Nine Stamford Educators Will Travel the World for Their Students

In partnership with Stamford Public Schools and the Dalio Foundation, Fund for Teachers (FFT) named nine Stamford educators as recipients of grants totaling more than $37,457. As FFT Fellows, grant recipients will embark on self-designed professional learning odysseys this summer.  This year, Stamford’s FFT Fellows will be traveling to Florida’s Everglades, Las Vegas, Costa Rica, Spain, Ireland and Greece. These teachers will return with new insights, connections and tools to benefit their students.

Stamford’s 2017 FFT Fellows are:

  • Sarah Arnold-Rossetti, Roxbury Elementary School: Participates in a Spanish language-immersion program created specifically for social workers in Grecia, Costa Rica, to acquire beginning conversational language skills and better serve students and families of native Latin cultures.
  • Kristen Baldovin, Northeast Elementary School: Investigates the historical and cultural influences in Greece that shaped mythological literature, art, and architecture to provide context and more effectively engage students in literacy and writing.
  • Simona Bojkova and Niki Chrisikakos, Toquam Magnet Elementary School:  Will complete language and culture courses at the Camino Foreign Language School in Barcelona, Spain, to further students' authentic use of Spanish.
  • Annalisa DiNucci, Stamford High School: Complete a Spanish language/cultural immersion program and family homestay in Valencia and Mallorca, Spain, to observe effective language instruction and enhance communication with Spanish-speaking students and their families
  • Diane Keller, Toquam Magnet Elementary School: Attends the I Teach K national conference in Las Vegas to learn more about small group instruction using technology and writing, as well as adaptations for students with special needs.
  • Connie Konya, Katherine T. Murphy Elementary School: Explores 9,000 years of Irish landscape, mythology and culture through the country's national treasure of storytelling to support the school's literacy curriculum and the Common Core Standards.
  • Lucila Telesco, Newfield Elementary School: Explores the biodiversity of Florida's everglades and coral reef to deepen understanding of unique animal and plant species inhabiting these freshwater and marine habitats and enrich ESL student content learning of ecosystems.
  • Melissa Valendra, Cloonan Middle School: Study Spanish and Hispanic literature and culture, linguistic subtleties and Islamic culture at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas in Granada, Spain, to create a culture-based curriculum that develops students' fluency and critical thinking in Spanish.

“The Dalio Foundation and Fund for Teachers supports teachers who identify needs and opportunities in their school communities, seek out solutions, and strive for excellent teaching and learning by demonstrating awareness, inquiry, empathy, and resilience,” said Karen Webb, FFT executive director. “We are proud to add these newly-selected Connecticut FFT Fellows to our cohort of teacher experts and leaders.”

Across the state a total of 206 teachers, representing 60 public school districts and approximately $800,000 in grants, were notified of their FFT award.  Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested approximately $27.5 million in self-designed fellowships of more than 7,400 preK-12 teachers across the United States, changing their role from knowledge takers to knowledge makers. Fund for Teachers believes the answer to effective teaching lies in trusting teachers to identify gaps in their learning (and/or their students’) and providing grants to make the learning happen.

 A complete list of 2017 Fellows, their schools and their fellowships can be found here.

Media Release