After 34 Years, A Hard Goodbye for the Nonnewaug Community


Lauralee Pelletier, General Assignment Reporter

WOODBURY — Nonnewaug must make a hard goodbye at the closing of the school year to retiring agriscience teacher George Lyman, who has been with the Ellis Clark Regional Agriscience program for the past 34 years.

Lyman has devoted his teaching abilities to Nonnewaug High School since 1987. Interestingly, Nonnewaug was his first and only teaching job. 

“When I first started out teaching at Nonnewaug it was pretty difficult because I was so young and inexperienced, but as time went on, I got more comfortable and it became easier. I really loved (and still do love) teaching kids about interesting topics. It makes the time fly by because of how much fun it is,” Lyman said.

Lyman is a fixture in the NHS agriscience department, where he developed and has taught the Natural Resource Management class for decades. According to a statement by Region 14: “This extensive curriculum teaches students to conserve, protect and sustainably harvest numerous natural resources. It focuses on forestry, wildlife management, stream and water quality, soil sustainability, and harvesting of native products. Over the last few decades Mr. Lyman has grown this program to include a portable sawmill, chainsaw training, honey beehives, a maple syrup evaporator, a taxidermy collection and much more.”

Lyman is a prime example that doing what you love for a living is always possible if you are willing to work hard for it, and he has had no shortage of hardwork in his journey to becoming an educator. 

After graduating from an agricultural high school where he discovered his passions for the industry, he attended a two-year program at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It was there that he earned an associate’s degree in Urban Forestry and Park Management.

He continued at UMass to earn a Bachelor’s Degree, with a minor in Education. Later, he moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut and studied at Southern Connecticut State University. All of this effort went into pursuing a career that he was proud of, and it all paid off.

Hard work is not provoked without inspiration. For Lyman, his inspiration was high school.

“High school was really boring and uninteresting for me; I really didn’t like it at all,” Lyman said. “But I thought that instead of complaining about it, I should pursue a career in education to make my class more enjoyable and interesting for students who are like me, and hopefully make them just as passionate about agriculture as I am.” 

Lyman’s fun-loving and passionate attitude toward what he teaches has gained him respect and fondness from many students. 

“I really like Mr. Lyman and his class; it’s always really interesting and engaging. Whenever I go to school, his [class] is the only class that I look forward to going to,” said David Albert, a senior at Nonnewaug who has had Mr. Lyman as a teacher for four years. “I also really admire his knowledge in his field and his service in the military.” 

Another senior at NHS, Grayson Van Wagner, also spoke about his admiration for Lyman.

“Something I truly admire about Mr. Lyman is his honesty; he will always give his students the unfiltered truth,” he said. 

With so many years teaching and so many adoring students, there’s bound to be some memorable moments. A common fond memory among most of his students is when Lyman took them to Frankie’s after their agriculture competition. 

For Lyman, however, there are too many memorable moments to choose from.

“After 34 years at Nonnewaug, there have been so many great times,” he said.  “I have met so many amazing people, some really talented and interesting students and workers from the industries I teach about. … One of my favorite parts about my job is getting to meet new people and get more diverse perspectives about what I teach.”

Lyman’s passion for teaching and the industries he teaches about, along with a truly special bond with all of his students, will make for a difficult goodbye this June. He is leaving behind quite a legacy at Nonnewaug High School and will not be forgotten.

Editor’s Note: The NHS Chief Advocate staff thanks Mr. Lyman for his many years of dedicated service to the students, staff, and community. We wish Mr. Lyman well in the future!