Beginning this fall and continuing indefinitely, Windsor Historical Society is offering small financial grants to Windsor’s history and social studies teachers. Grants will fund classroom projects or professional development activities that promote learning about Windsor and Connecticut history and culture. The grants are made possible through the Hazel Thrall Sullivan and Barbara Gridley Teacher Support Fund, established at Windsor Historical Society by bequests in memory of these two notable Windsor educators.

Hazel Thrall Sullivan was known to some as “the Duchess of Windsor”. She graduated from the Chaffee School for Girls and Smith College, represented Windsor in the Connecticut General Assembly for two terms beginning in 1944, held a master’s degree in education, and taught political science and western civilization at Windsor High School for 20 years. Hazel died in 2000 at the age of 84, at which time her son Antony and many generous donors established a fund in her memory at Windsor Historical Society.

Barbara Gridley was well known in the community for her active role in Poquonock Community Church where she taught Sunday school and performed many other leadership roles. She was also active in the 4-H Club and the North Central Conservation District. A resident of Windsor since 1940, Barbara passed away in 2022 at the age of 94, leaving a generous bequest to Windsor Historical Society.

The Windsor Historical Society Board of Directors, in collaboration with family members and friends of each woman, have established the Hazel Thrall Sullivan and Barbara Gridley Teacher Support Fund to support this new History and Social Studies Teacher Grant Program.

“Both of these amazing women left a legacy of excellence and service to the Windsor community, and we’re deeply appreciative of the generosity that created this fund in their names,” says Society Director Doug Shipman. “Both women were teachers, and our Board of Directors and surviving family members were unanimous in agreement that these funds can be best used to support learning about Windsor and Connecticut history by supporting other teachers in the challenging role they play in our communities and in fostering our democracy.”

Grant applicants must be teachers working in Windsor, Connecticut, in a public or private school. Accepted grant proposals must support classroom projects, assignments, or curriculum related to Windsor or Connecticut history and culture, or support teacher professional development activities that are aligned with Windsor or Connecticut history and culture. Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $100 to $500 to support projects for which funding is not available from parent school system.

Visit this page for further information about grant criteria and application process, or contact Executive Director Doug Shipman at dshipman@windsorhistoricalsociety.org.