9/16/2015 - Kennedy High English Dept. Chair gets national recognition

Congrats to Alena Cybart-Persenaire, English Dept. Chair at Kennedy High in Waterbury and a 2015 Dow Jones News Fund Special Recognition Adviser. She not only teaches journalism, she founded the journalism program at Kennedy High, the school from where she graduated in 1992 as valedictorian.

The Dow Jones News Fund announced Sept. 16 that Ms. Cybart-Persenaire is a 2015 Dow Jones News Fund Special Recognition Adviser.

She holds a bachelor’s in English and journalism from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in English education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, where she is pursuing a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. She earned a professional certificate in administration from Sacred Heart University.

As part of the application, Cybart-Persenaire outlined a pressing issue in scholastic journalism. 

"I truly believe the most marginalized, disenfranchised students, who may struggle academically, live in shelters and face numerous life challenges as many of my students do, have the intelligence and ability to excel in scholastic journalism but it is up to us as teachers to keep learning how to serve their needs," she said.

As a Special Recognition Adviser, Cybart-Persenaire will receive a plaque and a subscription to WSJ.com courtesy of the publishers of The Wall Street Journal.  

The Fund also named its National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year, Kirkwood (Mo.) High School teacher and media adviser, Mitch Eden.

The National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Awards is sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund, Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Poynter Institute for Media Studies and The Wall Street Journal. (Photo courtesy Waterbury Republican-American.)