Nominate: 2013 Branford Education Hall of Fame

Who will join the ranks of Branford's top educators? You can help decide; here's how:

For the sixteenth consecutive year, Branford’s Education Hall of Fame will honor ten individuals who have made significant contributions to education.  Since its birth in 1998, this organization has taken a broad view of the term “education” as it has recognized individuals whose work has enhanced, expanded and facilitated learning.

Citizens who wish to nominate an individual for Branford’s Education Hall of Fame are urged to submit a typed letter of nomination to Murray-thomas@SBCGlobal.net or Education Hall of Fame, 124 South Montowese Street, Unit 28, Branford, CT 06405. 

Nominating letters should describe in detail specifically how the nominee has made significant contributions to learning in Branford. 

Letters will be compiled in the Book of Nominations and will stand in perpetuity. 

Letters appear anonymously.

The deadline for receiving letters of nomination is Wednesday, January 9, 2013. 

The nominating meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 7:00 PM at the Branford Community House. 

The meeting is open to all. 

On Wednesday, January 23, 2013, selections will be made for inductees. 

The meeting will be held at the Branford Community House at 7:00 PM.  It is open to all and all who attend may vote.    

The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees were Barbara Cangiano and the Blackstone Library Research Dept.; Joyce Igo, retired Walsh Intermediate School special education teacher; Faith McCarthy, former Branford High School world language teacher; Gus Peterson, Walsh Intermediate School social studies teachers; Branford Board of Education; Anna Puglia, Branford High School assistant principal; and Tom Salvin, Sliney School teacher;   In addition, Zenia Smolenski, teacher and principal at the Harbor Street School; Nancy Knowlton, Parent Teacher Association activist; and Edward Hippolitus, Branford High School teacher and Career Education Coordinator were inducted posthumously.

While the Hall of Fame has honored teachers and public school administrators, it has also inducted others.  People like Timothy Blackstone, who gave Branford the Blackstone Library; Joe Trapasso, Branford’s former Recreation Director, who expanded sports competition for women and developed the “Golden Agers Club” which was a forerunner to the community’s senior citizens’ organizations; and the Branford Counseling Center’s Patricia Andriole;  are only a few of the many non-teachers who have been recognized.  Others include Monsignor Cornelius Teulings, the founder of St. Mary School, Peter Borgemeister, an environmental activist, Rev. Timothy Gillett, founder of the Academy on the Green, Janice Gruendel, children’s advocate; and Branford’s Florence Wald, founder of the Hospice Movement in the United States; and so many more.  In the spirit of the African adage, “It takes a whole community to educate a child”, the Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing educators using the broadest sense of the term “education.”

Unlike many halls of fame, Branford’s Educational Hall of Fame does not have an actual area or building.  Instead, the names of inductees are inscribed on a bookplate in the library books the organization donates each year to the Branford Public School libraries. The Hall of Fame has named this process “The Susan Spear School Library Book Project” in honor of a longtime Branford teacher and Branford Board of Education member who developed the concept.  Approximately 940 books for school libraries and have been donated to school libraries and, in a sense, has become a functional, learning based hall of fame in the schools through these books.

Branford’s Education Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 25, at Woodwinds Restaurant in Branford.

2011 Inductees


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