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West Hartford Teacher of the Year Announced

Hall English teacher Jen Lanese has been named West Hartford's 2015 Teacher of the Year. Photo credit: Clare Taylor Neseralla

Hall English teacher Jen Lanese has been named West Hartford’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

Hall English teacher Jen Lanese has been named West Hartford's 2015 Teacher of the Year. Photo credit: Clare Taylor Neseralla

Hall English teacher Jen Lanese has been named West Hartford’s 2015 Teacher of the Year. Photo credit: Clare Taylor Neseralla

By Ronni Newton

Hall High School English teacher Jen Lanese was announced as the 2015 Teacher of the Year Thursday evening at the annual West Hartford Education Association/West Hartford Administrator’s Recognition Dinner held at the Farmington Club.

Lanese began teaching in the English Department at Hall in 2001, and currently teaches freshman English as well as a British Literature course that is an elective for juniors.

“We try to have fun everyday,” Lanese told We-Ha.com when asked earlier this month about her teaching style. She said that a student once said that students are awake at school more hours than they are at home, and she has never forgotten that.

When Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore informed the Board of Education that Lanese was one of the finalists, he said that she is extremely devoted to her students. “They seek her out in the hallways, seek her out after school, they want to make her proud,” he said.

Lanese has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education/English from the University of Connecticut as well as a Master of Arts in Secondary Education/English from the University of Connecticut

In addition to teaching English, Lanese also serves as faculty advisor to the Action Club which promotes social justice and youth leadership, and has just taken on the role of co-advisor to the Drag Society at Hall.

“She’s deeply committed to the culture and community at Hall and making sure that each student has a place,” Moore said.

The other finalists were Jennifer Hall, a Morley 4th grade teacher and Christine Newman, a Duffy kindergarten teacher.

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2 Comments

  • As a parent of 3 children in West Hartford schools, I am very disappointed by this announcement. The recent article mentioning this teacher in West Hartford Life was a real embarrassment to the district, and the fact that this teacher was named Teacher of the Year was motivated clearly by politics. The Drag Club that this teacher moderates is completely inappropriate at a school. Other forms of similar self expression and avenues for promoting understanding and acceptance already exist in the schools, and a flaunting dress up club has no educational component. The line of good taste has completely been crossed.

    • As a former student of Ms. Lanese, I am very disappointed that a closed minded parent is insulting what Ms. Lanese does to make Hall a welcoming environment for all students. She is an outstanding educator and deserves recognition for her hard work. I know that I am a better person for having been in her class and hope that West Hartford parents understand the value that she has to many students at Hall High School.

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