Six public school teachers from Cambridge and Boston received Conant Fellowships from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) at a reception in Longfellow Hall on Thursday.
Founded in 1986 in honor of James Bryant Conant, President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, The Conant Fellowship program provides three teachers from the Boston and Cambridge public school districts with a $7000 stipend to study for one year. Tuition at the school costs approximately $11,000 each year, said Dudley F. Blodgett, HGSE's Director of External Relations.
"The gift signifies Harvard's deepening commitment to Boston and Cambridge," said John Shattuck, Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Affairs. "The Conant Fellows will strengthen our link with these school systems for many years to come."
The new Conant Fellows are: Christopher A. Affleck, Edward Doherty, Caroline Hunter, Susan Fleming, Ruben Stern and Ramona E. Paige '75.
Paige, a math teacher at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, said she was glad that Harvard finally committed itself to the Cambridge community. "When I was at Radcliffe in 1975, there was no emphasis on Harvard's commitment to education in the Cambridge community," she said.
A $750,000 endowment provided by Harvard funds the fellowship program. "We're just using the interest on the endowment to provide the grants," Blodget said.
Blodget said that HGSE hopes to make the fellowship available to more teachers in the future and is planning to seek support from alumni and local corporations who have an interest in the public school systems. "Six fellowships is great, but we want to have the capabilities of offering more," he said.
Selection committees comprised of faculty from the Boston and Cambridge school systems worked with the school's admissions office to choose the three recipients from each city.