9 teacher trainees complete first step in TRP program
Nine people recently took their first step toward becoming teachers after completing a program hosted by CES that was created to help Connecticut increase the number of teachers of color in schools.
The Connecticut Teacher Residency Program (TRP) was started in 2019 with approval from the state’s Department of Education and CES joined the effort this summer with three other Regional Educational Service Centers (ACES, CREC and LEARN). The nine participants who took classes at CES over six weeks are partnered with local school districts  — CES, Darien, Fairfield, Stamford and Westport — that will provide mentors and residency spots in their elementary schools in the 2021-22 school year.
9 teacher trainees from TRP program pose
The summer courses at CES were completed July 30 by these nine teacher trainees, who are listed along with the sponsoring district where they will begin working in the fall:
Devan Jones (Stamford); Denise Estemil (CES); Consuelo Nieves (CES); Regine Thadal (Darien); Marcus Hamilton (Darien); Alexandra Jean-Francois (Fairfield); Debrow Giscombe (Stamford); Reina DiNino (Stamford); and Desirae Williams (Westport).
TRP eliminates typical barriers to certification for teachers of color, such as the high cost of graduate school tuition, standardized test requirements, and inadequate preparation. After enrolling, the candidates go through 18 months of the TRP program that consists of:
  • The recently completed six-week intensive training led by practicing professionals;
  • A year of residency in their assigned school that allows them to gain experience working with a mentor teacher, while also taking courses at night;
  • Six weeks of training next summer. 
After that, the teacher trainees are eligible to seek certification from the state. Once certified, they will spend at least three years working in the district that sponsored them throughout the training process, while continuing to have access to TRP’s professional development opportunities.
While this summer’s group is on a path to become elementary school teachers, the TRP program is expected to add more certification areas, such as STEM and special education, and expand to offer more training locations, TRP Director Marlene Megos said.
In addition to funding from the partner school districts, support for TRP has been provided by the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, Black Educators Initiative, and the CES Foundation.
TRP first began training teachers at CREC, the Regional Educational Service Center based in Hartford, in 2019. This summer was the first time the program expanded to three other RESCs, including CES. Enrollment for the next class opens in November and classes will begin in June 2022.
For more information about TRP, visit www.ct-trp.org or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/trpct.