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Grants Awarded to Prospective Teachers

HARTFORD, Nov. 30 - Helping to address the state’s teacher shortage, the Connecticut Department of Higher Education has awarded 50 grants to minority college students planning to teach in Connecticut public schools.

The $5,000 Minority Teacher Incentive Grants are going to junior and senior minority college students who are enrolled full-time in teacher training programs at Connecticut colleges. Once they begin teaching in a Connecticut elementary or secondary school, the grant recipients are eligible to receive up to $2,500 a year, for up to four years, to help pay off college loans.

To date, 97 minority students have received grants under this program, now in its third year. Thirty-five are renewal students and 31 are already teaching in Connecticut public schools. The program was created by the General Assembly to broaden the diversity of Connecticut’s teacher workforce. At present, barely seven percent of Connecticut’s teachers are from minority groups, while more than 25 percent of school students are from minority families.

"This program is one of several innovative steps the State of Connecticut is taking to recruit talented students from diverse backgrounds into teaching," stated Higher Education Commissioner Valerie Lewis in announcing this year’s recipients. "We congratulate these students on their awards and for choosing to pursue this rewarding profession."

This year’s grant recipients have an average GPA of 3.08. Eighteen graduated from a Connecticut community college. In terms of racial background, 24 are Hispanic, 20 are African-American and six are Asian-American. Of those who have indicated their majors, 21 plan to teach elementary school, seven plan to teach high school, six are pursuing special education and four are interested in early children education. Intended subject areas include mathematics, science, Spanish and history.

The Connecticut colleges and universities participating in the program are: Central Connecticut State University, Connecticut College, Eastern Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Quinnipiac University, Sacred Heart University, St. Joseph College, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut, University of Hartford, Western Connecticut State University, and Yale University in addition to the Alternate Route to Certification operated by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.


A list of the 2000 Minority Teacher Incentive Grant recipients who have agreed to have their names published is attached.

2000 Minority Teacher Incentive Grant Recipients

FAIRFIELD COUNTY

  • Ana Lucia Chejin, Stamford, University of Connecticut
  • Stanley Lamour, South Norwalk, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Jeannette Leon, Danbury, Western Connecticut State University
  • Yvonne Montemayor, Danbury, Western Connecticut State University
  • Michelle Todeschini, Norwalk, Fairfield University
  • Shauntier Yates, Norwalk, University of Connecticut

HARTFORD COUNTY

  • Etsu Bradshaw-Caines, Rocky Hill, Central Connecticut State University
  • Kristi Burton, West Hartford, Central Connecticut State University
  • David Callegari, New Britain, Central Connecticut State University
  • Kam Cheng, South Windsor, University of Connecticut
  • Wendy Cuadrado, Hartford, University of Connecticut
  • Bertrand Defoe, Bloomfield, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Melusia Eng, Enfield, University of Connecticut
  • Gerardo Heredia, Hartford, Central Connecticut State University
  • Desi Nesmith, Bloomfield, University of Connecticut
  • Rachael O'Rourke, West Hartford, University of Connecticut
  • Allen Perry, New Britain, Central Connecticut State University
  • Melissa Pouliot, East Hartford, University of Connecticut
  • Nicole Smith, Plainville, Central Connecticut State University
  • Janeen Washington, Southington, University of Connecticut

NEW HAVEN COUNTY

  • Richard Baez, Clinton, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Kerryann Cross, West Haven, University of Connecticut
  • Ebony Dennis, New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Michael Gonzalez, Meriden, University of Hartford
  • Kevin Inge, New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Gilbert Lopez, Meriden, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Ingrid Osorio, Waterbury, Central Connecticut State University
  • Joaquin Rodriguez, Hamden, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Daisy Torres, Meriden, Southern Connecticut State University

NEW LONDON COUNTY

  • Sang Chul Lee, Uncasville, University of Connecticut

TOLLAND COUNTY

  • Shiny Nedungadi, Tolland, University of Connecticut
  • Yvette Rosemond, Ellington, Central Connecticut State University

OUT-OF-STATE

  • Taryn Brown, Westhampton, NY, Central Connecticut State University
  • Nicole Dean, Westbury, NY, University of Hartford
  • Nicole Druley, East Falmouth, MA, University of Hartford

Contact: Connie Fraser
(860)947-1801


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