Voices Heard 

Ramona Piretti


Headshot t of Ramona Piretti, Public Educator of English Literature in West Hartford, CT.  Wearing T-shirt that reads, Phenomenally Asian.
Ramona Piretti, Public Educator West Hartford, CT

We joined long-time friend and host Scott Graves’s school mate Ramona Piretti for Episode #31.  Ramona teaches innovative literature classes at Conard High School in West Hartford, CT.  Her class featuring women’s literature is ground-breaking for it’s use of women writers who require more recognition in mainstream classrooms, which can be said for the voices of many of her students as well.  

Conard High School

Conard HS Logo
Conard High School is a public high school, one of two in West Hartford, CT.  It has a total student poulation of just under 1500 enrolled.


West Hartford, CT

West Hartford was recently  rated one of the ten best places to live in the US.  It is a racially and fiscally diverse community of over 63,000 residents.  

Conard by the numbers

  • Total Enrollment: 1,462
  • Student-Teacher Ratio: 13:1
  • Ranking: 642 in US.  13th in CT. 
  • Economically Disadvantaged student population: 24%
  • 95 countries/ethnicities represented by student body
  • 74 languages are spoken at home, represented by the student body.
  • 98% graduation rate. 

Ramona Piretti teaches a literature at Conard High School in West Hartford, CT.  She has been a public educator for more than 7 years.  One of her classes that sets her apart focuses on women writers.  This class more often than not focuses on authors who are not given the recognition they so deserve.  Many time these female authors represent minority groups in the United States.  All are cutting edge craftswoman.

Their presence in Ramona’s classroom speaks to her students, many of whom are female minority students reaching towards adulthood in a complicated world of class, race, gender identity mixed in with a dose of what we all experience on the edge of adulthood…..hope.

In part 1 of our interview we focused on Ramona’s classroom, on the experiences of her students, the challenges of public education before and after the reality of the pandemic and more.

In part 2 of our interview scheduled to premiere next month the focus of our conversation shifted to race and our experiences growing up in a small town in central MA together.

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About our Hosts:

Scott M. Graves is the founder of SMGraves Creative Enterprises.  Most recently he was executive director of the Wachusett Business Incubator where the SMG team experimented with various programming to overcome the meaningless ‘ribbon cutting’ experiences so synonymous with much of our nation’s  well-intentioned economic development.   He is known for a steadfast resolve for intellectual rigor and business strategy.  Nothing makes Scott feel more fulfilled than to help other develop their own unique creativity which leads to fulfillment in work and life.   

An entrepreneur in his own right, Scott previously operated the former Smash Music. Along with ImageIdentity’s David Lubelczyk their team developed Leadership Candidates Program for immersive support of new enterprise and Business Triage, a direct response to the issues now exacerbated for small businesses since the spread of Covid-19.    


Cameron McLeod is the Producer of the ‘Are We Here Yet? Podcast. Since his high school days he has been behind the scenes of multiple productions ranging from directing live football games to filming short movies. Using his musical prowess and his technical skills gained from working as an IT professional, Cameron taught himself what it takes to mix and produce music of his own creation. To this day, he strives to better these skills whenever he can.

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