Several Hartford Public Schools teachers shared their stories – who they are, why they teach, and why they teach in Hartford– with students in a Public Relations class at Hartford Public Schools’ Journalism and Media Academy satellite campus at the CPBN Learning Lab. CPBN partnered with Hartford Public Schools to produce these videos during the 2014-2015 school-year. The students recorded interviews with the teachers and edited the discussions into the 3-minute stories you can watch here.  For more information about the Journalism and Media Magnet Academy, go to

Teachers’ Stories

The Student Filmmakers

and their Subjects

The Students’ Stories

My name is Walter Vazquez and I am a Senior at the Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School.  My senior year is almost at a close and I am excited about graduation and ascendance toward college.  What I want to do in the future is to design games and make a good life and play games for fun. I’m a gamer for life.



Teacher Joan Coleman

Walter Vazquez, Class of 2015 & Joan Coleman, mathematics teacher at Hartford Public High School’s Academy of Engineering & Green Technology


My name is Edward Agron, I was born at St. Francis Hospital. I have two younger sisters.  I was raised in the south end of Hartford and moved north of Hartford at the age of 7. The area I live in now is ok, I wouldn’t say it is the ghetto but it’s quiet. and I mean quiet, to the point you can hear the next door neighbor having a conversation.

Read more…


Teacher Vanessa Cruz

Edward Agron, Class of 2015 & Vanessa Cruz, teacher at Bulkeley High School

Teacher Laura Giannitti

Nick Newsome, Class of 2015 & Laura Giannitti, teacher at Betances Early Reading Lab

My name is Bishnu Khatiwada. I am 19 years old. I’m a senior at the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School. I have three brothers and one sister. I am the second oldest one. I was born to a world of bamboo huts, food rations, and dirt roads. My family was in Beldangi, a refugee camp in Nepal. We were floating there, in a kind of limbo, unsure of who we were and what our future held.

Dr. Rodney Libert

Bishnu Khatiwada, Class of 2015 & Dr. Rodney Libert, Support Facilitator, Special Education, Hartford Public Schools

I remember the first day I walked in Weaver High, as well as, Journalism and Media Academy. I am a good student that has a great relationship with my teachers. For some reason, I have a connection with all of them. Probably because I am very well rounded and know a great amount of life facts. I have played volleyball for four years and I am a pro at it. I love it so much that I want to play in college. High school games and spirit showed me that I want to be part of a team that is also a family.  High school has helped me find myself and what I want to do in my life – to become a physical therapist.

Teacher Corinne Renker

Keylee Scott, Class of 2015 & Corinne Renker, teacher at the Museum Academy at Wish

My name is Andre Miller. I was born and raised in Hartford. I am 18 years old. I am currently a Senior at Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School. I am very interested in automobiles. I always liked cars. My dad and I have worked together on many of the cars he has owned – I think that’s why I like cars so much.  I see myself owning my own auto repair shop in the future.

Teacher Estefania Rodriguez

Andre Miller, Class of 2015 & Estefania Rodriguez, social studies teacher at the Thirman L. Milner School


My name is Shyiann Johnson and I’m a senior at the Journalism and Media Academy.  I have thirteen brothers and seven sisters. I don’t play any sports but I love to read, sing and listen to music. My biggest dream is to go to college at CCSU and become a Special Education teacher.

Teacher Chad Schrock

Shyiann Johnson, Class of 2015 & Chad Schrock, teacher at McDonough Expeditionary Learning School

My name is Odane Campbell. I am a senior and a member of the Student Council. After high school, my plan is to spend two years at a community college then transfer to a four-year University and further my education by studying pre-med. I love sports. I love to help and try different things.

Teacher Justin Tacchi

Odane Campbell, Class of 2015 & Justin Tacchi, teacher at Hartford Public High School’s Law & Government Academy.  Student Elijah Williams, not pictured.

Teacher Justin Taylor
2014 Teacher of the Year

My name is Shamoya Hanson, I was born in Hayes Clarendon, Jamaica. I am the youngest of my three siblings. I live in a very quiet part of Hartford, there’s never much happening in my area so I’ve become quite accustomed to a calmer lifestyle. Most of my time is spent at home with my family. I participate in three sports: volleyball, basketball, and tennis.

Teacher Kellie Wagner

Shamoya Hanson, Class of 2015 & Kellie Wagner, teacher at Sport and Medical Sciences Academy

I am Lemuel Hall. I was born In California, but I am from Hartford. I was raised on the north end of the city all my life. I grew up around Albany Avenue. I went to the Martin Luther King Jr School then to the Journalism & Media Academy at Weaver. I can be completely honest and say that I didn’t want to go to this school because it was at Weaver at the time with the worst reputation.

Teacher Lara White

Lemuel Hall, Class of 2015 & Lara White, teacher at the Thirman L. Milner School