ARCThe RC Program in the News

The RC Program in the News

Hooray! 99 amazing individuals from backgrounds including engineers, scientists, business executives, journalists and medical professionals have decided to make a mid career switch to education through the states Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) program. They come from age groups with an average age of 42 and approximately 15 percent belong to minority groups.

These incredible individuals will be graduating tomorrow at 1 PM at Conard High School in West Hartford.

Profiles of Some Notable 2010 ARC Graduates

Maria Melendez from Bridgeport will be teaching world languages with a specialization in Spanish, within Bridgeport. Melendez had previously worked as an education teacher in San Jose, Costa Rica before moving to the United States.

Omayra Ramos, who resides in Waterbury will be teaching Spanish in the city. Ramos has experience working as a paraprofessional and an ESL Counselor with Naugatuck Valley Community College. Additionally she dedicated years to volunteering with a missionary committee in the Dominican Republic.

Thomas Bienemann from Granby will be teaching history and social studies in Hartford. He has a background as a radio and television news reporter and anchor. Recently he worked as an account executive with AEG Worldwide. Thomas is actively involved in volunteer work with organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Connecticut Our Piece of the Pie Youth Development Organization and the Veterans Oral History Project with the Library of Congress.

Kristen Basiaga from Rocky Hill will be teaching physics at a magnet school in Hartford. She recently served as a teaching assistant in the physics department at the University of Connecticut. Has conducted research, on nano materials and electronics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has dedicated her time to volunteering for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity and aiding in relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina.

Xiaohui Cao, a resident of East Lyme will be joining Norwich Free Academy as a world language teacher with a specialization in Mandarin Chinese. Cao has experience working as a bilingual and ESL tutor and teacher in locations including China, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Recently she was an instructor at Southeastern Connecticut Chinese School in New London. Also served as an interpreter for Language Line Services.

Hou Chen from Salem will be teaching chemistry in Branford. Chen previously held the position of principal scientist at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he focused on global research. He holds a bachelors degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Obtained his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Richard Fisler will be teaching physics in Westport. With 22 years of experience in product development and business management related to CAT scan machines, MRI scanners, ultrasound devices genome sequencing devices (as part of the Human Genome Project). Protein based diagnostic devices. He is also one of the co founders of a point of care diagnostics company.

Catherine Volpe resides in Fairfield. Will be instructing French in New Haven. She is no stranger to experiences having served as a Peace Corps member stationed in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire and West Africa. Recently she held positions such as associate director for operations and administration at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation in West Africa and senior specialist in procurement, for Save the Children Federation Inc. Based out of Westport.

Thomas Reilly, from Fairfield will be taking up the role of a mathematics teacher within his hometown. Mr. Reilly brings with him experience from his previous positions at NBC Universal and as a research assistant at the Mathematics Department of the State University of New York in Potsdam.

Khari Saunders hailing from South Windsor will be teaching middle school science at a magnet school located in Windsor. Saunders has professional experience including work as a special education paraprofessional, juvenile case worker and sports writer for various media outlets.

Jayson Peterson is an experienced pharmacist, naturopathic physician, medical examiner, and minister. After earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, Jayson Peterson completed clinical rotations at several prestigious healthcare institutions and has been affiliated with several pharmacy chains throughout his career. His main passion and zeal is focused on providing world-class patient care by giving precise details and thorough instructions to those who need it most.

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