Marilyn Collett, daughter of William and Charlotte Collett, has been inducted into the Branford Education Hall of Fame.
Born in Meriden, she attended local schools, including King Street Elementary School and Lincoln Junior High School and graduated from Platt High School. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University. Her teaching career spanned 42 years and she retired in 2012. Marilyn personified qualities that other teachers recognized as ideal in the profession and was selected as Branford’s Teacher of the Year for the 2005 to 2006 school year, an honor of which she is very proud.
During her 42 years in the Branford School system, Marilyn worked continuously to strengthen the school to community connection and to instill in her students a sense of responsibility for themselves, for others, and for their environment. She facilitated fund raisers to benefit local charities and participated in the planning and construction of school playground areas. She served as PTA liaison for over 20 years and encouraged parents to be more actively involved in their children’s school day by volunteering regularly in her classroom. She helped to establish a trail of bluebird nest boxes at Tisko Elementary School and maintained the courtyard perennial garden and entrance planters.
Marilyn was introduced to the world of reptiles by one of her students and maintained a collection of snakes in her classroom for many years. She and her snakes visited the other elementary schools in Branford and nearby towns to educate children about reptiles and their environmental benefits. While at Tisko she also worked cooperatively with other staff and members of the Branford Wetlands Commission to develop a school nature trail, trail guide, and activity booklet for classroom teachers. Upon her retirement in 2012 the trail was named in her honor.
As a retiree, Marilyn enjoys gardening, kayaking, antiquing, and spending time with her family. She continues to volunteer at Tisko, reading to students, guiding nature trail walks, and monitoring nest boxes and birdfeeders.
Branford has been and still is very lucky to have benefited from Marilyn Collett’s expertise and tireless efforts to help make their schools what they are today.