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Friends & Neighbors: Twenty-five graduate from inaugural Docent Academy

On May 12, more than two dozen residents from throughout the region graduated from the inaugural Thames River Heritage Park Docent Academy – a 10-week training program for current and prospective volunteer docents.

Program graduates noted below include engineers, hospital and university administrators, attorneys, insurance executives, educators and history buffs who come from the park’s hometowns of the City of New London, City of Groton and Town of Groton and include one couple who summers in Niantic.

The following is a list of the graduates:

East Lyme

Mary Farrell

Linda Hase

Patricia Lord

Philip Lord

Paul Warms


William Havens

Freya Phelps


Charlotte LeVasseur


Harry Payne

New London

Caroline Driscoll

Linda Mariani

Barbara Nawrocki

Marilyn Richardson

Marian Sanko

North Franklin

Shirley Sholes


JoAnn Bromley

Pepi Kahn

Kimberly McLean

Carol Scandariato

Kenneth Scandariato


Chris Allan

Joann Hodge

“Every week someone shares how much they are enjoying the program and how it has enriched their lives. I am blown away by both their enthusiasm for the program and their interest in volunteering at one of the sites,” said Catherine Foley, executive director in a release.

Based on the program’s success, Thames River Heritage Park Foundation has been invited by the Connecticut League of History Organizations to present a session on how it envisioned, created and implemented the 10-week, multi-site training program for prospective docents to support heritage sites at its annual conference on June 6.

Heritage sites included in the program were  Avery-Copp House Museum, Bill Memorial Library, Ebenezer Avery House, Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Fort Trumbull State Park, Garde Arts Center, Hempsted Houses, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Monte Cristo Cottage, Nathan Hale School House, Old Town Mill, New London Black Heritage Trail, Shaw Mansion/New London County Historical Society and the Submarine Force Library and Museum / USS Nautilus. Connecticut Humanities funded the program.

For more information go to or contact Catherine Foley at

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