Dr. Nicholas Spera, Principal of the Marine Science Magnet High School (MSMHS), received the Principal of the Year Award for Program Support and Advocacy along with Anna Hanrahan who received the Rookie of the Year Award for Excellence in Course Instruction from the University of Connecticut Early College Experience Program’s at their annual awards ceremony held on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the UConn Alumni Center in Storrs, Connecticut.
Dr. Spera’s support and advocacy of the UConn ECE program has led to MSMHS ranking tops in the state and area for students enrolled in ECE courses and the number of ECE courses offered in two divisions: very small schools (under 299) and New London County schools. This year, 114 students were enrolled in at least one UConn ECE course resulting in 90.5% of all juniors and seniors. Dr. Spera has developed strong relationships with UConn Storrs and the UConn Avery Point campus that led to a Memorandum of Agreement that was signed this Fall which allows MSMHS students to take marine science themed courses that are not offered in traditional high schools. Dr. Spera was the past recipient of the 2013 Connecticut Association of Schools First Year Principal of the Year Award and last year’s 2014 PTO Anchor Award.
The Rookie of the Year Award is for the ECE US History I & II courses that allows students to earn six UConn credits. Anna Hanrahan was the 2013 MSMHS Teacher of the Year Award. Last year, she was named the NEASC Co-Chairperson for MSMHS’ accreditation visit in March 2016.
UConn Early College Experience (ECE) is an opportunity for students to take UConn courses while still in high school. Every UConn ECE course is equivalent to the same course at the University of Connecticut. There are approximately fifty courses in over twenty disciplines made available to partner high schools. Courses are taught on the high school campus by high school instructors who have been certified as adjunct faculty members by the University of Connecticut. UConn ECE students benefit by taking college courses in a familiar setting with an instructor they know. Courses offered through UConn ECE are approximately one-tenth of the cost in comparison to taking the same course on a UConn campus.
Dr. Nicholas Spera can be reached via phone at 860-446-9380 or at the Marine Science Magnet High School located at 130 Shennecossett Road in Groton, Connecticut.