Title: Secondary School Educator (Retired)
Company: New Canaan High School
Location: New Canaan, Connecticut, United States
Louise Fay Despres, Retired Secondary School Educator at New Canaan High School, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in secondary language education.
Interested in teaching from an early age, Ms. Despres received French lessons from her mother, falling in love with the language and soon adopting it as her career path. Inspired also by her father and aunt, who were also teachers, she first traveled to France, where she completed coursework in organ under the tutelage of Nadia Boulanger at the Fontainebleau Schools. Thereafter, she attended Connecticut College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in French, and Brown University, where she obtained a Master of Arts in teaching French. She concluded her education at Middlebury College, where she earned a second Master of Arts in French. She has since become a certified French and Spanish teacher for seventh through 12th grade in the state of Connecticut.
From 1970 to 2012, Ms. Despres was a longtime educator at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, first serving the school as a French teacher in 1970. Throughout her career, she has held multiple roles, including Spanish teacher, Advanced Placement teacher of French literature, advisor to the International Club, independent study adviser, mentor to new teachers, chair of the department of world languages, and a substitute teacher of French and Spanish. Among the highlights of her career, she cites teaching Advanced Placement French to be a crowning achievement. She commenced her career as a French teacher at North Haven High School and High Plains Elementary School for three years beginning in 1967.
Alongside her primary career endeavors, Ms. Despres has contributed her time to Saxe Middle School as a substitute proctor, substitute teacher of Spanish, professional workshop leader, summer school teacher and eighth grade night teacher. Likewise, she was a fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Higher Education Act through Brown University, having subsequently served on several committees for world languages and teaching through New Canaan High School. Locally involved as well, she acts as a volunteer for the fellowship committee through the Hyde Park Union Church and the Oriental Institute through the University of Chicago, a housing and hunger committee member of the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church, and a volunteer lay reader for the New Hyde Park Union Church.
A contributor to the cultural booklet “French in Connecticut” in 1970, Ms. Despres has maintained affiliation with the University of Chicago Service League, where she has served as chair of game groups since 2013, and the P.E.O. Sisterhood, where she formerly acted as president of Chapter BQ from 2016 to 2018 and Chapter B from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2011 to 2012. She also associated with the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers and American Association of Teachers of French.
In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the education industry, Ms. Despres has accrued many accolades. The recipient of the Pegasus Pride Award from the Connecticut Council of Language Teachers, she also received an Advanced Placement Teacher Recognition Award from the New England College Board and two grants for studies in French through Middlebury College and the New Haven Board of Education. Additionally, she was highlighted in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of American Women.
Contact Ms. Despres