LOOKING BACK AT 2013 (Part 3): A tree and a parental push

A special Shelton tree

For more than two decades, the Vargoshe family had admired the Norway spruce on their front lawn. Beginning in December of this year, millions of people were able to join them.

That’s because the 76-foot-tall evergreen was selected as the 2013 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

In early November, the tree was cut down and taken by special truck to Manhattan to be trimmed and decorated.

On Dec. 4, the spruce took center stage in Rockefeller Center. It had been covered with 45,000 multicolored LED bulbs and topped by a large crystal star.

“It looked phenomenal,” Louise Vargoshe said after the nationally-televised lighting ceremony. “I actually was crying when it was lit.”

Full-day kindergarten push

More parents began to ask the city to start a full-day kindergarten program. Shelton now offers half-day kindergarten.

The Board of Education established an ad hoc committee to look into such a program, and is likely to include some form of full-day K in its budget request for the next fiscal year.

Proponents said full-day K lowers remedial education costs, noting Shelton is one of only a few towns in southwestern Connecticut without it.

Cost, of course, is an issue. The program could require $1 million districtwide in the first year, with future annual operating costs being about two-thirds of that amount.

Proponents now are lobbying the mayor and aldermen for their support.