Future teachers win excellence award

Quinnipiac Master of Arts in Teaching students work with children at the Fair Haven Junior High School in New Haven, CT, February 6, 2013.

Working in the community

A master of arts in teaching student works with children at Fair Haven Junior High School in New Haven. Quinnipiac's FTO was honored in part for its work in the community.

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uinnipiac University's Future Teachers Organization won the Local Excellence Award at the National Education Association Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. 

"Winning this award has validated what we at the School of Education believe about the Quinnipiac Future Teachers Organization," said Marion Sparago, the chapter adviser. "QFTO is an organization with extremely dedicated members who not only care about teaching, but are leaders for social justice. I am very proud of all they have accomplished." 

The award recognizes student chapters that have achieved excellence throughout the year by providing members with leadership and development opportunities in the areas of teacher quality, community outreach and political action. 

"Our organization membership has grown immensely over the past few years," said Nina Burns, a graduate student who served as president of QFTO during the 2015-16 school year. "This has allowed us to expand and add many programs that we facilitate in the local communities surrounding Quinnipiac University. We were very excited that NEA recognized this and hope it will help us build relationships with even more school districts in the future. " 

QFTO bested four other university chapters from around the United States. Quinnipiac executive board members Burns, Kayla Thomson and Diana Mikelis, co-vice presidents; Becky Folz, secretary; Sami Paradee, treasurer; and Luciana Fohsz, public relations, traveled to Washington, D.C., in June 2016 to receive the award. 

The organization has 116 members and is a preprofessional organization of aspiring teachers, most of whom are enrolled in the master of arts in teaching program at Quinnipiac. As a service organization, QFTO engages in outreach activities within the community focused on improving student learning. 

The National Education Association is the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA, with its headquarters in Washington, D.C., proudly claims 3.2 million members who work at every level of education, from preschool to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliates in every state and more than 14,000 local communities nationwide.

"Winning this award has validated what we at the School of Education believe about the Quinnipiac Future Teachers Organization. QFTO is an organization with extremely dedicated members who not only care about teaching, but are leaders for social justice."
Marion Sparago, chapter adviser