New sign honors late MUHS teacher, coach
MIDDLEBURY — A new electronic sign at Middlebury Union High School honors the memory of highly respected and well liked former MUHS physics teacher and longtime Tiger football program assistant coach Carl Ciemniewski.
Ciemniewski died suddenly in 2014 at the age of 55 while attending an MUHS boys’ lacrosse game at Middlebury College’s Youngman Field.
Friends of Middlebury Football immediately sought ways to honor him. Friends member and former football and teaching colleague Peter Brakeley said the group soon settled on an electronic sign, but it took time to raise funds and settle on a location.
Such signs don’t come cheap: Including installation and wiring, Friends of Middlebury Football raised $20,000 to fund the effort. Brakeley said Ciemniewski’s family asked that donations in his member be made to the organization, and added that those donations essentially went directly to the sign.
The sign, erected in the circle in front of the school last week, will announce upcoming school events, and Brakeley noted other local high schools already feature them. The MUHS sign on this Tuesday alternated between a message remembering Ciemniewski and a notice of an upcoming school play.
A plaque attached to the sign tells Ciemniewski’s story:
“Carl grew up on a dairy farm in Bridport. He attended MUHS where he played football and baseball.
He graduated in the class of 1977 and went on to attend UVM where he earned a degree in science education.
While attending UVM, Carl began his football coaching career at MUHS by helping with the JV and freshman teams.
Following college graduation he was hired at MUHS as a physics teacher and football coach. It was in this role that Carl’s talents shined.
He became an outstanding teacher and an outstanding coach.
As a coach, Carl led the Tiger Football offense to two state championships, 1993 and 1995.
As a teacher he was honored as the MUHS Teacher of the Year in 2006.
Carl was active and supportive of many of the activities at school.
Among these were band, chorus, theatre, all sports and ‘Project Graduation’ where he managed the casino.
Perhaps Carl’s greatest quality was the kindness he showed to all: students, colleagues, family and friends.
It is with great admiration and respect we dedicate this electronic sign to Carl L. Ciemniewski.”
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