State Senator Toni Boucher Selected 2013 Friend of the Gifted

November 7, 2013

WESTPORT, CT – The Connecticut Association for the Gifted (CAG) is pleased to announce that State Senator Toni Boucher will receive the 2013 Friend of the Gifted award.

Senator Boucher State Senator Toni Boucher was chosen for this award because of her long dedication to ensuring all Connecticut students achieve their full potential, which started when she was on the Wilton Board of Education. Senator Boucher is well-respected as an outspoken advocate for education. As the current State Senate Ranking Member of the Education Committee, she fought for appropriate level of instruction for high achieving students, and gave a voice to advocates of personalized education for all students, including high ability and academically advanced students. She made it possible for many state institutions, including the University of Connecticut and CAG, to speak directly to the members of the Legislature’s Education Committees about the urgent need to meet the academic needs of our state’s bright students, often left behind for lack of appropriate funding and resources.

In 2013, Senator Boucher proposed a bill to establish an Academically Gifted Advancement Program in Connecticut. Gifted 11th graders could take a qualifying test and apply to waive their final year of high school, allowing students to begin college early. Qualified students could receive a full scholarship for tuition to a public college or participating private college. Senator Boucher hoped this program would put special emphasis on math, science and engineering, recognizing the need for highly skilled workers in Connecticut in these STEM areas. Senator Boucher stated “It would be wonderful to foster this learning pipeline early and allow our gifted and talented students the opportunity to learn and live here in Connecticut.” Although the bill was stripped of the financial component, the essence remains viable and is expected to be re-introduced in the next legislative session.

CAG is extremely grateful to Senator Boucher and supportive of her work on behalf of the needs of high ability and high achievement students. We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with her to advance the needs of Connecticut’s students. We look forward to many more successful years of collaboration to spread the message of need to develop highly skilled workers in Connecticut in the areas of science, technology, engineering and manufacturing.

The award will be presented on Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 1:00 PM in the foyer of the Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT. Press is invited.

Contact: Beverly Katz /(203) 968-8033/[email protected]

The Connecticut Association for the Gifted, founded in 1969, is the pre-eminent parent, teacher, and school resource and legislative advocate for Connecticut’s gifted and talented students. CAG provides parents with information and resources to benefit their talented children, educators with high quality professional development, and Boards of Education with the tools to support talented students. Our highly acclaimed Minds in Motion programs engage hundreds of Connecticut students in high interest, interactive courses which stimulate learning. CAG meets with legislators to advocate for legislation to provide high ability students with challenging curriculum. Visit, or call (203) 968-8033 for more information.

Senator Boucher was honored last month, with the Legislator of the Year Award from the Fairfield County Medical Association. The Association’s president, Dr. Robin Oshman, presented Boucher with a plaque and expressed the doctor’s gratitude for the senator’s sponsorship of Senate Bill 466: An Act Concerning Continuing Education of Physicians.

As the Ranking member of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and the Higher Education Committee, Senator Boucher helps to oversee legislation relating to the state Department of Education, local and regional school boards, Connecticut Public Universities and Community Colleges, state libraries, museums and other historical associations.

Senator Boucher has also been appointed to The Planning Commission for Higher Education, The Committee to Review School Construction Regulations and Priority Listings for School Construction Projects, The CT Allied Health Workforce Policy Board.

Senator Boucher became known in the legislature as an outspoken advocate for education at all levels when she was a State Representative. She authored and helped pass legislation to reduce the mandatory age at which a child must enroll in school from seven to five, and reformed bilingual education, and helped institute the Connecticut College Trust Fund to help parents save for their children’s college education.

She successfully worked for legislation to promote early reading success, preschool education programs for disadvantaged children and to enhance educational accountability.

Senator Boucher’s involvement with education and youth issues pre-dates her service in the General Assembly. She has served as a member of the Connecticut State Board of Education, where she chaired its committees on policy and long-range planning. From 1986 to 1994, she served on the Wilton Board of Education, during which time she was both the chair and secretary. She is also a founding member of the Wilton Education Foundation and served on the Board of Directors as well as five school community based planning teams; the Quality and Integrated Education Local Planning Committee and the Foreign Language Task Force (1978-92).

Also, she was active in the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and the National Association of State Boards of Education; Wilton YMCA Expansion Fund; Board of the Wilton Youth Council’s Project 94, 96 and 2000; Technology Task Force (1993-present); Gifted Task Force (1988-90); and the Wilton Parent-Teacher Associations. Early in her career, Senator Boucher worked as a translator and secondary education language teacher. She is fluent in Spanish and Italian.