Lewis S. Mills High School

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Lewis S. Mills High School
Frontoflsm.JPG
Established 1962
Type Public
Location Burlington, Connecticut, USA
Website http://www.region10ct.org/

Lewis S. Mills High School is a public high school located in Burlington, Connecticut. It is part of Regional School District #10 serving Harwinton and Burlington, Connecticut and home to the notorious Thunder Dome.

History[edit]

Lewis S. Mills High School (often abbreviated LSM) was named after Lewis Sprague Mills, Sr., who served for many years as Rural Supervisor of Schools in both Burlington and Harwinton, influencing the school programs in both towns. He encouraged students to remain in school, asked the town for free textbooks and for students to be examined by the school nurse, and introduced music and art into the curriculum.

In the beginning of November 1960, a contest was held to select the name for the new high school. Some of the options played with the names of the two towns: "Burlwin", "Har-Bur" (which later was used for the middle school), "Burwin", "Burlin", "Harburton" and "Barburl". Students in seventh through twelfth grades put forth submissions and by the end of the month, Lewis S. Mills Regional High School was selected. A few weeks after the announcement, a dedication ceremony was held which featured the school's namesake, delighted to be present in spite of his confinement to a wheelchair. Mr. Mills spoke: "I feel that this honor which has been bestowed on me by the towns of Harwinton and Burlington should be shared with the thousands of people including pupils and parents, who have worked with me through the years." [1]

Until the opening of Mills, students in Burlington and Harwinton continuing to that level would attend high school in neighboring towns, such as Farmington.

Mission Statement[edit]

The current mission statement was generated during the NEASC Accreditation process in 2010. It reads as follows:

"The mission of Lewis S. Mills High School is to foster academic excellence, personal growth, and respect for diversity. Within a safe learning environment, we share the collective responsibility with students, parents, and the community to cultivate the skills, knowledge and attitudes that help our students to realize their full potential as learners and responsible citizens, and to experience success beyond high school." [2] The school also adopted the motto "P.R.I.D.E." or Personal Responsibility In Developing Excellence [3]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Ryan Robert Colleoni, Bill Compton, Henry Luce

Notable Achievements[edit]

Basketball fan section "Thunder Dome" voted best student section in the state - 2014

Thunder Dome at full force

Controversy[edit]

Lewis S. Mills High School was previously named in a civil rights lawsuit brought by (former student) Avery Doninger against Principal Karissa Niehoff (now retired) and Superintendent (now retired) Paula Schwartz. In spring 2007 Doninger posted a blog entry criticizing the administration and encouraging students to email or call the school regarding the scheduling of Jamfest (a school event). She also referred to the administration as "douchebags." When the blog was discovered some weeks later by the Superintendent's 36 year old son, the administration banned Doninger from running for a class officer position. Doninger won by write-in, but the write-in votes were not recognized. Doninger lost a hearing for injunctive relief when district court Judge Mark Kravitz ruled that there was not a substantial likelihood that Doninger would win her case against the school and thus declined to grant the injunction.

On May 29, 2008, a US Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the administration had acted within the bounds of their authority. The court made the ruling not so much because of the "douchebags" comment, but because her encouragement of students to contact the administration could cause a "foreseeable risk of substantial disruption to the work and discipline of the school." She had said on her blog that students could contact the Superintendent "to piss her off more." The court stressed that their decision was not an endorsement of schools regulating off-campus speech. Thomas Gerarde, representing the school district, was quick to assert that "any speech that is likely to come to the attention of administrators on campus, even though it’s off campus, will be subject to discipline if it’s disruptive."

Doninger and her mother have said that they will attempt to bring the case to jury trial. She graduated on June 20, 2008.

On April 25, 2011, the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals (based out of NYC) "ruled 3-0 that school administrators did not violate “clearly established” First Amendment precedent." [4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lewis S. Mills - The Man, The School" (in English). Regional School District 10. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lewis S. Mills Mission Statement". Regional School District 10. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Lewis S. Mills Mission Statement". Regional School District 10. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.splc.org/news/newsflash.asp?id=2217

Coordinates: 41°46′48″N 72°59′15″W / 41.7801°N 72.9876°W / 41.7801; -72.9876