In choosing a recipient for the award, CCSS officials cited Secretary Merrill’s continuing outstanding work to help Connecticut students get high quality civics education in every grade. Secretary Merrill has had longstanding commitment to supporting and improving civic education in Connecticut, as an educator; then later as the head of the nonprofit Civics First, Inc., and her work as a legislator from 1994-2011.
As Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill has been dedicated to strengthening civic engagement and education, including an appeal to the Connecticut State Board of Education in 2013 to keep civics education and social studies as part of Connecticut public high school graduation requirements. During the 2012 Presidential election Secretary Merrill also developed an election curriculum for Social Studies and civics teachers to use in the classroom as political and election events played out in real time news reports.
“I am pleased to be honored by my longtime friends at the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “Strengthening civic engagement and boosting civic education in Connecticut have been missions of mine for than 30 years. It is critical that we support the work of our social studies teachers, who inspire our young people and future leaders to understand and become involved in their communities and their world.”
“We are honored to present this award to Secretary of the State Merrill. She has been a champion for civic education and a strong advocate for the importance of the social studies in a well-rounded education,” said Daniel Coughlin, President of the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies.
The Bruce Frasier Fried of Social Studies Award is given to individuals who are not social studies educators yet supportive of Social Studies and have furthered the interest of social studies teaching and/or social studies interest in Connecticut, exhibit conscientious interest and involvement in the social studies, and are dedicated to the promotion of Social Studies education.