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Disclosure: Waylandenews Executive Director Kim Reichelt is a member of the Wayland School Committee
Non-Profit Spotlight:
Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable

Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization of men and women incorporated in 1999. The goal of the Roundtable is to raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence through community education and networking and to improve the coordination between public and private services for victims and families touched by domestic violence.

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Waltham Police Officer Charlie Gryska Passes Away

Waltham Patch 12/7/19: Waltham Police Officer Charlie Gryska Passes Away. A Waltham Police officer [and Wayland resident] diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year passed away Friday, the police department confirmed. He was the father of three young children.

Wayland-based Parmenter Foundation awards $278K to nonprofits

Wayland Town Crier 12/4/19: Wayland-based Parmenter Foundation awards $278K to nonprofits. The Wayland-based Parmenter Foundation ( awarded $278,000 in grants to five nonprofit organizations serving the MetroWest community.

Lew Russell, May 1, 1931 – Nov 29, 2019

Lewis Russell, passed away November 29, 2019 at the age of 88 surrounded by his family. Together they sang his favorite songs – Kumbaya, Edelweiss and Amazing Grace, shared their memories and notes from Russell’s employees and said their goodbyes. He heard them all, then passed away peacefully.

Lewis was born and raised on the land where he lived and worked, forging his ground in the rich soil of the Sudbury River region of Wayland. He dedicated his life to growing plants and expanding Russell’s Garden Center, a business his grandfather started in 1876. Lewis grew Russell’s from a wholesale plant business into the retail store that we know and love today, serving the community. He was a proud Harvard graduate who attended all the football games and reunions. He loved the Red Sox and Patriots and enjoyed singing and chanting impromptu rhymes about the cow he grew up with on the farm and his beloved Brown Bear. When he passed at Emerson Hospital, he had his World Series blanket and stuffed animal Bear.

Lew proudly served his country during the Korean Conflict as an SP3 with the United States Army. He was an active member of the Wayland Community and was a regular participant at Town Meeting. He served the Town of Wayland in several capacities over the years including Board of Road Commissioners (1975), CNA/ Raytheon Committee (1997-1998), Town Center Committee (2000-2002), Measurer of Wood and Bark (2003 – 2011), MBTA Advisory Board Alternate member (1988 – 1990) and member of the Board of Selectmen (1982 – 1991).
Lew leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Charlotte (Bergmann) Russell of Wayland who he loved dearly. He was the father of three cherished daughters and their attentive husbands; Karen Vachon and her husband Peter Vachon, Elizabeth Russell-Skehan and her husband Timothy Skehan and Louisa Gorrill and her husband Steve Gorrill. He also leaves his treasured grandchildren; Dan. Jay, Genna. Sam, Robert, Carly and her fiance Tom, Allie and Thomas. His entire family has been inspired by his unique, free personality.

A Celebration of the Life of Lewis Russell will be held at First Parish in Wayland, 225 Boston Post Road, Wayland Center on Monday, March 30, 2020 at 4pm.

Lewis Russell was no stranger to making donations to our community and beyond, so if you would like to make a donation in memory of Lew, feel free to donate to either Sudbury Valley Trustees, 18 Wolbach Road, Sudbury, MA 01776 ( or First Parish in Wayland, PO BOX 397, Wayland, MA 01778 (

Arrangements entrusted to the care of the John C. Bryant Funeral Home of Wayland. For condolences please visit

Wayland ESL Program Potluck Dinner a Rousing Success

About thirty tutors and learners of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) enjoyed a bounteous potluck dinner at First Parish Church in Wayland on Nov 14, 2019, with a wide variety of foods representing cultures from all around the world.

It was a super-successful event!  Everyone seemed to enjoy everything about it.  The space was great, already with tables set up, so some early arrivers pitched in to set up chairs.  With tablecloths provided by a member of the steering committee, we quickly made all the tables ready and attractive. One of the church tables was too heavy for us to move out of the middle, so we put a red tablecloth on it and used it for desserts.  An extra table at one side held drinks, cold and hot.  A small table at the other side was just right for nametags.  Virginia Steel (Ginny), director of the Wayland ESL Program, put welcoming signs on the two doors that led from the parking areas.

People arrived promptly and brought food galore.  We were blessed with an abundance of brownies and pies, reflecting no doubt people’s favorite desserts. We also had a tremendous variety of main course dishes, hors d’oeuvres and salads.

Mostly learners sat with their tutors, finding comfort in the familiar, but conversations ran up and down the tables.  Ginny had prepared a few questions for people to answer on index cards at each table to help break the ice and prompt significant exchanges.

One learner, who had come prepared to speak, thanked her tutor for her tutoring and for hosting a biweekly reading/conversation group. This learner also expressed appreciation for the program as a whole, citing our responsiveness when she first applied for a tutor.  After that, one by one, many of the other tutors and, eventually, almost every one of the learners, spoke, regardless of their ability to articulate their thoughts in English.  Several mentioned their surprise and pleasure in discovering that the tutors are “just ordinary people” who are volunteers (not on any government payroll).  We can be proud of our uniquely American habit of volunteering.  Tutors who spoke all told of learning as much as they are teaching.

One particularly touching moment was when a learner from Israel told how transformative it has been to have a tutor who comes from Lebanon.  She said that previously she, like other Lebanese, had viewed Israel “through a firewall.”

Ginny spoke briefly to thank all for coming and to recommend for all the book A Good Provider is One Who Leaves by Jason deParle, and for tutors, the book Learning One-to-One by Ingrid Wisniewska.

Many hands made light work in clearing tables, putting away tables and chairs, washing dishes, removing trash, leaving everything in order.  When Ginny asked if we should plan on having another event like this, the response was an enthusiastic YES!

We are so happy to have brought so many tutors and learners together and will certainly host other such events. Thanks to all who planned and attended the event and to all who brought supplies and foods, including First Parish Church for providing a welcoming space.

Submitted by: Elizabeth Levy, Jane Albert, Virginia Steel
co-directors, Wayland ESL program

New Film Explores Legacy Of Boston’s Cocoanut Grove Fire 77 Years Later

WBUR 11/28/19: Wayland native’s new film explores legacy of Boston’s Cocoanut Grove fire. Even though Boston’s Cocoanut Grove fire happened long before she was born, Michele Shapiro learned all about the disaster when she was a girl. Her grandfather, Frank Shapiro, was at a nearby theater with his wife the night of Nov. 28, 1942, when a blaze tore through the swanky Cocoanut Grove nightclub, killing 492 people. The young lawyer helped with the rescue efforts and later represented the survivors and the estates of the victims.

37 Wayland students selected for 2020 Eastern District Senior Festival

Of the 1000 students in our Eastern MA district who auditioned for the Senior Festival today, a record 37 Wayland High School students have been selected for the prestigious 2020 Eastern District Senior Festival.  They will participate in the event on January 10-11, 2020 at Boston Latin School.  Those with an asterisk scored within the top 50% of their section and have earned a recommendation to audition for the Massachusetts All-State Festival.

Name Instrument / Voice Part Accepted Ensemble
Crawford, Jacob* Trumpet Band
Dunkelburg, Joseph Tuba Band
Harding, Theodore Euphonium Band
Simmons, Jakob* Bass Clarinet Band
Tobe, Lillianna* Snare Drum Band
Goode, Simon Bass Chorus
Lathan, David* Tenor Chorus
Murphy, Declan Bass Chorus
Salama, Matias Tenor Chorus
Veal, Harrison* Tenor Chorus
Alvarado, Lucas* Trombone Jazz
Chau, Megan* Violin Orchestra
Chen, Dora Viola Orchestra
Fidlin, Simon Viola Orchestra
Foreman, Darcy Viola Orchestra
Hwang, Abra Cello Orchestra
Kelemanik, McKenna* Tuba Orchestra
Lei, Nina Viola Orchestra
Li, Mingle* Mallets Orchestra
Liu, Angela* Violin Orchestra
Liu, Michael* Cello Orchestra
Mao, Justin Violin Orchestra
Martin, Amelie* Violin Orchestra
Moretz, Aidan* String Bass Orchestra
Murphy, Cecelia* Oboe Orchestra
Rader, Connor* String Bass Orchestra
Urato, Ryan* Violin Orchestra
Whitehouse, Walker* Cello Orchestra
Yan, Angela* Violin Orchestra
Yemin, Adrian* Viola Orchestra
Yu, Lily Violin Orchestra
Zhang, Casey* Flute Orchestra
Zhang, Joshua* Trombone Orchestra
Zhong, Elizabeth Violin Orchestra
Zhu, Ashley Violin Orchestra
de los Reyes, Gabriel* String Bass Orchestra
de los Reyes, Samuel* Cello Orchestra

Debate team qualifies to gold division of National Tournament

Wayland Student Press 11/17/19: Debate team qualifies to gold division of National Tournament. In schools across the world, debate teams are valued for training students in public speaking, critical thinking and exemplifying grace under pressure. At WHS, junior debate partners Atharva Weling and Randy Wang qualified for the Tournament of Champions with two gold bids, while junior captain Sam Goldstone and junior novice coach Aiden Zhang have acquired a bid to the silver division.