2019 CT Teacher of the Year,
Performing Arts & Choir Teacher, Bridgeport Public Schools
Sheena is a product of Ansonia Public Schools, Ansonia, Connecticut. She received her B.S. in Music Education from WCSU, and an additional 30+ in general and holistic education from St. Joseph's University and SCSU. Sheena began her public school teaching career in March of 1983. Over the past 37 years she has written, produced and directed original musicals based on school themes and the needs of her students.
Early on in her career a large portion of her time was spent creating teaching tools that reinforced other subject matter i.e. in the 80’s she was writing raps in Latin based on the vocabulary words Longfellow students needed to learn each week. Her after school commitments to her students have included everything from drill team, a dance troupe, being assistant softball coach, coaching cheerleading, running a poetry club, music studio and teaching free piano and drama classes at "HAMFA" (The Hall Academy of Music and Fine Arts housed at Hall Neighborhood House in Bridgeport.) In her leadership role Sheena has presented workshops such as: "Music Lessons That Work", “Donors Choose” a Teacher’s Survival Kit, "Incorporating Other Subjects Into Music Lessons," The Parent Teacher Connection," "African American History in Your Classroom," “Why We Sing,”(the purpose of music in ministry) and "Do You Read Me?" She has volunteered as an accompanist for choirs in Bridgeport, Ansonia, and Danbury, in addition to her school choirs. On weekends she volunteers at the local Agape Food Pantry.
Sheena’s recording and writing experience is extensive. Her original works have been performed locally in addition to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and on two occasions, the White House! Her future works include dealing with trials of being a teenager, coping with tragedy, breast cancer and not allowing our circumstances to define our destiny. Sheena’s most recent projects include: “Maybe’s Won’t Save Me” for Bully/Teen Suicide Prevention and “It’s Time For Change.” a call to action for America in response to the senseless shootings involving police and of police.
Sheena has been featured in the book “Notable Valley African Americans,” received the Beard Excellence in Teaching Award, the Phi Delta Kappa Educator’s Golden Apple award, the Choral Director of Distinction Award and Teacher of the Year Awards from the NANBP, NAACP, Bridgeport and is Connecticut’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. Her advise to others is, “Do not let your image be designed by your inactivity.”
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