2021: A Blue Devil Perspective


As 2021 winds to a close, it is a good time to reflect on this past year in terms of how it impacted Coginchaug. The past 12 months have been a whirlwind of celebrations and cancellations, departures and arrivals, and so much more. 

At the beginning of the year, new superintendent Dr. Douglas Schuch assumed office in Regional School District 13. Midterm exams, a traditional staple in January, were suspended for 2021. Students did not take summative exams for any of their classes, besides AP exams and finals for UConn classes. 

With the fight against COVID-19 reaching one year long, even as vaccines became available to the greater population, students were sent back and forth between in person and remote learning throughout March and April due to positive cases. One result of this was the postponement of the in school SAT for junior to late April.

May saw principal Brian Falcone announcing his departure from Coginchaug to take the role as superintendent of Plymouth Public Schools, effective at the end of the school year. The future of Korn School was finally decided as well, with voters in Durham deciding to confirm the purchase of the property and to turn it into a community center. Lastly, Coginchaug’s music programs returned to perform for the first time since December 2020 with a spring concert on the field. 

In June, the key word was celebration. In the span of less than 24 hours, the Coginchaug baseball and softball teams took home two state championships: a rare feat in high school. The baseball team defeated St. Paul 8-0 behind dominant pitching, and softball took revenge against the team which beat them for the title in 2019 with a 14-2 win against Somers. Yet, it was eventually time for them to say goodbye to Coginchaug, with graduation taking place on June 17th. With caps tossed into the air and the traditional sprinting out of the building to Project Graduation, 2021 graduates were on their way to greatness.

As students enjoyed well deserved time off during the summer, a new administration took the reins of Coginchaug. Matthew Warner and Katie Trainer took over as the new principal and vice principal after the departures of Mr. Falcone and Beth Melillo. 

Students returned to Coginchaug on September 1st, and many things returned. From a more traditional schedule to the beginning of football and the Durham Fair, Coginchaug students were welcomed back with love to the school and many Coginchaug traditions. The return of the Durham Fair was once again a treat. With a more local crowd this year, it was smaller than a non-covid year, but students said it felt normal. 

October saw many traditional school activities, such as the Dig Pink volleyball game vs North Branford and an indoor concert by the band and chorus. Yet, October was marred by a threat against Coginchaug near the end of the month, with a student being temporarily suspended until the administration solved it. 

November saw the local municipal elections, with voters rejecting a plan to close John Lyman Elementary School in Middlefield. The elections also saw Durham entirely elect new members to the Board of Education, including the unseating of Chairman Bob Moore, who was reelected in a special election in December. Fall athletes fought in playoff battles, with the girls’ soccer team reaching the semifinals before being eliminated by Northwest Catholic. The annual powderpuff game also made its return, with the Seniors shutting out the Juniors 22-0. 

As 2021 finishes up, December saw many traditions return, albeit abridged. Students continued to give back to Durham and Middlefied, participating in the community roundup, which was a drop off this year. Model UN competed at its first in person conference since February 2020, with Ben and Liz Carroll receiving awards for their work in committee. The music department held a split holiday concert for band and chorus, ending the year on a high note.

What will 2022 hold for Coginchaug? Blue Devils are expected to return to travelling, with Model UN scheduled to go to Boston, band and chorus going on respective trips to Virginia Beach and Walt Disney World, and the return of the senior trip to Washington, D.C.. Athletes are expected to compete again with students out to support their teams.  Academically, students will once again strive to achieve their learning best. Two years after the world was thrown into chaos, Coginchaug is finally, while still recovering, back to being strong.