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West Hartford Was Cookin’ Saturday Night

Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore with Asst. Superintendent and Honorary Event Chair Nancy DePalma. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The annual West Hartford’s Cookin’, held April 2 at the West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium, was a great success.

Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore with Asst. Superintendent and Honorary Event Chair Nancy DePalma. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore with Asst. Superintendent and Honorary Event Chair Nancy DePalma. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

A record number of celebrity chefs were dishing out samples of their favorite dishes Saturday night to more than 300 guests at the annual West Hartford’s Cookin’ fundraiser for the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools.

Forty celebrities – aka leaders from West Hartford’s education, government, and business communities – dished out lasagna, potato pancakes, meatballs, salads, Reuben sandwiches, and desserts galore to parents and other supporters of the organization that since 1997 has funded more than $1.3 million in teacher mini-grants and in-residence programs and provided support to pilot programs like full-day public preschool.

Hall Principal Dan Zittoun and Conard Principal Julio Duarte reaffirmed their spirit of collaboration with a coordinated offering of pulled pork sliders (Zittoun) and broccoli salad (Duarte). Last year the two combined for a spaghetti and meatball dish.

Dr. Nancy DePalma, who will retire as assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment at the end of the academic year, was a celebrity chef as well as honorary chair of the event.

DePalma encouraged support from every school in the district – and there was 100 percent participation in this year’s event.

Fundraising results were not yet available by Sunday evening, but organizers said the event was a resounding success.

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Dir. of Community Services Mark McGovern and Town Council member Leon Davidoff. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dir. of Community Services Mark McGovern and Town Council member Leon Davidoff. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard Principal Julio Duarte (left) and Hall Principal Dan Zittoun. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Conard Principal Julio Duarte (left) and Hall Principal Dan Zittoun. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dir. of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco and Terry Schmitt. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dir. of Human and Leisure Services Helen Rubino-Turco and Terry Schmitt. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

State Sen. Beth Bye. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

State Sen. Beth Bye. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Board of Ed. member Dave Pauluk with Town Council members Chris Barnes and Chris Williams. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Board of Ed. member Dave Pauluk with Town Council members Chris Barnes and Chris Williams. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Director of Summer and Continuing Education and Diversity Roszena Haskins. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Director of Summer and Continuing Education and Diversity Roszena Haskins. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Ben Wenograd with Board of Ed. Chair Mark Overmyer-Velazquez. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Ben Wenograd with Board of Ed. Chair Mark Overmyer-Velazquez. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Board of Ed. member Carol Blanks with Clare Kindall. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Board of Ed. member Carol Blanks with Clare Kindall. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mike and Lisa Mahoney. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Mike and Lisa Mahoney. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Martin Woods serves wine to guests at West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Martin Woods serves wine to guests at West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Parent 'alumni' Susan Schoenberger (left) and Joan Green. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Parent ‘alumni’ Susan Schoenberger (left) and Joan Green. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Harry Captain and State Sen. Brian Becker. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Harry Captain and State Sen. Brian Becker. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Abigail Albair of the West Hartford Press. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Abigail Albair of the West Hartford Press. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Charter Oak International Academy Principal Juan Melian. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Charter Oak International Academy Principal Juan Melian. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

King Philip Principal Joy Wright and Bristow Principal Steven Cook. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

King Philip Principal Joy Wright and Bristow Principal Steven Cook. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Beth Kerrigan. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Council member Beth Kerrigan. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Jessica and John Lyons. John served as emcee of West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Jessica and John Lyons. John served as emcee of West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Mary Ellen Flege, Dodie Mendel, Joan Karas, Linda Geisler. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Mary Ellen Flege, Dodie Mendel, Joan Karas, Linda Geisler. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Board of Ed. member Jay Sarzen, Amy Sarzen, Val Sorensen, Mike Sorensen. West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Board of Ed. member Jay Sarzen, Amy Sarzen, Val Sorensen, Mike Sorensen. West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford's Cookin', April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Cookin’, April 2, 2016. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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