, Gate 9A and Avenue ShowPlace.

V-One Vodka recently released a double espresso vodka, and will showcase that in various cocktails and martinis. The Hadley-based spirits company offers vodkas in other flavors like triple berry, cucumber, grapefruit, lime and peppermint.

The Harpoon Beer Hall on New England Avenue is going all in on soft pretzels, with toppings like mozzarella and pepperoni, everything bagel seasoning and mozzarella with bacon and pickles. Triple-decker grilled cheese sandwiches have fillings like jalapenos and bacon, caramelized onions and Cool Ranch Doritos.

Bakery on Brewer, also on New England Avenue, will feature a variety of fritters like apple, apple bacon, blueberry and pumpkin.

Chompers, a Connecticut-based food truck featuring "crunchy balls of goodness," introduces a new chicken pot pie flavor, featuring savory chicken, potatoes, veggies, mozzarella and cheddar with chicken gravy dipping sauce. The truck will be on New England Avenue.

Riceballs Arancini on East Road plans beef, veggie, "Big Mac" and Philly flavors.

Kulfi Ice Cream Taste of Persia in the Food Court is serving traditional Indian ice cream.

Ultimate BBQ in the Food Court will be serving up BBQ waffles and mac and cheese waffles.

Chick-fil-A will offer its chicken sandwiches, wraps and more.

The Big E, at 1305 Memorial Ave. in West Springfield, Mass., runs Sept. 16 through Oct 2. Information: thebige.com.

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