Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators


  • Spotlight: Shalisha Thomas (AR '19)

    March 6, 2020

    When Shalisha Thomas (AR ’19) was in high school, the art room was her refuge, a place where she could express herself and felt at ease: “I strive daily to create that type of environment for my students.”

  • Spotlight: Jennifer Paolantonio (RI '19)

    March 5, 2020

    Each September, Ponaganset High School in North Scituate, Rhode Island, recites in unison the school’s Inclusion Pledge, which promotes acceptance, respect and unity. “We have seen an incredible benefit for our entire student body, staff and faculty,” says special education teacher Jennifer Paolantonio (RI ’19). “It has evolved into a schoolwide culture of empathy and compassion.”

  • Spotlight: Adam Parvanta (ME '19)

    March 4, 2020

    Tech powerhouse Adam Parvanta (ME ’19) likes helping students hone important skills and refine their creative vision as they produce their own video content: “It’s awesome to see the look of accomplishment on their faces when they finally finish a huge project.”

  • Spotlight: Rachel O'Kelley (NC '19)

    March 3, 2020

    Games figure prominently in the curriculum of science teacher Rachel O’Kelley (NC ’19) because they keep students engaged: “In my classroom, competition drives learning.” 

  • Spotlight: Kristen Musgrove (FL '19)

    March 2, 2020

    Kristen Musgrove (FL ’19) tells her sixth-graders at Hilliard Middle-Senior High School that she will be their “at school Momma,” pushing them to work hard and fighting for them when necessary: “They know when they walk in my room they are loved, no matter what.”

  • Spotlight: Nate Kirsch (TN '19)

    February 28, 2020

    Nate Kirsch (TN ’19) hopes his students leave his class confident in their ability to tackle tough issues: “The ability to stay put and keep fighting when things are hard will help them thrive in relationships, at work and in life.”

  • Spotlight: Leslie Sullivan (SC '19)

    February 27, 2020

    Leslie Sullivan (SC ’19) turned her $25,000 Milken Award into an economics lesson on taxation and budgeting: “When students are engaged with the content, they remember far more of it.”

  • Spotlight: Rebecca Missler (AK '19)

    February 24, 2020

    In addition to her science classes at North Pole High School, Rebecca Missler (AK ’19) has taken students to Belize and Costa Rica with the International Club. “Many students in Alaska have never left the state,” she says. “I love seeing them step outside their comfort zone as they embrace different cultures.”

  • Spotlight: Omar Duron (AZ '19)

    February 21, 2020

    No one understands Southwest Junior High School students better than Principal Omar Duron (AZ ’19), who arrived in San Luis in third grade as an English language learner. “I use my life stories as examples,” he says. “I truly hope to make a difference in their lives.”

  • Spotlight: Melissa Fike (MO '19)

    February 20, 2020

    Melissa Fike (MO ’19) struggled with math in middle school, but a high school teacher sparked her love for the subject. That’s what drew her to teaching: “I wanted the opportunity to share with students how exciting math can be.”

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