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May 17

CREC Welcomes New Assistant Executive Director, Desi Nesmith

00(Hartford, Conn.) The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) is excited to announce the hiring of Desi Nesmith as our Assistant Executive Director. Nesmith’s first day with CREC was Tuesday, April 30, filling a position on CREC’s Executive Leadership Team that has been unappointed for several years.Nesmith comes to CREC from the Bloomfield Public Schools where he held the title of Assistant Superintendent. Before his role in Bloomfield, he was the Deputy Commissioner at the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), overseeing the Strategic Planning, Performance, Academic, and Turnaround offices. Nesmith collaborated closely with the Learn from Home Task Force during his tenure to bridge the digital divide by providing devices and connectivity to Connecticut families. He also served as the agency's Federal Liaison to the U.S. Department of Education, shaping statewide federal funding priorities, and he served on the General Assembly’s Juvenile Justice Policy Oversight Committee.In June 2019, Governor Ned Lamont appointed Nesmith as Interim Commissioner of Education, overseeing CSDE during the transition to a permanent Education Commissioner. Earlier, he served as Chief Turnaround Officer, managing the state's Alliance District and Charter School programs, promoting equity and excellence across Connecticut's schools. Nesmith’s educational leadership experience extends back to his role as principal of Metacomet Elementary School in Bloomfield, where he significantly improved student achievement, receiving national recognition with the Milken Educator's Award in 2014.“I am honored and excited join the CREC team as an Assistant Executive Director,” said Nesmith. “I look forward to working with colleagues here at CREC as well as the other Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) and our member districts.”The role of Assistant Executive Director at CREC develops and implements the overall vision, mission, and goals of the agency and supervises, provides guidance, and evaluates programs and leadership across the agency. He will also interface directly with key stakeholders across the state involved with regional education, budgets, and operational development like the RESC Alliance, State Department of Education, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, and the Connecticut General Assembly.“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Desi Nesmith to the position of Assistant Executive Director,” said Greg Florio, CREC Executive Director. “Desi's extensive background in educational leadership, aligns perfectly with CREC's core values and strategic goals. His proven commitment to enhancing educational opportunities and equity will undoubtedly propel our mission forward."The CREC community eagerly looks forward to embracing Nesmith in his new position, expecting a period of continuous development and success under his guidance. ###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 35 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 40 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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Apr 22

CREC Magnet Schools Welcomes New Superintendent, Dr. Sasha Douglas

00(Hartford, Conn.) The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Sasha Douglas as the new Superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools, effective July 1, 2024. Dr. Douglas will succeed Timothy Sullivan Jr., who is retiring after a distinguished 35-year career in education, the last seven as superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools.Dr. Douglas currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools, where she has significantly contributed to the district's leadership, with a special focus on Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. She joined CREC in 2011 as the principal of the CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global & International Studies, where she spearheaded the adoption of the "IB (International Baccalaureate) for All" approach, enhancing college preparatory access for all students. Her leadership transformed the school into a regional leader in college acceptance and retention."I am honored to assume the privilege of leading CREC Magnet Schools," said Dr. Douglas. "CREC’s Core Values reflect a commitment to serving the best interest of each child. I have seen this commitment firsthand as an educator and as a CREC parent. I look forward to inspiring continued excellence and innovation in CREC Magnet Schools."In April 2024, Dr. Douglas completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut, focusing her research on immigrant mothers and their experiences with their children’s schools. Born in Jamaica, Dr. Douglas takes pride in her heritage, and her journey—both personal and professional—showcases the power of education. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching, focused on Social Studies, both from Brown University."Sasha has made several important contributions to our work on the Magnet Schools Leadership team since she joined in 2020. She has proven herself to be an invaluable asset to our magnet schools and key leader in both the magnet schools and our agency as a whole,” said outgoing Superintendent Timothy Sullivan Jr. expressing his confidence in Dr. Douglas’s capabilities. “Her emphatic belief in the potential of people is an inspiration to us all.""I am thrilled to appoint Sasha Douglas as Superintendent. CREC’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values drive Sasha’s work and her belief that all children have potential for great things and that it is our responsibility to assure each one of them achieves that potential,” said Greg Florio, CREC Executive Director.The CREC community is excited to welcome Dr. Douglas into her new role and anticipates a future of sustained growth and achievement under her leadership.###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 35 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 40 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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Mar 25

CT Teacher Residency Program given approval by State BOE for Middle School Math Program

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, The Connecticut State Board of Education officially granted approval to the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) for a Mathematics certification through the groundbreaking Connecticut Teacher Residency Program (CT-TRP). This decision empowers CT-TRP to certify graduates in the critical certification area of Mathematics for grades 4-8. The approval is valid through October 31, 2026, with annual progress monitoring based on CREC’s Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) annual report data, in conjunction with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) review committee's evaluations.This pioneering program is specifically designed to address the significant shortage of certified middle school mathematics teachers and teachers of color. By focusing on this crucial educational segment, TRP aims to cultivate a cadre of educators who are not only proficient in mathematics but also embody the diversity of the student populations they serve. The program prioritizes recruitment from existing non-certified staff within partner districts, offering them a pathway to certification that includes a full-time residency with competitive pay and benefits. The CT-TRP Math program is set to begin implementation in the summer of 2024, with CREC eagerly anticipating the recruitment of its inaugural cohort. "The Connecticut Teacher Residency Program is excited to add middle school mathematics to our growing list of certification pathways. Research has shown that teacher residency models are an innovative approach to recruiting, preparing and retaining high-quality teachers,” said Ushawnda Mitchell, Managing Director of Residency for CT TRP, to highlight the program's significance. “With the support of the RESC Alliance, our partner districts, and grant funders, we continue to diversify Connecticut's teacher workforce. We currently have 102 (95% are people of color) TRP teachers from our first four cohorts currently serving as teachers of record in elementary classrooms across the state of Connecticut. This fall we will not only add more elementary teachers to this growing number but also special education teachers and next year math."During their first academic year, candidates will engage in over 450 contact hours of coursework covering both the content and pedagogy of middle school mathematics. This includes intensive summer sessions and evening courses during the residency year, alongside additional professional development opportunities through school-based learning. This comprehensive approach ensures that upon meeting certification requirements, these educators are well-prepared to assume full-time positions as middle school mathematics teachers, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and insight to inspire and educate future generations."I am extremely excited with the expansion of TRP to include middle school math certification,” said Nicole Sanders, Assistant Chief Talent Officer for the Consolidated School District of New Britain (CSDNB), a partnering school district. “This is yet another opportunity to grow CSDNB educator pathway to diversify the workforce. CSDNB and TRP's continuous partnership and commitment to aspirant teachers challenges traditional methods for recruitment, hiring and selection and retention is in its infancy and we look forward to what future endeavors."  For more information about the TRP-Math program and how this initiative represents a strategic response to the evolving needs of Connecticut's educational system, providing a viable solution to the twin challenges of teacher shortage and lack of diversity in the STEM fields, visit ct-trp.org. ###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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Dec 21

CREC Foundation announces Ana Grace Love Wins Scholarship

(Hartford, Conn.) In conjunction with the eleventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the CREC Foundation is proud to announce its newest Scholarship Fund—The Ana Grace Love Wins Scholarship.The scholarship is dedicated to Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, the daughter of Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, and sister to Isaiah Márquez-Greene. Ana was one of the students murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre on December 14, 2012. In memory of Ana, the Márquez-Greene family has partnered with CREC to offer this four-year award to honor what should be the natural cycle of their daughter, Ana Grace’s, college years. She would likely have graduated high school in 2024. The Márquez-Greene family hopes the scholarship serves as a reminder that perseverance, hard work, and community can prevail—even in the most tragic of circumstances.“As graduates of CREC schools, we are enthusiastic champions of the specialized study, academic rigor and enhanced learning opportunities that come from being with others outside your own circle,” said Nelba Márquez-Greene, on behalf of herself and Jimmy. “We have such positive memories of our years as students and later as staff and believe this is exactly what the world needs right now.”  To be eligible for the award, the applying student must be a 2024 graduate from a CREC Magnet School or the Hartford Region Open Choice Program who has excelled academically and has demonstrated an interest in the arts.The scholarship award is for one student for a total of $25,000 and is renewable up to four years at $6,250.Applications are due to the CREC Foundation by April 2, 2024, and interested applicants can find the application here: HYPERLINK "https://www.crec.org/foundation/docs/Ana_Grace_Love_Wins_Scholarship_application_.pdf"https://www.crec.org/foundation/docs/Ana_Grace_Love_Wins_Scholarship_application_.pdf In addition to being a CREC or Open Choice Student with an arts interest, applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be accepted to a four-year college program, have a demonstrated financial need, and agree to public recognition of the award with the Márquez-Greene family.In 2014, CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Elementary School was renamed in honor of Ana Grace. CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School served students grade PreK-5 in its Avon facility until its merger with CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School in January 2022, when CREC opened the CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts PreK-8 school in Bloomfield. ###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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May 19

CREC hires Miguel Pabon to replace retiring Carole Kerkin as Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services

(Hartford, Conn.) On Monday, May 15, 2023, CREC officially announced the hiring of Miguel Pabon as Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Services for CREC Magnet Schools, effective July 2023. Pabon leaves his current role as Director of Pupil Services for Waterbury Public Schools to re-join CREC. “Miguel Pabon is a great hire for CREC. With previous experience working for CREC, he understands the complexity of providing students services in a magnet school environment,” said Timothy J. Sullivan Jr., Superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools. “He knows that building strong relationships with our sending districts is critical to our success. Miguel has spent his career advocating for students and families, we are happy to have him leading that effort in our schools and programs.”Pabon will replace Carole Kerkin, who is retiring from the same position at the end of the school year. “The departure of Carole Kerkin leaves us with big shoes to fill,” said Sullivan. “Carole was relentless in efforts to support our students and make sure that every child was given the opportunity to be successful.”Kerkin has served CREC in many roles for over 20 years, including time as Assistant Director of both CREC Student Services and the Hartford Region Open Choice Program.Originally from Puerto Rico, Pabon has lived in Connecticut the majority of his life and is a product of an urban public school education. He is bilingual/bicultural and has dedicated his professional career of over 25 years to working in urban education. After earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and Master’s degree from Northeastern University, he worked as a bilingual school psychologist for Hartford Public Schools for nine years. Miguel earned his sixth-year degree in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University and has held a variety of leadership positions in several school districts, including previous time with CREC, Hartford, Windham, and Waterbury.###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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May 18

CREC Council Passes Resolution to Support Student Centered Funding Through CGA House Bill 5003

(Hartford, Conn.) At CREC’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the CREC Council approved a resolution requesting Governor Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly to support and fully fund the Student Centered Funding Plan within House Bill 5003: An Act Concerning Education Funding. The resolution also asks that the plan be adopted into the Biennium State Budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25.“As a long time educator, this legislation is transformational in providing an equitable funding mechanism for all public school students, including magnet school students, to be fully funded according to their learning needs while also providing our school districts with relief for magnet tuition,”said Greg Florio, CREC Executive Director. “We ask Governor Lamont and our Legislative Leaders to fully fund HB 5003"By removing the need for tuition, HB 5003 creates a Student Centered Funding Formula that eliminates the burden of regular education costs on the resident districts of Sheff magnet school students. This resolution demonstrates a joint commitment of CREC council members representing boards of education in the Capitol Region for fully funding this transformative legislation.The CREC Council is comprised of 34 board of education members from the cities and towns in the Capitol Region:- Lydia Tedone, CREC Council Chair, Simsbury- Tyron Harris, Vice-Chair, East Hartford- Kim Oliver, Secretary/Treasurer, Hartford- Jackie Blea, Avon- Tracy Sisti, Berlin- Donald F. Harris, Jr., Bloomfield- Joseph Wilkerson, Jr., Bloomfield- Rhea Klein, Bolton- Louis M. Daniels, Canton- Celina Kelleher, Cromwell- Kate Carey-Trull, East Windsor- Francis Neill, East Windsor- Miriam Underwood, Ellington- Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, Farmington- Julie Thompson, Glastonbury- Kristina Gilton, Granby- Chris Pattacini, Manchester- Merrill Gay, New Britain- Bruce Fletcher, Newington- Becky Tyrrell, Plainville- Meg Scata, Portland- John Vecchitto, Regional School District 10 (Harwinton/Burlington)- Dilip Desai, Rocky Hill- Krista Cherry, Somers- Sarah Moynihan Bollinger, Somers- Anitha Elango, South Windsor- Craig Zimmerman, South Windsor- Robert Brown Connellan, Southington- Maureen Sattan, Suffield- Deborah Rodriguez, Vernon- Bobbie Hughes-Granato, Wethersfield- Leonard Lockhart, Windsor- David Furie, Windsor- Dennis Gragnolati, Windsor Locks- Patricia King, Windsor Locks###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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Jun 29

The Hartford Region Open Choice Program Awards its Annual Scholarships for 2022

On Wednesday, May 18, The Hartford Region Open Choice Program awarded its Annual Scholarships for 2022. The scholarships are awarded each year to Open Choice high school seniors, all Hartford residents.The Mary Carroll-Kennedy Scholarship was established in honor of the founding director of Open Choice, formally Project Concern, where she dedicated more than 30 years to providing opportunities for Hartford residents who desired a diverse and quality education. Carroll began her career in education in Connecticut in 1964. In 1966, Project Concern was developed and managed by the Hartford Board of Education, and she accepted a position in 1968 as a support teacher for the program. As a result of her dedication and passion for serving children, Carroll became director of Project Concern in 1982 and successfully worked to provide Hartford students with educational opportunities. The 2022 recipients of the Mary Carroll-Kennedy Scholarship are: Juliana Garcia Chincilla of Berlin High School will attend Central Connecticut State University and major in Business.Akeva Koulla of Avon High School will attend University of Connecticut and major in Biomedical Engineering. Sarah Antoine of Hall High School will attend Southern Connecticut State University and major in Digital Production.In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hartford Region Open Choice Program, formerly Project Concern, CREC Established the Marjorie Little Book Award. The award recognizes the contributions of parents and employees to the program and is given in honor of Marjorie Little, a parent and a former employee who comiited 29 years of her life to ensure that Hartford residents have a choice when it comes to their education. The 2022 recipients of the Marjorie Little Book Award are:Noelle Blake of Avon High School will attend Dartmouth College and major in Government.Didismay Yedra of Portland High School will attend Eastern Connecticut State University and major in Education. “The Hartford Based team is ecstatic to be able to continue this annual scholarship to this years recipients. Congratulations to this years recipiences. They have worked incredibly hard and we look forward to hearing about the positive impact they will make as they enter into the next stage in their lives.” concluded Kristina Jordan, Director of School Choice. ###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings over five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools and two magnet programs. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org. ...

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©2023 Capitol Region Education Council
111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106   •   (860) 247-CREC

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©2023 Capitol Region Education Council
111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106   •   (860) 247-CREC

CREC Webmail | Employee Portal

Policies and Procedures | Disclaimers | Press Room | Careers | Contact Us