Paraeducator of the Year Award Granted

Peggy Kelley, left, speaks with Commissioner Wentzell.
(Photo courtesy of Aaron Flaum/the Norwich Bulletin.)

Monday, November 7, 2016 (Issue #2)
by Rachel Krate, Education Editor

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Montville School District’s Peggy Kelley was awarded the Connecticut 2017 Anne Marie Murphy Paraeducator of the Year Award, which recognizes the importance of paraeducators in students’ achievement in the state. The award is named after Anne Marie Murphy, a paraeducator whose life was lost in Newtown.

This year’s award was presented to Peggy Kelley due to her “exceptional skill and dedication in her role, thereby earning the respect and admiration of students, teachers, administrators, coworkers, and parents,” according to the Connecticut State Department of Education.

“Paraeducators play a vital role in creating supportive learning environments that engage the whole child, inspire a love of learning, and equip students with the skills they need to pursue their dreams,” said State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell at Mohegan Elementary School, where she and State Department of Education Chief Talent Officer Sarah Barzee visited on Tuesday, Oct. 11 to make the award announcement.

“Peggy Kelley’s dedication to her students, her school, and her community has undoubtedly had a profound impact on the lives of countless families as she has helped students to realize their full potential. I congratulate Mrs. Kelley on this honor,” Commissioner Wentzell said.


Connecticut Schools Fall Short in Math Education

New Milford High School (NMHS) in New Milford, Conn. NMHS is one of the institutions implementing Common Core Standards.
(Photo courtesy of

Thursday, October 13, 2016 (Issue #1)
by Rachel Krate, Education Editor

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On October 6, 2016, Connecticut Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell announced the release of a report which recommends the improvement of K-12 mathematics education in the state on behalf of educators, policy leaders and community members. The Commissioner’s Council on Mathematics report is intended to raise the level of education among the mathematics departments across the state, according to The Connecticut State Department of Education.

“Every student deserves the opportunity to receive a math education that is rich and rigorous, and equips them with the skills needed to graduate from high school prepared to be successful in both college and career,” said Wentzell, when she released the report at the Connecticut Science Center during a public event. The event included a round-table discussion in hopes of improving mathematics education across the state.

The Common Core logo.
(Free image courtesy of GalleryHip.)

The report recommends developing “a clear and consistent understanding of the Connecticut Core Standards-Mathematics as the classroom, school, district, and state levels; providing the support and training necessary to effectively implement the mathematics standards with fidelity in all classrooms, schools, and districts; implementing appropriate interventions and acceleration to support the needs of a diverse group of learners, and; engaging all stakeholders in the process of putting the Connecticut Core Standards-Mathematics into practice through effective communication that keeps teachers, parents and community members informed and participating in the process.”

“These new recommendations will help us to improve the system of supports available to local school districts, strengthen our collaboration with higher education and the community, maintain our upward trajectory, and accelerate increases in student performance,” Wentzell stated.