Meet some educators who have received teacher certification through the department of education at Connecticut College:
Stephen Cofrancesco ’17
How did you choose your major?
I have wanted to teach since I was in elementary school, though I have changed the age/subject range many times. I intended to study chemistry at Conn and get the secondary certification. I wanted to minor in music, but after a couple of semester taking music classes (and some really great guidance from my faculty advisor who happened to also be in the education department) I really fell in love with the program at Conn and the idea of being a music teacher so I shifted my focus to music education.
What were the advantages of studying education at Connecticut College?
I really enjoyed the fact that Conn requires service learning in New London Public Schools as a part of all of their education courses. Often, students are in the classroom learning the theory behind education but aren’t really able to see it in action. Being able to observe and work in classrooms for a few hours a week allows for much more synthesis of knowledge to occur. It’s also a great way to get to know other people in the New London community. I’m currently a music teacher at a New London elementary school, so I had to get a shout out in!
Did you study abroad?
I personally did not study abroad because I was behind in my program of studies after switching majors. But I did have friends who were certified to teach through the education department and who studied abroad! The program allows for a lot of flexibility and as long as students plan ahead, students should have no issues studying abroad.
Peggy McQuaid ’10
Bilingual kindergarten teacher, Regional Multicultural Magnet School, New London, Conn.
After Peggy graduated from Connecticut College in 2010, she moved back to Honduras planning to teach kindergarten, but a week after she got there, she was told she was to be the "interim" principal. She served as principal for three years, which was an amazing experience and huge challenge. After three years, she knew she wanted to get back in the classroom and expand her knowledge as a classroom teacher. She currently teaches kindergarten at the Dual Immersion Puentes Program at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London. After dealing with the sometimes-stressful job of being an administrator, she says it is wonderful to be able to be with the students day after day, seeing those little "light bulb" moments.
Michael K. Kuczenski ’09
Middle-school social studies teacher, New London, Conn.
I am currently working at the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication (ISAAC) in New London in the position that I student taught as a 6-7th grade Social Studies teacher.
Daniel O'Keefe ’09
Middle-school social studies teacher in Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Dan majored in history (with a concentration in intellectual history) and received certification in both elementary and secondary education. He did his student teaching in a combined 5th-6th-grade classroom at the Integrated Day Charter School in Norwich, CT. He's currently teaching early American history at the middle school level and a course on major patterns in world history at a community night school for adults. Dan defines his mission as a history teacher as “emphasizing the continuity between past and present for students.”
Emily Taylor ’09
Pursuing an M.A., Ed.M. in school counseling
With a degree in American Studies and elementary education certification from Connecticut College, Emily worked at a large New York City public high school as the site coordinator for an after-school program grant and served as the community partnership coordinator. While in her second year at the high school, she aided students in the college application process, leading to her decision to pursue a school counseling degree. Currently enrolled at Teachers College, Columbia University, she also works at the Peace Corps Fellows Program as the service-learning coordinator. As she pursues her M.A. and Ed.M., Emily is constantly grateful for the wonderful education she received from the education department.