Clark honors Conn. teacher as Outstanding Secondary Educator

The Clark University Alumni Association recognized Beth Regan, of Tolland, Conn., with this year’s Outstanding Secondary Educator Award (OSEA) on Sunday, May 23. The award recognizes secondary-school teachers for the critical role they play in preparing students for higher education.  It is presented at Honors Convocation, just prior to Commencement every year.

Clark senior Carolyn H. Matthews, a 2006 graduate of Tolland High School, nominated Regan for the award.

Regan teaches Russian history at Tolland High School, along with a Native American Studies course of her own design. Hers is the only course dedicated to Native American history and in all of Connecticut. Regan, who is of Mohegan descent, says she is very involved in her own culture and enjoys sharing that with her students, particularly those who show such interest, like Matthews.

Matthews said that Regan “has so much enthusiasm for teaching – it’s evident in every lecture. Her personality brings her teaching to the next level, where she’s not simply lecturing but engaging her students in an informative yet entertaining manner.”

Matthews said Regan’s history classes were not only enjoyable, “[they] were the courses that best prepared me for college.”

In addition to teaching history, Regan also coached Matthews in soccer during her four years in high school.

“Her enthusiasm for teaching carried onto the field…I think the lessons there were equally as important as those taught in the classroom,” Matthews said.

Regan says Matthews was “an exemplary student in all ways,” whether in the classroom, on the playing field or even in a foreign country. Regan took her students, including Matthews, on a trip to Russia in 2006, and visited St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novgorod.

“I’m touched and honored and humbled in many ways,” Regan said of her nomination by Matthews. “It’s very rewarding that she would remember me in such a way.” Regan is finishing her 31st year as an educator. “I’m still loving it,” she said. Matthews graduated from Clark on Sunday, May 23, with a bachelor of arts degree.  She is the daughter of Thomas and Susan Matthews of Tolland. While at Clark, Matthews volunteered with Clark University Brothers and Sisters and served on the Student Alumni Relations Committee.

This is the 26th year that Clark’s Alumni Association has presented the Outstanding Secondary Educator Award. Clark seniors nominate their high-school teachers for the award and then discuss the nominees with a committee of Alumni Association members.