When Janis Raguin ’92 thinks back on her grad school experience at the College of Education, one of the things she remembers best is “the strong spirit of connection and community.”
She has tried to bring that same spirit to her own work as a middle school teacher and therapist. Now she’s joining the College of Education’s efforts to strengthen its connections with communities that are underrepresented in the teaching profession.
Last fall, Raguin and her husband, John, endowed the Grow Our Own Scholarship, which will help the College of Education engage and recruit more talented local high school students from diverse backgrounds. It’s part of a broader push by Dean Eleanor Abrams to address the diversity gap in Massachusetts public K-12 schools, where 40 percent of students are of color, but less than 10 percent of their teachers are.
“Most students end up teaching within a 25-mile radius of where they’re educated,” observes Raguin, who serves on the College of Education Advisory Board and received the college’s University Alumni Award this spring. “We hope students who receive this scholarship will stay here and inspire the next generation.”
Longtime supporters of the UTeach program, the Raguins have also made a major gift for the renovation of Coburn Hall, the College of Education’s historic home. “Both John and I feel very lucky about the education we received in Massachusetts public schools, and we wanted to give back,” says Raguin.