Marian Hourigan joined the Connecticut Council for Education Reform on July 1, 2014 as the Director of District and School Partnerships. She will work directly with education leaders to develop and lead initiatives to transform educational practices in their districts. Marian has had a twenty-six year career in public education as a teacher, principal, and as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Rocky Hill Public Schools for the past six years. The majority of her career has been in an urban education environment, first as a student teacher in the University of Connecticut’s Urban Education Program in New Haven and then as a teacher and principal in Meriden. Marian holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut, a Master’s Degree in Reading from Central Connecticut State University, a Sixth Year Degree from Southern Connecticut State University, and she has also completed a PIMMS fellowship at Wesleyan University in the ‘95 Integrated Math and Science program. Marian lives in Cheshire with her husband, Jack, and their dog, Scotty.
“As the former principal of an elementary school with a very diverse population, I have learned firsthand about the differing levels of readiness that kindergartners show when they first start school. Half of my students came from impoverished backgrounds with English as a second language and without the opportunity to attend preschool. The other half of my kindergarten classes entered school with all of the benefits of a more affluent lifestyle, which included preschool experiences, home environments filled with books and technology, and, consequently, a richer vocabulary and literacy background than the first group of students. My first challenge as an administrator was to provide an enriching educational experience for all students in the school, while simultaneously addressing the gap that already existed at age 5. Using a well-developed curriculum with the appropriate resources, all of our kindergarten teachers worked diligently to achieve that goal. Our success did not come immediately or easily. We worked together to share best practices, analyze student data, and provide supplemental instruction, and we narrowed that gap for many children. I believe that every child, regardless of his/her race, ethnicity, gender, or economic background, deserves the right to the highest quality education. Education should be differentiated to meet the needs of each student and dedicated to providing every child with the opportunity for a successful future.”