Hometown: Sandy Hook, Conn.
Major: Instructional Leadership
WCSU Degree: Ed.D.
Internships: Administrative intern at Oxford High School as part of the Intermediate Administrator and Supervisor Connecticut Educator Endorsement
Activities: Connecticut Science Fair Board of Directors, Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Executive Committee, National Science Teachers Association, Connecticut Academy for Education Fellow, science department chair at Oxford High School
Oxford High School Science Department Chair Frank LaBanca is well known to area educators for his innovative approach to teaching scientific inquiry to students. Already boasting a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in science education from the University of Bridgeport, LaBanca decided to take the next step and pursue a doctorate in instructional leadership at WestConn.
LaBanca is a member of the first cohort to receive Ed.D. degrees from WestConn. His thesis, "Impact of Problem Finding on the Quality of Authentic Open Inquiry Science Research Projects," is evidence of his interest in science education.
He decided to pursue his studies here because, "WestConn is a community school near my home. The program was developed specifically for teachers in surrounding towns."
Professor of Education and Educational Psychology Dr. Marcy Delcourt coordinates WestConn's intructional leadership program. She also was LaBanca's major adviser. "She gave me the freedom to follow my ideas, the opportunity to share them with others and the feedback to improve and refine them," he says.
Asked what he will remember most about his WestConn experience, LaBanca says, "Working with my professional colleagues who also came to WestConn to improve their skills as educators.”
After graduation, LaBanca plans to continue teaching and provide educational consulting.
LaBanca’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Achieving success in higher education and professionally is about hard work. The dedication required is significant, but the rewards certainly outweigh it.”