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First New Haven teacher in 12 years to receive prestigious award is humbled

NEW HAVEN — The kindergarten through 8th grade Clinton Avenue School In New Haven has been performing at a high-level in recent years – doubling the...

NEW HAVEN -- The kindergarten through 8th grade Clinton Avenue School In New Haven has been performing at a high-level in recent years - doubling their proficiency levels on the English language arts smarter balance assessment over the past three years.

And Tuesday, a teacher at the school was shocked to find out she had received a prestigious national award for her part in the turnaround.

Lauren Sepulveda, a social studies teacher at the Clinton Avenue School for nine years ,was announced at the only educator in Connecticut this year to receive a $25,000 thousand Milken Educator Award, bestowed on only 40 educators across the country.

Sepulveda says she already knows what she’s going to do with that money.

“I’m gonna continue to get my education for these kids,” Sepulveda said. “ I’m gonna put it towards my student loans so I can keep doing whatever I can to make their lives better.”

During last school year, Sepulveda’s 7th and 8th grade students improved significantly on the district writing assessments — going from 98% scoring basic in the beginning of the year to 91% scoring proficient or higher by the end of the year.