SHS assistant principal presents lecture on America’s first black diplomat

Carolyn Ivanoff, assistant principal of Shelton High School and local historian, presented the award winning lecture: “The Life and Times of a Quiet American Hero - Ebenezer D. Bassett” to members and guests of the Norwalk Historical Society in Norwalk on Wednesday, Feb. 15 as part of the Society's Black History Month events.  

Bassett grew up in Derby, Connecticut in the 1850’s. As a young man he taught school in New Haven. His early life in Connecticut would prepare him for the adventures of a lifetime as a pioneer black educator and the first black diplomat of the United States after the Civil War.  This lecture received a Connecticut League of History Organizations Award of Merit in June 2010.  

Ivanoff is an active lecturer locally and nationally, and presents on a wide range of American history topics.  Last year, she was the recipient of the Connecticut Council of Social Studies Bruce Fraser Friend of the Social Studies award.  A collection of Ivanoff's educational programs and lectures have received Awards of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations in 2010, 2011 and 2013. She was also recognized by the Civil War Trust and was awarded Teacher of the Year by the organization in 2003.

The Norwalk Historical Society has invited Ivanoff back to present another one of her award winning lectures, “A Hard Road to Travel: From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863”, which focuses on the 17th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, Fairfield County's Regiment during the Civil War.  For more information on the Society's upcoming events, visit its website: