Campus & Community

Five area educators honored with Conant Fellowships

4 min read

The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) presented five educators from the Boston and Cambridge public school systems with James Bryant Conant Fellowships in June. Each of the recipients will receive one year of study at HGSE.

This year’s recipients are Marisa Bober, a mathematics teacher at Charlestown High School for grades nine-12; Elise Cucchi, a seventh-grade humanities and French teacher at the Mary Lyon K-8 in Brighton; Xavier Rozas, who has built an integrated media program to support and highlight staff and student achievements at The English High School in Jamaica Plain; Christopher Tsang, a sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade humanities teacher at The Harbor School in Boston; and Tanya Milner, an 11th-grade United States history, who also teaches freshmen in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.

HGSE awards the Conant Fellowships to support the professional growth of outstanding Boston and Cambridge public school teachers and administrators who have shown commitment to public education and demonstrated leadership potential. As a stipulation of the award, fellows are required to continue in their school systems for one year after receiving their advanced degree. Recipients are chosen by the Conant Fellowship Committee, which includes representatives from HGSE as well as the Boston and Cambridge public school systems.

The fellowships, named after the former Harvard University president who was a dedicated supporter of public education and a strong advocate of school reform, were established in 1986 to commemorate the University’s 350th anniversary. The awards were presented by Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson and Cambridge Public Schools Acting Superintendent Carolyn Turk.
The Conant Fellowship recipients

Marisa Bober has taught mathematics at Charlestown High School for the past five years. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000, where she was a member of the award-winning MIT Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team. Her interest in robotics, coupled with her professional experience as a mechanical engineer, led to becoming a founding member of the Charlestown High School FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team. In addition to mentoring the robotics team, she is also a faculty mentor of the Math Club. Bober will pursue a master’s degree in education policy and management.

Over her many years as a teacher at the Mary Lyon K-8 in Brighton, Elise Cucchi has led the drama and science clubs and mentored several groups of students in the Boston Science Fair. Her interests include special education and inclusion models. At Harvard, she will pursue a second master’s degree in the School Leadership Program, where she hopes to further advance special education services in public schools.

During the past five years at The English High School, Xavier Rozas built an integrated media program to support and highlight staff and student achievements. Drawing on his experience as a media professional, he designed and implemented an award-winning multimedia program at the school. Students in his classes embrace media literacy through the thoughtful creation of digital content including WEHS radio broadcasts, ETV Newscasts, (a community Web site), and the Blue Planet Gazette. He is the recipient of the Dola Award for Innovative Teaching Methods in Media Literacy.

Christopher Tsang has taught humanities at the Harbor School for the past seven years. He is proud to be a part of the National Writing Project and the Boston Writing Project. Tsang currently is writing a young-adult novel that focuses on Asian-Americans living in the city. Tsang serves on the Urban Sites Network Leadership Team and chairs the 2011 Boston Urban Sites Conference Planning Team. He will pursue a master’s degree in the School Leadership Program, specifically to earn a principal licensure.

Tanya Milner, who has taught at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School for 10 years, directs summer programs such as STEP, JumpStart, and Rise Up, which work to support at-risk ninth-graders. She has also mentored various interns from the HGSE and other graduate programs. Milner earned a master’s in teaching and curriculum from HGSE in 1999 and a bachelor of arts degree from Haverford College in 1996. She will pursue a degree in the School Leadership Program to become a school developer.