Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

Memoriam  All Memoriams


Mary Curtiss (CT '90), a beloved and esteemed English teacher at Trumbull High School in Connecticut for 35 years, passed away on Jan. 11, 2015 at the age of 69 after an eight year battle with cancer.

Mary was honored with the Milken Educator Award in 1990 during her teaching career at Trumbull (1971-2006). She exposed her students to great authors and worked to instill in them a sense of the social and cultural awareness needed to take on responsibilities of adulthood. Mary is credited with pioneering elective classes in non-traditional subjects like Charlie Chaplin and Kurt Vonnegut, and her class “Literature of Peace and Protest” was especially popular among students. 

In 1990, Mary received the "Thanks to Teachers" Award and the Connecticut Education Association’s Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award, and, in 1987 and 1989, grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Mary made efforts to reach her students beyond the classroom, too, leading trips to the annual Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and making herself available after hours to students and parents.

Mary traveled to Madaba-Manga, Jordan, in 2008 with her husband, Clayton Curtiss, for a two-year teaching stint at King’s Academy, an independent, coeducational boarding school.

Her memorial service was held on a snowy day at Yale University’s Dwight Chapel, and was attended by more than 130 people; speakers included five former students and three fellow teachers. Her remains were donated to the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University to carry on her mission of teaching, according to her obituary.

For more on Mary’s life and career, please see her obituary listing.