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The Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) is a two year induction program for
beginning teachers that includes mentorship and professional development. Beginning
teachers participating in the program are assigned a trained mentor to guide them
through developing individualized growth plans, uniquely based on their own needs as
Two Connecticut Teachers Receive Prestigious Awards for Teaching Excellence
May 13, 2019
Two educators from New London and Danbury were recognized before more than 400 of their Connecticut colleagues for receiving two prestigious awards honoring educator excellence. CEA President Jeff Leake made the announcement at the CEA Representative Assembly last weekend.
New London teacher Elizabeth Sked was named the recipient of the CEA John McCormack Award for Teaching Excellence, which puts her in the running for a national award recognizing the year's most outstanding educators.
Danbury teacher Luanelly Iglesias was recognized as the winner of NEA's 2019 Human and Civil Rights George I. Sanchez Memorial Award honoring teachers who significantly advance equal opportunities for Hispanics
John McCormack Award
"Elizabeth is dedicated, innovative, and an exemplary educator," said Leake. "She mentors new teachers, advocates for resources that teachers and students need, facilitates professional development presentations, and speaks to legislators about issues that impact public education. Elizabeth says, 'I don't give up on what's right. Not ever.'"
Sked said, "I am passionate about helping teachers become the best teachers they can be and in turn positively impacting many students. Every decision I make, every day, starts and ends with students."
Sked, who has been teaching for 23 years, received a cash honorarium in the amount of $2,000 from CEA. She will also be CEA's nominee for the National Education Association/National Education Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NEA/NFIE) Award for Teaching Excellence and will attend an all-expenses-paid trip to the Salute to Education Gala in Washington, D.C., in February, 2020.
Leake added, "Elizabeth is an excellent candidate to win the national award. She cares deeply about each and every student and has demonstrated the professionalism, leadership, and teaching expertise required to receive this top honor."
The winner of the NEA/NFIE award will receive a check for $25,000, a commemorative plaque, and nationwide recognition. Five national finalists will each receive $10,000.
Human and Civil Rights Award
Iglesias received the 2019 Human and Civil Rights George I. Sanchez Memorial Award for her distinguished leadership in education, honoring her activities that have made significant improvements in education opportunities and advanced the achievement of Hispanics.
"Throughout her career, Luanelly has been a tireless champion for her students, creating a bilingual program for students recently arriving in the United States," said Leake. "Her efforts in the school community through family engagement continues to provide students the opportunity to have pride in their Hispanic heritage. The cultural exchanges that Luanelly brings to the classroom and the school community teach students the importance of honoring the past, embracing their culture and language, and working hard toward a bright future."
Iglesias, who teaches at Rogers Park Middle School, noted that in her 15-year career as a bilingual teacher, being part of her local union and CEA has opened many doors for her. Born in Puerto Rico, Iglesias worked in a factory to help support her family and was a bilingual student herself 30 years ago, when she moved from Puerto Rico.
"I learned how to defeat many barriers through the power of education," she said, reminding her colleagues of the incredible influence they have on their students. "Many of our students spend more of their time with us than with their families."
Iglesias will be honored by more than 8,000 of her peers across the country during a national ceremony celebrating educator excellence at the NEA Representative Assembly in Houston, Texas, in July.
The National Education Association (NEA) and Connecticut Education Association (CEA) today applauded Rep. Jahana Hayes, longtime NEA and CEA member as well 2016 National Teacher of the Year, on her introduction of the Pell Grant Restoration Act, H.R. 4298.
There are those, including current U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who argue that spending more on public education doesn't lead to better outcomes. School finance expert and Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker begs to differ, and he has research to back his position up.
Teachers are a selfless group who choose their profession because of a love for children and teaching, not for any expectation of accolades or honors. And that makes those times teachers are recognized and have a chance to be in the spotlight all the more special.
Teachers have a lot to say on issues from their pensions to classroom safety this legislative session, which is why local associations around Connecticut are meeting with their legislators and making their voices heard.
Speaking to hundreds of students at Harding High School in Bridgeport today, Governor Ned Lamont encouraged his audience to pursue a career in teaching and be role models for the next generation of students.
Wearing #RedForEd T-shirts, several hundred Waterbury teachers showed their strength as a union, their dedication to their profession, and their value to the community they serve when they packed a March 7 Waterbury Board of Education meeting.
Community schools, minority teacher recruitment and retention, the opportunity gap, and school literacy were just some of the issues members of the legislature's Education Committee heard public input.
"Our students would only benefit from having more opportunities to learn about the culture, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans and Latinos throughout history," Waterbury teacher Sean Mosley told the legislature's Education Committee
"Teachers become teachers because we want to help kids," says Danbury building rep Lori Woodruff. "It's the same with our union—we are here to help each other. As teachers, when we're involved with the union we can do more to help one another."
Connecticut Education Foundation's (CEF) second annual Read Across America Reading Bus Tour kicked off on February 25, featuring a customized blue bus decorated with well-known Dr. Seuss characters and outfitted with bookshelves, benches, carpeting, and hundreds of new books.
At a public hearing of the legislature's Education Committee today, classroom teachers—along with CEA leaders and staff—gave powerful testimony urging lawmakers to address the crisis of violent student behavior in rural, urban, and suburban schools throughout the state.
Teachers, CEA leaders, and staff testified before the Connecticut General Assembly's Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on issues critical to teachers this legislative session. These issues included school climate, classroom safety, the persistent shortage of ethnic minority educators, and funding for public schools.
CEA supports sensible ways of assisting the state in its efforts to make up for decades of underfunding teachers' retirement, including the governor and treasurer's plan to smooth out the state's payments to the fund over a longer period of time and lower the investment earning assumption to a more realistic rate.
"We reject the idea of cutting our way to prosperity. That has never worked," said Connecticut AFL-CIO President Sal Luciano. His remarks came at a press conference yesterday where members of the labor community, including CEA, called on the state to adopt a pro-growth, investment budget.
Project Oceanology and New England Science and Sailing are partnering to offer "Sound Education: Working with NGSS and STEM in Long Island Sound". This is a FREE two-day PD event from April 5 - April 6 for teachers in grades 4-12, with overnight accommodations provided in Project Oceanology's waterfront hostel.
Legislation passed late in 2015 made many "tax extenders" semi-permanent, but there are still a few esoteric items that keep everyone on tenterhooks when, as once again this year, Congress fails to pass the tax bill by the end of the year.
Marks the inauguration of a new governor and the beginning of the 2019 session of the Connecticut General Assembly. It's likely to be a busy session with many issues for legislators to tackle over these next five months.