Alexandra Villarreal, Greenwich Time

Alexandra Villarreal

Greenwich Time

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Past articles by Alexandra:

Pilot program introduces Greenwich kids to the creative process

GREENWICH - The children went to work. They huddled together to examine their tools - water bottles, seashells, ocean-blue paper. And then they dispersed. Some stayed near the pile, devising master plans. Others strayed from the pack. They had ideas of their own, for smaller, more intimate creations. Within seconds, they were cutting into plastic, arranging seashells on a table or pulling bright… → Read More

Greenwich native brings space to Earth

GREENWICH - "What do you see? Out there in the dark." Turbulent reds and purples flood into sight, exposing the universe's entrails in all their vacuous mystery. In the vast, open space, the eye focuses on something tangible: An orange mass, small yet teeming with energy. The voice returns, this time with an order: Reach for this burning brightness in the void. But her words are hardly… → Read More

School board sets last day of school, GHS graduation

GREENWICH - Board of Education members voted unanimously to accept a motion to set a date for the last day of school, as well as Greenwich High School's graduation, for the 2017-18 academic year. The last day of school for all students except those at Old Greenwich School and in sixth grade will be June 21. OGS students will have their last day on June 22. Because sixth graders started the… → Read More

Greenwich church members heading to NYC march

GREENWICH - At 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, members of a Greenwich church will board a train to Grand Central Terminal. One of their seatmates will be a banner in black, white and red, with teenage bodies made of fine print filling what was once negative space. The banner's words come together to form people - or corpses - depending on the interpretation. They are the names of those who have been… → Read More

Greenwich Academy gets wild with new photo exhibit

GREENWICH - "To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle." These words belong to author and activist Terry Tempest Williams. Today, they hang along a wall at Greenwich Academy, beside portraits of the wild things that haunt our world. A great egret bends its neck to form an upside down droplet, and the tableau's otherwise pitch black background underscores each boldly white barb of a… → Read More

Greenwich schools closed for state’s fourth nor’easter this month

GREENWICH - Ahead of the state's fourth nor'easter in a month, all Greenwich Public Schools have announced they will be closed Wednesday, March 21. The winter storm is expected to slam parts of Connecticut with over a foot of snow on Wednesday, and may cause power outages as well as tree damage. Over the past few weeks, thousands of Greenwich residents have gone without power after recent… → Read More

Harlem Quartet brings a musical buffet to Greenwich

GREENWICH - It's called surf and turf. Jazz standards splice through Beethoven so that a first movement becomes "Take the A Train," which in turn becomes a second movement. As jazz and classical mix and mingle, each musical language is elevated by the other. A classical obsession for excellence infiltrates soft American melodies, and jazz's improvisational spirit influences the delivery of an… → Read More

GHS holds ‘unity rally’ for school safety

GREENWICH - As teens at Greenwich High School filed into the student center Wednesday morning for a "unity rally" for school safety, Christopher McDonnell stood out in the cold. He was one of three students who left the building for 17 minutes - representative of the 17 people killed in the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. McDonnell indicated he chose not to join the GHS event in part… → Read More

Greenwich public schools block media from walkout

Across the country, students are preparing for a school walkout on March 14, when they will stand in solidarity with mass shooting victims in Parkland, Florida, and publicly voice their opinions on gun violence. But as kids at Greenwich High School gear up to do the same, Greenwich public school administrators have said their event will not be public. Citing "school security," administrators… → Read More

Mozart gets mysterious in choral concert in Greenwich

GREENWICH - Even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had parents to please. The composer wrote Great Mass in C Minor for a debut in his hometown, where his father Leopold hoped he would return and make music for the church. But Mozart's heartstrings pulled him elsewhere - to opera, to symphony - and so the Great Mass became somewhat of a swan song as he bade farewell to sacred music until his life's… → Read More

Familiar face takes the baton with Young Artists Philharmonic in Greenwich

GREENWICH - The room is mostly brown, with elegant stained glass lining the windows. Scattered haphazardly across the floor are chairs, music stands and instrument cases. Some of the chairs are filled, and near the back of a whole pack of people, a silver sneaker laced in turquoise taps the cinnamon rug, keeping time. Tara Simoncic watches over this whole scene with care. The brasses need more… → Read More

New Lebanon students prep for a whirlwind of reading

GREENWICH - A powerful nor'easter that blew through town Wednesday meant a slew of snow days for Greenwich kids. On their first afternoon back Friday, Peter Bernstein had a question for all of the students at an assembly at New Lebanon School. "Who was most excited about coming back to learn?" asked the Board of Education chairman. Most children might shy at the suggestion, shocked that an adult… → Read More

Greenwich public schools closed Thursday

GREENWICH - All Greenwich Public Schools are closed Thursday, and all afternoon and evening activities and events are canceled due to the snowstorm. The school district had previously announced "at least a two-hour delay," but canceled all classes by early Thursday morning. The snowstorm continued to escalate in Greenwich early Wednesday evening, and police are calling the snow "deep, slick and… → Read More

Greenwich schools closed ahead of storm

Greenwich Public Schools will be closed March 7 as a potential nor'easter threatens to slam the tri-state area with snow. Spokespeople from Sacred Heart Greenwich, Whitby School, Greenwich Academy and Brunswick School have also confirmed that the private schools will close Wednesday. Weather experts are predicting 10 to 15 inches of snow in southern Connecticut on March 7, and a winter storm… → Read More

Focus on French Cinema festival sure to focus on women

GREENWICH - Last November, four prominent women paid homage to French filmmaker Agnès Varda at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards. After Angelina Jolie extolled Varda as a pioneer in film, the French icon claimed the mic for herself. In front of an audience of admirers, she smiled humbly, gratefully. But beneath her happiness lay a touch of surprise. "Are there no… → Read More

Speakers talk Muslims in America at GHS

GREENWICH - Last week, Sheyda Ardalan-Clarke walked students through the Five Pillars of Islam. The laws that govern her religion are simple: Believe in one god; pray five times a day; give to charity; fast during the month of Ramadan; and take pilgrimage to Mecca. But even with such clear-cut instructions, Ardalan-Clarke admitted she had lapsed. She does not particularly believe in a divine… → Read More

Greenwich teens organize walkout

On Feb. 14, Greg Goldstein was sitting on a beach in the Dominican Republic when a news alert popped up on his cell. In this day and age, news alerts usually mean another presidential tweet or sports statistic. But this was not one of those. It was a flag about a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 victims fell prey to Nikolas Cruz and his AR-15. In a classroom down… → Read More

Irish dancers kick up their heels at Greenwich High for diversity week

GREENWICH - In bright reds, greens, blues and purples, six Irish dancers shuffled across the stage at Greenwich High School's Performing Arts Center. Their feet cut underneath them like pendula, shifting their balance from one metatarsal to the other. As they swung their legs more than perpendicular to the floor, the limbs seemed detached from the rest of their bodies, like ventriloquist dolls… → Read More

Opera comes to GHS for diversity week

GREENWICH - Grins and laughter filled Greenwich High School's Performing Arts Center as Sishel Claverie sashayed coquettishly up and down rows of students, who turned in their seats to follow her every movement. Through her acting, Claverie flirted a little with her viewers, but her over-the-top persona proved playful in the face of a teenage audience. If her character was a bit outlandish, her… → Read More

Expert talks trafficking at GHS

Krishna Patel asked an auditorium filled with high school students to raise their hands at a series of questions: How many of them knew what trafficking was? That it happened in the United States? In Connecticut? In Greenwich? The polling started out strong; palms shot through the air. But by the last question, numbers dwindled while a hushed shock settled over the room. As general counsel and… → Read More