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 Nathan D. Quesnel
                                                                                                    Superintendent of Schools

1110 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06108             Tel: (860) 622-5107          Fax: (860) 622-5119       www.easthartford.org

May 31, 2018

Believe it or not…June here we come!  I hope all is well with you and yours!

In the month of May, I have the unique and incredible opportunity of scheduling meetings with seniors at EHHS who have continuously been in the school system since Kindergarten…we call them the “Lucky 13.”  This year we had 127 of these students and interestingly 8 of the Top 20 students also fall into this category.  (This trend happens nearly every year).  I meet with these students to have an open dialogue as our most knowledgeable consumers of the system about what we are doing well, where we can improve and finally to thank them for all their contributions to our schools. 

Someday, I am going to ask permission and video tape these conversations—If we are looking for an inspirational message for any educator, these sessions are full of the moments that remind us all of why we got into this business and, importantly, that the work we are doing today actually has a huge return on investment.  Consistently, our kids tell us about unique and powerful experiences with faculty members from across schools/grade levels and programs where an adult reached out and made an impact on them…unquestionably, when I ask them what we are doing well…they talk about you...I am never surprised.

This year with one of the groups, we dove into this conversation a little deeper and asked the kids to specifically tell us what our faculty did that let them know they care.  Conversely, we also asked what characteristics defined a negative experience where they felt a faculty member didn’t exhibit this level of care.  As we circled the room allowing each student to respond to both points, I was blown away at their response…here is what they said:

         I know my teachers cares when…

        I know my teacher doesn't care when...

  • They come to my afterschool events and cheer me on.
  • They print out progress reports and sit with me to help me know what needs to be made up.
  • They recognize my effort.
  • They won’t let me slack off…even when I’m trying really hard to slack off.
  • They ask me how I am doing.
  • They give credit where credit is due.
  • They take my ideas or my classmates ideas into consideration in their teaching.
  • They relate to me.
  • They offer a shoulder to cry on.
  • They sigh in disgust when I answer a question or even show up in class.
  • They round down instead of rounding up on a grade.
  • They don’t give make-up work, but still hold me accountable for missing work.
  • They put the dumb kids in the back and teach to the smart kids.
  • They answer my question with the same answer as the last time…only louder.
  • They tune me out.
  • They don’t offer second chances.
  • …I’ve never had a teacher at EHPS who didn’t care for me.

This list is a mirror as we think about the next month of school.  The word “care” is a powerful word that frankly, costs very little, takes very little time and provides huge benefits for our kids.  Thanks in advance for finding yourself on this list, for always working to grow and for “caring” so much for our kids.  Our school year will be defined by each of us and by our kids over the experiences well all share in the next 13 days (14 for O’Brien and Woodland…sorryJ).  Let’s be sure we define this year with the word “care.”

See you in the halls,


  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2011 Award Ribbon
  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2012 Award Ribbon
  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2013 Award Ribbon
  • Hartford Courant Top Work Places 2016 Award Ribbon
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