The following information was provided by the Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee:
The Tolland 300th Anniversary Committee and the Tolland Historical Society today unveiled the winning slogan – “The Settlers Still Rock” – in a contest of Tolland students who were asked in the spring to invent a catchy phrase that can be featured throughout the anniversary celebration in 2015.
The author of the winning slogan is Carolyn Sireci, a June graduate of Tolland High School who is now a freshman at Boston University. Her slogan was selected from more than 60 entries from Tolland third to 12th graders. She and runners-up in the contest were honored this morning when the slogan was unveiled at the Celebrate Tolland festival at Tolland High.
Sireci entered the contest along with several of her classmates in Tim Parzych’s Civics class at the high school in June. The contest was conducted with the help of Tolland’s Superintendent of Schools William Guzman, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kathryn L. Eidson and Social Studies Coordinator Ian Polun.
Celeste Senechal, chairwoman of the committee, said Sireci’s slogan was selected because it will elicit civic pride, speaks to Tolland’s spirit and celebrates a legend from Tolland’s history, when early settlers were believed to have taken shelter under a large rock on Gehring Road in 1713.
“We were thrilled with Carolyn’s slogan because it evokes our past while also honoring the spirit of residents of Tolland today,’’ Senechal said.
Town historian Barbara Cook said the legend of Settlers Rock is described in Loren P. Waldo’s “The Early History of Tolland.”
In her entry form, Sireci wrote, “I chose this slogan to incorporate not only pride for the people who live here in Tolland, but also to include Settlers Rock….Even though that was 300 years ago, the townspeople of Tolland are still happy and proud to be living here, contributing to our local business ventures, attending our schools and helping make Tolland a wonderful place to reside.”
Sireci was also honored as the high school winner of the contest. Honorable mentions from the high school went to Cody Condry, Jeremy Rooke and Jenna Lovett.
Tommy Pudelkiewicz was the Tolland Middle School winner. Abbey Chmura received an honorable mention in the middle school contest.
Alyssa Carniero was honored as the Tolland Intermediate School winner while honorable mentions went to Evan Grocki and Matt Byam.
“The Settlers Still Rock!” will be featured on Tolland 300th anniversary merchandise, banners, stationery and signs as the committee and the Historical Society plan events that will be held from May 14, 2015 through Sept. 19 of that year. Events will include a Charter Day reception on May 14, publication of a new Tolland history book, the unveiling of a heritage trail, publication of a commemorative program, historic hikes, a parade and “Night of Lights” laser light show.
For more information on the anniversary and on ways to sponsor events or volunteer, visit www.tolland300.org or “like” Tolland 300th Anniversary on Facebook.