Month: June 2018

Spring 2018 Teaching Excellence Honorees

Congratulations to the following Spring 2018 EDLR Faculty who received the Teaching Excellence Honor by the University Provost’s Office:

Sandy Bell

Laura Burton

Miguel CardonaMiguel Cardona

Joseph Cooper

Anna Cutaia-Leonard

Morgaen Donaldson

Shaun Dougherty

Charles Dumais

Justin Evanovich

Michele Femc-Bagwell

Erica Fernández

Richard Gonzales

Preston Green

Robin Grenier

Kelly Lyman

Richard Schwab

Maria Sedotti

Howard Theiry

Danielle Upham

Jennie Weiner

Christine Wilson

Sarah Woulfin

Based on recent teaching evaluations, these individuals are among a select group of faculty who excel in teaching, which involves successfully engaging students and facilitates an environment of learning around a spirit of inquiry and intellectual curiosity. These educators are innovative and are consistently seeking new ways to improve as teachers.

Congratulations on this success as you continue to serve as a model for the students and peers within the department, keep up the outstanding work!

HESA Hosts Annual Assessment Day

On April 26th, HESA hosted its annual Assessment Day, the summation of a two-semester course series (EDLR 5102 and 5103) that gives first-year HESA students the opportunity to develop and hone important skills by conducting group assessment projects in service to the UConn community.  The series constitutes a fundamental element of HESA’s unique core curriculum and commitment to scholarship in practice. This year, students split into four groups and tackled four distinct assessment projects (see table). We spoke with Dr. Christine Wilson, the course instructor, to learn more:

The point of the course is to help the students learn about assessment, evaluation, and research by engaging in a yearlong group assessment project that serves a department or program on campus.  The first semester is dedicated to learning about foundations of assessment and research while completing a literature review for the projects, defining assessment questions, creating methodology, and completing IRB paperwork to assure that research with student participants is conducted legally and ethically.  During the second semester, the students collect and analyze data, present their results and findings during an open presentation day, and complete an assessment paper.

Assessment Day, which takes place at the end of the semester, is a great way for the community to see the work that the students have completed, as well as the contributions of knowledge that they are making to the departments they have served with their projects.  In addition, the students have a chance to present their projects in a formal setting. I have taught this course series three times, and Assessment Day is the highlight of the year.

Congratulations to the students of EDLR 5103 for their successful assessment projects, and the completion of their first year in the UConn HESA program.


Administrator Tyrone Richardson Excels While Inspiring Others

Tyrone Richardson
Photo courtesy of Tyrone Richardson

The Excellence in Educational Leadership Award is an annual recognition by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) for practicing school administrators, who have concurrently made contributions to the improvement of administrator preparation. This year, a member of the University of Connecticut Administrator Preparation Program (UCAPP) faculty, Tyrone Richardson, was recognized with this award.

Richardson has served for the past six years as Principal of Betances STEM Magnet School in Hartford, CT. He holds a B.A. in Theater Arts/Communication/Elementary Education from Western Connecticut State University, an M.S. in Education from Cambridge College, and his Principal Certification 092 from Central Connecticut State University. As an alumnus of Hartford Public Schools, Richardson has a special connection with the community, and he is deeply dedicated to the success of Hartford students. At UConn, Richardson is involved with UCAPP and the UPPI Wallace redesign effort.

Richardson has worked with UCAPP for the past three years, designing and presenting class seminars on subjects ranging from the budgeting process and building teams as a leader to crisis management. This past year, he also served as a professor in practice for UCAPP PLUS courses. During class sessions, he brought practical and real-life experiences to the theories and research presented by faculty. .

Within UCAPP, Richardson serves as what is known as a mentor principal. In this role, he mentors aspiring administrators in the UCAPP program by providing them access to the school, working as a leadership role model, and assigning them an active role on the team. Richardson also supports UCAPP staff with program implementation and recently joined members at a national conference where they presented best practices, and were exposed to many rich ideas.

“He has contributed in substantive ways to the University of Connecticut’s administrator preparation program by leading workshops on topics in Educational Leadership, collaborating with University faculty to teach issues in relevant and rigorous ways, and mentoring aspiring principals from across the state of Connecticut,” remarked Associate Professor of Educational Leadership,
Dr. Sarah Woulfin.

Richardson did not always envision becoming a principal, but considered it after one of his previous principals identified his strengths, and encouraged him to join a leadership cohort. As a teacher, he always enjoyed helping students, and he then realized that by supporting teachers and other administrators he can impact the lives of even more students.

In addition to his enthusiasm in the classroom, Richardson is also an active voice on Twitter. He tweets pictures of students in the classroom as well as on field trips. Additionally, he uses it as a platform to recognize teachers, staff and students for enacting the school’s value and mission. This untraditional platform sets Richardson apart and offers new channels of communication with faculty and students.

For aspiring educational leaders, Richardson offers this piece of advice,

“Keep thinking about our future and the evolution of education as you prepare students to interact with one another. We can’t continue to teach students in the same fashion that we were taught in. Lead, model, be innovative, and put yourself out there to make mistakes. Above all be patient and remember you are working with kids. School is for them.”