Speaking on the issues, will be José A. Colón of Hartford Public High School, Robert Cotto of Trinity College and the Hartford Board of Education, and Kate Busch Gervais of the Discovery Center.
José A. Colón is a school administrator in the Hartford Public Schools. He currently serves the as Principal of the Law and Government Academy at Hartford Public High School. He is a native of Hartford and a proud graduate of the Hartford Public School System. Mr. Colón received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Connecticut, a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from Eastern Connecticut State University and a post master’s degree from Sacred Heart University in School Administration.
Prior to his work in the Hartford School System, Mr. Colón served the Town of West Hartford as the Co-Director of the Youth Service Bureau through his work at the Bridge Family Center. In West Hartford he worked closely with the school system and other departments in town to deliver high quality prevention and intervention programs and services to youth and teens.
Mr. Colón is married to Ms. Vivian Luna-Colón who is also a lifelong educator and they have an amazing daughter Samantha, a senior at the Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy.
Robert Cotto, Jr. is the Director of Urban Education Initiatives at Trinity College. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in sociology and he has a Master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Trinity College in American Studies. Before coming to Trinity, Robert was a K-12 educational researcher and teacher.
He believes that teaching and learning should be connected to each student’s interests, the communities related to our study, and the scholars that have come before us. He has worked with students at various levels in the Hartford area to develop their academic interests, abilities, and skills.
His academic work focuses on K-12 education policy. His past and present research focuses on educational reform movements in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that offer educational improvement, yet often reinforce inequality or are subverted by existing social policy. In particular, he studies the history and current impact of educational testing, school choice, and teacher-led innovation, and management policies, particularly with respect to marginalized and racialized groups.
Kate has been the Executive Director of The Discovery Center since July, 2015. The Discovery Center is a nonprofit educational social change organization works in partnership with youth, families, schools and communities to facilitate nurturing spaces where people can challenge systemic racism and oppression. Kate’s experience includes more than three decades in social justice, community engagement and entrepreneurship.
Kate previously managed the grassroots outreach for the launch of the Affordable Care Act for Access Health Connecticut and the Office of the CT Healthcare Advocate by working with more than 250 community organizations, state agencies and individuals to reach underserved individuals and communities with services in 33 languages. More than 35,000 were enrolled through this effort, which was highlighted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Texas Health Institute and the Yale School of Public Health as a highly-effective, respectful program. She was Senior Program and Development Officer for Universal Health Care Foundation where she developed the Small Business Health Care Network, focused on small and businesses owned by people of color. This program engaged more than 1,000 small business owners and leaders in advocating for their needs on a statewide and national state.
What will you ask the featured guests? Let us know in the comments below and join us tonight! 5:30 PM social half-hour, 6:00 PM discussion, all at the Stowe Center!