Theresa Vara-Dannen, of Middlebury, an English teacher at the University High School of Science and Engineering, is one of the winners of a 2010 Yale Educator Award. The award recognizes outstanding educators from around the world who have supported and inspired current Yale University students to achieve at high levels.
Vara-Dannen was nominated for the award by student Jennifer Ky of Hartford. Matriculating students are invited to nominate high school educators, and a committee composed of Yale admissions officers reviews the nominations individually and designates recipients. Of 269 nominations received, 30 teachers and 18 counselors were selected to receive the awards. In September, the winners were sent engraved desk sets and congratulatory letters, and administrators of the high schools were notified of their achievement.
Vara-Dannen was also the recipient of an annual Innovation and Collaboration Award in 2007 given by the University of Hartford to deserving teachers at the two public magnet schools - the University High School of Science and Engineering and the University of Hartford Magnet School (pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade) - on its campus.
Ky, who is planning to pursue a career in molecular biology, is a 2010 graduate of the University of High School of Science and Engineering. She achieved some notoriety in December of 2009 when she and two other classmates at UHSSE were all accepted as early-admission candidates to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Those two classmates - Josh Sibblies of Windsor and Katie Allsop of Bolton - are currently students at MIT.
Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a "private university with a public purpose," the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, the humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and the health professions. The University's student body of 7,300 represents 45 states and more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu.