Roundup: Luke Rosenberg, Hiro Wyatt, Rebecca Schussheim …

Staples High School choral director Luke Rosenberg is leaving Westport.

The much-admired, multi-talented musician has taken a position at Greenwich High School.

He told “06880”: “I am incredibly thankful to Westport for the last 11 years. Shortly before I was hired at Staples, I thought my career as a choral director was over.

“But Westport took a chance on a young teacher, and I was able to continue doing what I love. I will forever be thankful for all that Westport has given me.”

Luke Rosenberg, at the 2019 Pops Concert.


Hiro is a hero.

Hiro Wyatt — one of the stars of Staples High School’s baseball team — has been named Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year.

The honor recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. Wyatt is now a candidate for National Gatorade Player of the Year.

The 6-1, 190-pound senior right-handed pitcher and designated hitter posted a 7-0 record with a 0.67 ERA and 90 strikeouts (and just 10 walks) in 41.2 innings pitched. He allowed no runs in 31.1 innings leading into the state “LL” (extra large schools) state tournament.

The Wreckers — seeded 3rd in the state tournament — host #6 South Windsor in today’s quarterfinals (1 p.m.).

Perfect Game’s Number 1 state prospect in the Class of 2023 also hit .359 with 3  home runs, 15 RBI, 18 runs scored and a 1.025 OPS through 20 games.

Wyatt has volunteered with Special Olympics and helped fundraise for the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

He has a 3.63 weighted GPA in the classroom. He has signed a mational letter of intent to play on scholarship at the University of Southern California this fall.

Previous Gatorade Athlete of the Year honorees include Chad Knight (2019) and Ben Casparius (2017) in baseball, and Kyle Martino (national winner) in soccer, in 1999. (Hat tip: Vince Kelly)

Hiro Wyatt.


Still at Staples:

Rebecca Schussheim was honored last week, as winner of the Key. It is the high school’s highest honor.

The Class of 2023 salutatorian is co-president of Staples’ Sikorsky STEM challenge team, principal cellist in the Chamber Symphonic Orchestra, and co-captain of the squash team.

She did an Independent Learning Experience in astrophysics, examining galaxy images with a Yale University graduate student. She presented her findings at the International Science Youth Forum in Singapore in January.

The 2 other finalists for the award were musician/actor/youth volunteer James Dobin-Smith, and political activist/club founder Spencer Yim.

Rebecca Schussheim


And we haven’t left Staples yet:

The jazz combo plays an hour-long set this Monday (June 5, 7 p.m., Westport Library). The event is sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.

Band director Phil Giampietro will talk about the Staples jazz program, and answer questions.

The Staples High School Jazz Ensemble, with director Phil Giampietro (front right).


Speaking of the Y’s Men: If it seems like they’re everywhere, it’s because they are.

Molly Alger joined several members of the very active social group yesterday, on an in-town hike near Winslow Park. She photographed them crossing the bridge over Deadman Brook, by Evergreen Cemetery.

Very wisely for walking in Westport, they wore very visible bright colors.

From left: Jay Dirnberger, Peter Donovan, Baxter Urist, Joel Wasserman, Dick Sallick, Larry Lich. (Photo/Molly Alger)


Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas headed to New Haven on Thursday.

He joined a small group of Connecticut Police Chiefs who met Attorney General Merrick Garland and Connecticut US Attorney Vanessa Avery. The discussion included crime trends, fentanyl deaths, addressing juvenile offenders and resources at the federal level.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland (front row, 3rd from left), Connecticut US Attorney Vanessa Avery (front row, 4th from left) and Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (back row, far right).


Speaking of law enforcement:

The man accused of illegally squatting at Cobb’s Mill Inn is in jail, on an unrelated charge.

Connecticut Insider reports that Anthony Villano was ordered locked up by a judge in Milford Superior court, for violating conditions of release for not fully complying with random drug tests. He also allegedly removed his GPS anklet.

Eight charges against Villano include drunken driving, trying to fraudulently sell a Post Road property, and stealing a vehicle he once owned from the Milford Police Department impound lot.

Click here for the full story.

Cobb’s Mill Inn.


Westport’s newest landmark — the Pride crosswalk at Taylor Place and Jesup Road — has drawn raves since it was installed early Thursday morning.

Here’s how it looks from a drone:

(Drone photo/Brandon Malin)

Westporters can see it from ground level tomorrow (Sunday, June 4, noon to 4 p.m.). The 3rd annual Pride festival at Jesup Green includes music, speakers, kids’ activities and more. The public is invited, and welcome.


The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics made its way through Westport yesterday afternoon.

Police officers from several towns took part, before the opening of the Special Olympics Connecticut Summer Games. The “Flame of Hope” was passed along at each town line in the area.

The run ended at Fairfield University, where the Summer Games opening ceremony will take place.

Special Olympics Torch Run on the Post Road, at the Sherwood Island Connector. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The Westport Book Shop’s June Artist of the Month is Sally VanDevanter Her colorful abstract and figurative acrylic and oil paintings, done with cold wax, are on display throughout June.

VanDevanter has a background in advertising, working as an art director at Saatchi & Saatchi, and in art book production management for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

She studied at the Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts in New York, and the Cocoran School of Art in Washington.  She holds an MA in organizational psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a BA in art history and psychology from the University of Virginia. 

All pieces on display are available for purchase.

Sally VanDevanter


Peonies and daisies decorate Tracy Porosoff’s driveway on Compo Parkway.

Today’s forecast is for much cooler and cloudier weather than yesterday. Her “Westport … Naturally” image brightens our weekend considerably.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


And finally … Cynthia Weil died Thursday in Beverly Hills, She was 82.

With her writing partner and husband, Barry Mann, she wrote some of the most memorable songs of the rock and pop era. One — the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin'” — was cited by BMI as the most played song on radio and television of the 20th century,

Click here for a full obituary. Click below for a few of her songwriting classics.

(From Staples High School to downtown — and everywhere else in Westport and Weston — “06880” has you covered. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

8 responses to “Roundup: Luke Rosenberg, Hiro Wyatt, Rebecca Schussheim …

  1. John McCarthy

    Ben Casparius, class of 2017, was also named Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year. Ben was recently promoted to the Double A team in the Dodger’s organization.

  2. John McCarthy

    As a former Orphenian, I wish Luke Rosenberg well and thank him for the many great things he has accomplished. Seeing the Orphenians sing a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium was a higlight. But Greenwich? That’s like Aaron Judge signing with the Red Sox.

    • John Karrel

      well . . . actually . . . proximity to NYC perhaps?
      He is one talented young man.

  3. How did Staples manage to lose Luke Rosenberg?

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Westport, apparently is no longer a destination now only a stopover for top choral music educators. Ohanian, Weigle, Hanulik and last but certainly not least, the legendary Ernestine White who was very shrewdly positioned to provide the feedstock that kept the three men at Staples so productive.

  5. Todd Freeman

    Another wide-ranging and informative 06880 update. And thanks Dan for the often enlightening musical treats at the end of many of your posts. Those are some impressive hits that Cynthia Weil and her husband wrote!

  6. Fred Cantot

    Re “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” (which, if you grew up in that era, you most likely recognized immediately what a great song it was in terms of both its music and lyrics): roughly 20 years ago Debbie and I saw Weil and Mann perform in a show about their lives at an Upper West Side theater. It was very enjoyable. In any case, my recollection is that Barry Mann said that there was a very different verse that was supposed to be sung in the second half of the song—that Eric Burdon was not supposed to repeat the lines that started with “Now my girl you’re so young and pretty” (and that Barry was planning to release that full version with himself as the singer until the Animals released their version first and it became a monster hit). I’m still curious to see those original lyrics; perhaps they would have made the song even more memorable if possible.