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“I feel very connected to Watkinson.”

Have a great story to share? Contact Alumni Relations Director Kristen Gordon.


Charlie Margolis ’65

Poet Laureate Emeritus of South Windsor, CT

An artist, author, poet and teacher, Charlie “Chip” Margolis ’65 is Poet Laureate Emeritus of South Windsor, CT, and a founding member of the Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate. 

Charlie grew up in Hartford and confesses, “Early on, I didn’t do well in school.”  After one year at Weaver High School, he came to Watkinson, “It was a school that made a strong impression on its students.” He remembers his teachers fondly, especially Bill Edwards, Art Shippee, and Will Riggan. “They were all recent college grads who were kind to the boys. I remember in English class, we read John Knowles’ A Separate Peace; I read it six times because I loved it so much.”

He says, “Even though I had to finish my senior year at Weaver, I feel very connected to Watkinson; I served on the Board of Trustees and taught parenting classes here in the 80s.” 

After high school, Charlie went to Paier College where he studied art and then attended the University of Hartford earning both his bachelors and masters. For 35 years, Charlie taught art in the Newington School system.

Charlie was the Poet Laureate of South Windsor from 2009-2023, recently retiring to become emeritus. During his tenure he guided the publication of South Windsor Voices I and II, community anthologies which include poems and stories from residents; and facilitated Coming Out of COVID: A Celebration of Poetry, Prose, and Community, a book of poems and stories that explore the COVID epidemic. The collection includes work from Poet Laureates and residents from Manchester, South Windsor, and Vernon. 

His writing credits also include his most recent book, Notes from the Left Hand, 52 Living Lessons, which is a collection of vignettes, each teaching a life lesson. His poetry book, Class Dismissed, A Teacher Says Goodbye chronicles his 35th and final year as a high school art teacher, Did I Really Say That? The Complete Pageant Interview Guide was written as a guide for pageant contestants. And his book, PS Poetry & Short Stories, is a memoir dedicated to his late brother, David. 

These days, Charlie spends time as an interview specialist who coaches political candidates, public speakers, job applicants, and most especially pageant contestants, including Mrs. America. In fact, he was briefly on an episode of a BRAVO reality show.

Charlie is the epitome of everBLUE and we are proud to have him as part of the Watkinson community. 

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