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The Benigna Educational Award recognizes an alumna or alumnus for outstanding contribution to the field of education. In acknowledgement of her unfailing commitment to the advancement of education, the Alumni Association is pleased to present Monita Russick Leavitt with the 2009 Benigna Educational Award.
Monita Russick Leavitt ’71 is a successful coordinator of gifted programs, a facilitator of enrichment opportunities for all students, and a provider of teacher training in gifted education. She received her B.A. in elementary education from Moravian and her M.S. in special education from Central Connecticut State University. She currently is a candidate for a Ph.D. in gifted education from Oxford Brookes University, England. Monita represented the area of giftededucation in the Exceptional Needs Standards Committee of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). During her 35 years in education she became alarmed of the “brain drain” of bright students moving to communities or foreign countries to take advantage of superior educational systems. As a result, Monita consulted with educators about how to challenge bright students through differentiated instruction. In addition to a teaching and consulting career, she lectures and authors various professional works. Monita has presented to educational groups in the United States, Europe, and the Far East. She has been elected to Who’s Who of American Teachers as well as its European counterpart. Monita resides in Woodbury, Connecticut.