Isabella Horan, a senior at the University of Connecticut, has been selected as the Alma Exley Scholar for 2019. Supporters of the Alma Exley Scholarship Program will honor her at a reception in the spring, date and place to be announced later.
Ms. Horan, a graduate of Duxbury (Mass.) High School, is in the fourth year of the five-year Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s (IBM) program at UConn. She is an elementary education major with a minor in English.
At UConn, she has spent two years as president of the Teacher Education Student Association (TESA). She has refashioned the organization into a vital source for community building among students and faculty. Under her leadership, TESA has organized events such as a forum focused on how teachers can strengthen relationships across racial differences to better serve K-12 students.
She is deeply committed to addressing issues of educational equity. In her field placements in public schools, she has paid close attention to how special education students were being disciplined. She raised her concerns with UConn faculty and worked with cooperating teachers in the schools to rectify the disciplinary practices. And she has conducted research into the causes and consequences of the over-representation of students of color in special education.
She has received UConn IDEA Grant to support her efforts to recruit more teachers of color to work in the schools local to her hometown. She worked with organizations in Boston that shared her goal. She is now involved in other research projects with the goal of ensuring that all school districts become culturally diverse to reflect student populations.
Among other activities, she has served as a mentor to prospective education majors in UConn’s First-Year Experience Program. She has visited third-grade classrooms to promote literacy in the Champions Are Readers program with her sorority, Pi Beta Phi. And has also been recognized for outstanding leadership with an award from the Greater Hartford Panhellenic Association.
Ms. Horan joins a remarkable network of Alma Exley Scholars honored over the past 23 years. They include teachers as well as principals and assistant superintendents. Many have been honored for their contributions to education and their communities.
Our selection committee is certain that she has a bright future as an outstanding educator.