Most students in Connecticut start their school year next week, however most teachers have already gone back to school — preparing their classrooms and engaging in professional development training.
Yesterday East Hartford’s newest teachers had their first day on the job. Amidst a busy day of training and orientation, the East Hartford Education Association (EHEA) treated them to a luncheon and introduction to their local association.
EHEA President Karen O’Connell welcomed the 48 new teachers and introduced them to the rest of the EHEA executive board. Due to a grant from CEA, the EHEA was able to gift the new members with travel mugs. New members were also introduced to Nancy Spitko, their UniServ Representative, and Cheryl Prevost, former EHEA president and current CEA Secretary.
The new teacher luncheon is a tradition in East Hartford, however it hadn’t been held for the last couple of years because the town’s budget did not allow for the hiring of many new teachers. This year, because the town council was required to release funds they had previously withheld from the board of education, the district was able to fill some much-needed positions.
One of the new teachers attending yesterday’s luncheon is new to East Hartford as an educator but is not a newcomer to East Hartford’s schools. David Brownell attended the East Hartford Public Schools for elementary and middle school and is excited to now be returning as a teacher. He recently completed his master’s degree and will be teaching art at Synergy Alternative High School.
Another new member is O’Connell’s daughter Lia — a new kindergarten teacher at Silver Lane Elementary. O’Connell is thrilled to have her daughter beginning her career in East Hartford. Said O’Connell, “I taught kindergarten in East Hartford for 25 years and also taught at the school my daughter is assigned to. It’s amazing that it happened that way.”