WCSU education doctoral graduates making the grade
Six educational leaders earn area promotions

DANBURY, CONN. — A love for learning and a passion for teaching have helped earned WCSU doctoral candidate Kristy Zaleta the title of Danbury’s Teacher of the Year 2013.

A candidate in Western’s Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership, Zaleta has been a science teacher at Rogers Park Middle School since 2003.

“It's a huge honor but still a bit surreal to be recognized as Teacher of the Year,” Zaleta said. “I love what I do and am inspired by the dedication and passion for teaching and learning that surrounds me.”

Zaleta said that the doctoral program at Western has enabled her to become a better teacher, leader and critical thinker, especial with regard to educational research. Her dissertation will focus on the effect of authentic learning on middle school students’ science process skills and engagement in science.

“I have gained a broader and more diverse understanding of education and am motivated and encouraged not only by the teachers and administrators in my cohort but also by the dedicated professors who share my passion for transforming our educational system,” Zaleta said. “The overall experience has surpassed my expectations.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University in New Jersey, Zaleta earned her master’s degree in education/instructional technology from Western in 2008.

Zaleta’s success is complimented by the recent promotion and/or appointment of five other graduates and candidates of Western’s Ed.D. program. Dr. Patricia Cosentino, former principal of Bethel High School, is the Superintendent for Region 12; Dr. Raine Kor was recently appointed as assistant superintendent for instruction and human resources for the Irvington, N.Y., school district. Dr. Jake Greenwood was recently hired as assistant principal of Darien High School; Dr. Christopher Longo has accepted the position of assistant principal of New Milford High School; and Robert O’Donnell, a current Ed.D. candidate in Zaleta’s cohort, was recently offered the role as principal of Wilton High School where he has been serving as acting principal.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-3278.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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