United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut Awards $25,000 to Manchester Public School

May 21, 2018

Illing Middle School Receives Planning Grant

Hartford, Conn. (May 21, 2018) — United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut today announced Illing Middle School in Manchester has been awarded a $25,000 planning grant to better support its students.

The grant will reinforce the school’s efforts to identify effective academic and behavioral interventions to ensure students leave middle school prepared for high school.

Superintendent of Manchester Public Schools, Matt Geary, who this academic year has also served as the interim principal at Illing, said the grant comes at a great time, as a new principal will be taking over July 1. Geary will be succeeded by Iris Gomeo, a former Illing assistant principal who is now principal at Jumoke Academy in Hartford.

"We are committed to doing more to support students who struggle academically, behaviorally and otherwise," said Geary. "We are extremely grateful to United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut as this grant give us an opportunity to plan and then implement more interventions that are clearly needed and will make a big difference in the lives of our students, who have different backgrounds, different strengths and different needs,” he said.

The planning process, funded by United Way, includes strategy to support the school’s internal team and to engage an outside consultant to facilitate the work to develop a better trajectory for high school success.

“United Way is committed to ensuring that all young people succeed in school. Being prepared for high school and making that transition is an important step,” said Paula S. Gilberto, President and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “We’re proud to work alongside local school districts like Manchester to help students connect with academic and other community-based supports.”

The district intends to use time over the summer to research, assess and plan for a potential shift in practices that can be implemented in the coming school year. Students will also be engaged in the planning to ensure that their voice is part of the design.

Illing Middle School serves more than 800 students.

For more information, visit

About United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut serves its 40-town region by mobilizing people and organizations to give, advocate and volunteer to promote early childhood education, ensure families are financially secure, provide access to health-related services and supports, and immediate emergency assistance, such as food and shelter. For more information, visit