Press Releases


Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker, East Hartford Public Schools and the University of Saint Joseph Celebrate Partnership to Educate the Next Generation of Teachers

Commissioner Russell-Tucker and East Hartford Public Schools Receive Honor from USJ

East Hartford, CT - Today, the Connecticut State Department of Education, East Hartford Public Schools, and the University of Saint Joseph gathered to celebrate their collective efforts to recruit and train the next generation of educators in the state under the Educators Rising and NextGen programs. These efforts assisted Connecticut in exceeding the State Board of Education’s 5-year goal for increasing diversity in the educator workforce and are a part of the CSDE’s multi-pronged approach to building an educator workforce that reflects the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of its students.

In addition to diversifying Connecticut’s educator workforce, these initiatives are also aimed at addressing staffing shortages. NextGen, for example, brings highly motivated college students seeking education degrees into classrooms to gain experience as substitutes, providing districts with immediate access to new talent, easing pressures on current teachers, and addressing staffing shortages. This year, NextGen and the Connecticut State Department of Education have placed 76 aspiring educators in Connecticut classrooms within 8 districts.

 “The State Department of Education values partners like the University of Saint Joseph and East Hartford Public Schools,” said Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker. “Working together to deploy initiatives like NextGen and EdRising, we can inspire future educators and close the existing gap between educators and students of color so the workforce better reflects the diversity of our students and communities.”

 “Innovative partnerships have been key to the University of Saint Joseph’s approach to helping meet workforce needs in the state, and this collaboration with East Hartford Public Schools is just one way to address the critical need for highly-trained teachers from diverse backgrounds,” said University of Saint Joseph President Rhona C. Free, Ph.D. “The Connecticut State Department of Education, East Hartford Public Schools, and USJ faculty have been creative and flexible in their commitment to providing excellent teacher preparation, and I’m very grateful to everyone involved, especially Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker for making this possible,”

 “At East Hartford Public Schools, we are delighted and deeply grateful to be building a long-range partnership with University of Saint Joseph. This partnership will allow us to achieve our mutual goal of growing a talented workforce that represents the student population in East Hartford, while giving our teachers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and lead the next generation of educators,” said Nathan Quesnel, Superintendent of East Hartford Public Schools.

USJ and EHPS are both partners in the Governor’s NextGen Educators Program which allows undergraduate students enrolled in an Educator Preparation Program to work in schools and count this toward their clinical practice hours requirement. USJ and Mayberry are a full partnership school. Students at USJ will serve the Mayberry students for three semesters before they are ready to student teach.




Eric Scoville

Director of Communications

Connecticut State Department of Education



Laura Roberts

Communications and Marketing Specialist

East Hartford Public Schools



Stacy E. Routhier

Director of Marketing & Communications

University of Saint Joseph



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