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Cathy Dancz Schager, Contemporary World Studies teacher at Staples High School, has been recognized by her students as a U.S. Presidential Scholars most influential teacher and through the UConn Office of Early College Experience (ECE) Teacher Appreciation Campaign.

Leigh Foran, a Staples senior and the 2024 valedictorian, as well as a 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar recipient, chose Shager as the teacher who has inspired her and contributed most to her success as part of the Scholar application process.

“I’m so thankful to have had a teacher like Ms. Schager who teaches her students to apply what we learn in the classroom to the real world,” said Foran. “She’s truly encouraged us to become global citizens, which I deeply admire as one of her students.”

In addition, students participating in UConn’s ECE program nominated Shager for her dedication, passion and commitment to supporting students and creating an incredible UConn course experience. 

“Ms. Schager truly embodies the essence of exceptional teaching,” said Lauren Francese, Westport Public School Social Studies Coordinator. “Being recognized by students for the impact she has on their social studies experience is a real testament to the difference she makes every day.” 

Ms. Schager sitting at her desk