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Joe Pepin Day At ACE

Entrance+of+Joe+Pepin+Day+with+letters+of+the+best+things+about+ACE.+
Daniela Esposito
Entrance of Joe Pepin Day with letters of the best things about ACE.

On January 14, 2022, Joe Pepin passed, changing ACE’s history once again like he had done since 1977. Years and years of traditions in the school where kids went when they knew they needed a home a family or even a second chance started with one man, Joe. Pepin was a beloved teacher at Danbury High School who had worked there for 15 years. When he realized that not all the students fit into standard student life, he couldn’t just sit and watch their whole lives depend on this hard part of their lives so he changed it. He built the ACE program from the ground up and gave generations of students and families second chances and paths that were inaccessible without the motivation or love ACE gives.

Joe Pepin was known as “fun-loving and always joking like no other” by his coworkers before his retirement, like Glenda our beloved ACE teacher of 40 years and still going after knowing Pepin personally. Pepin was the first director who taught the expelled students of the DHS riots in 70s and from there the community grew and continues to grow.

On May 11th of every year, we honor Pepin’s life on a day called Joe Pepin Day. We do a barbecue play games like volleyball, cornhole, face painting, and rock painting for the kids. This year, 23 out of 90 students at Alternative Center for Excellence showed up without getting any pay or even a grade. They showed up at ACE on a Saturday afternoon out of the goodness of their hearts and to raise money for their school to later benefit them.

Ollie explained, “My cousin and grandpa came and while I was face painting ACE alumni and Joe’s children while talking to the other students face painting with me.” At ACE we value community and every event people come to shows they care, they care to change, and they care to love where and who they are.

People who loved and cared for Joe showing support to ACE.
Left: Rick Asselta – Middle: Sandy Atanasof – Right: Mike Chapman  (Daniela Esposito)

Rick Asselta and Mike Chapman, both retired teachers of ACE, spoke for Joe and his honor and donated money to ACE for the student activity account which funds the special opportunity ACE has like this one. John the new principal had some words to say if he could to Joe and his family – “I’m really thankful to him for creating something that I call my home 47 years later. And to anyone who knows Joe, we love and appreciate you and he will live forever through us for years and years to come.”

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Emily Reinoso
Emily Reinoso, Staff Writer
Emily Reinoso was born on June 2. She's in 10th grade. She says her favorite subject is math because she's really good at it. One thing you should know about Emily is her favorite color is pink. Emily also had a dog named Chai named after a Starbucks drink which is unique. Lastly, Emily's future goal is to become a successful businesswoman.
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