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Superintendent Focus
August 2019

Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members,

The calendar cover photo features Totoket Valley Elementary School Grade 5 special education teacher Jackie Thurston. Jackie has been named one of 76 educators in the United States to receive the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program grant for 2018-2019. Jackie is the only educator in Connecticut to receive this distinction.

As part of the experience, Thurston has taken preparatory online graduate level coursework for an orientation/global education symposium with educators from around the world. She traveled to India for several weeks to finish the year long grant.

The Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program is described as "a year-long professional development opportunity for U.S. elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy." Its goal is to equip "teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration."

A universally liked and respected educator for 12 years in North Branford, Jackie has served students in resource and inclusion settings as well as supported district efforts in special education. She was also named the 2020 North Branford District Teacher of the Year! Congratulations to one of North Branford's finest!

Jackie Thurston is just one example of the many fine educators and staff members serving the students of North Branford Public Schools. Professional development and collaboration across the K-12 spectrum will continue to be areas of focus.

Our administrators, educators and support staff will continue to provide your children with a safe, supportive and challenging learning environment.

I thank the Board of Education for their continued support in our endeavor to educate the whole child in preparing them for the 21st century!

I wish everyone a successful and fulfilling 2019/2020 school year!

Sincerely,

Scott Schoonmaker