Fragoso forges connections with students, families beyond classrooms

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MERIDEN — During her past 24 years as a teacher in the Meriden Public Schools, Angela Fragoso has worked with some of the school district’s most marginalized students: English language learners. 

Fragoso said she has had numerous rewarding experiences forging connections with students and their families. 

“To me teaching is about more than just teaching in the classroom. It’s about developing the whole child. It’s about getting to know them as learners, and who they are and helping them grow — not just growing their brains but growing them as people as well.”

Fragoso, a teacher at Platt High School for the past four years, spoke with the Record-Journal just moments after School Superintendent Mark D. Benigni announced she was named the school district’s teacher of the year for 2024. Fragoso was one of 13 teachers who were named as teachers of the year for their school buildings as well.

Fragoso said she’s worked with English language learners throughout the course of her teaching career.

Platt Principal Dan Corsetti described Fragoso as the “best of the best.”

“She connects with families on all levels. She holds high expectations for her kids and families. She believes her students and teachers can go to college and be as successful as she is, and she lives that every day. I’m so proud of her,” Corsetti said.

Corsetti said Fragoso works with “the kids who are trying to navigate this country in two languages, the school system in two languages, and she treats everybody with this humanity — like they are their own children. It’s magical to watch.”

Patricia Sullivan-Kowalski, assistant superintendent of student supports and co-chair of the district’s Teacher of the Year Committee, said Fragoso “has truly embraced the ideas of equity and access in the classroom.” 

“She's an advocate and champion for her students, but more importantly than that, she's a great communicator when it comes to making sure her students and families have access to all of the many opportunities available to them.”

Sullivan-Kowalski noted that Fragoso’s current role at Platt has been expanded to include FAFSA coach, meaning she also helps multilingual students and their families navigate the complex college financial aid process. “She works with families on college and career readiness, helping kids figure out what their postsecondary plan is and working with them to see that plan through. 

“Angela visits them in their homes and she builds relationships that focus on the whole child. Angela makes sure that some of our most marginalized students are experiencing success both in the classroom and in life,” Sullivan-Kowalski said. 

Benigni offered praise for all of the honorees in his remarks before announcing Fragoso as the teacher of the year recipient. “We're fortunate because our teachers truly care about our students — always about making connections with our students and that's really what it's all about,” he said. 

Twelve other teachers were named as their teacher of the year for their schools. They are Savanna Cleveland, John Barry Elementary School; David Baron, Edison Middle School; Stephanie Clark, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School; Amy Murdzek,  Nathan Hale Elementary School; Charles Busath, Hanover Elementary School; Dialis Ortiz, Thomas Hooker Elementary School; Ed Tartaglia,  Lincoln Middle School; Barbara Lipka, Maloney High School; Wendy Dringoli, Casimir Pulaski Elementary School; Denise McCarty,  Israel Putnam Elementary School; Emily Monnes,  Roger Sherman School; Samantha Jaronko, Washington Middle School.



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