American Education Week, celebrated the week prior to the week of Thanksgiving, presents everyone with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor the individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every student receives a quality education.
Right here in Connecticut, people from a variety of occupations are sharing what they have achieved because of a teacher.
“Teachers are tremendously important,” says Shamar Mahon, who is featured in CEA’s new ad campaign. The auto sales general manager and youngest-ever Bloomfield councilman says, “They’re not only educators, but they’re also mentors. They’re guides. They help students understand where they are in the world and where they can go. They’ve made an impact on me, and I have seen how they have impacted so many of my peers.”
Mahon credits his teachers, including Bloomfield teacher Mary Kay Rendock, for his success. “I don’t know if any of us would be here today without our teachers guiding us along the way.”
Rendock, a fifth-grade teacher at Carmen Arace School in Bloomfield and the 2006 Connecticut Teacher of the Year, says about Mahon, “He’s making a difference in the same town where he was educated, and there’s nothing like seeing this moment and knowing that you played a part in it. Seeing our students doing well and knowing that something we did made a difference in their lives is extremely gratifying and makes everything we do worth it.”
Watch a conversation between Mahon and Rendock below—as well as one between real estate agent Jessica Starr and her former teacher Karen DiMenna.