CREC is celebrating its 50th birthday, and it has been my honor to spend the past 19 years as part of this wonderful organization. I currently serve as director of community education, and I’m very proud of the work we do at CREC.

When I first began at CREC in 1997, we had a staff of about 400, and the agency consisted of a handful of programs, mostly located in Hartford. Today, CREC manages 18 magnet schools, transports children throughout Hartford County, and has educational partners all over the world.

In 1997, CREC’s Division of Community Education provided training for adult education teachers and classes in adult basic education and English as a second language. Today, we do that and more. We provide basic and occupational skills training in partnership with many different organizations throughout the state, our Workforce Training Solutions program delivers professional development services to area businesses and nonprofits, and we work with every adult education program in Connecticut. We also provide career and technical education services to Connecticut’s school districts.

While CREC has experienced tremendous growth over the past 19 years, the mission of CREC has remained the same: to provide quality educational services that improves the lives of children and families in the Hartford region.

CREC has provided me the opportunity to grow as an educator and as a member of the greater Hartford community. My training and development has allowed me to help out-of-school youth achieve their high school equivalency, and I have helped parents find jobs and provide for their families.

I have also developed a network of individuals who work in the adult education and training field and who help miracles happen every day. We meet high school dropouts who go on to graduate college, see immigrants who could barely speak English become fluent, and cheer as unemployed adults find their first jobs.

At CREC, I have also developed relationships with a wonderful group of professionals who work hard every day to provide exceptional services for students. When budgets are lean, CREC staff is at their best, trying to find ways to provide services to its partners in efficient ways.

For more information about CREC and its Community Education Division, visit

CREC is an amazing organization. Happy birthday to CREC! Here’s to 50 more wonderful years!

Maryanne Pascone is the Director of CREC’s Community Education Division.

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