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Nevada Teacher Makes Difference, Shares at Eastern

Written by Tim Talley

cahill.jpgWillimantic, Conn. - Tierney Cahill, a mother of three and a sixth-grade teacher, will discuss how her students responded in 2000 when she decided to run for office and prove to them that any normal person could do so. Cahill's presentation, which is part of Eastern Connecticut State University's University Hour, will be held at 3 p.m. on March 30 in Eastern's Student Center Theatre. The public is invited. Admission is free. Cahill will also be the keynote speaker at the Ella T. Grasso Awards that evening at 6 p.m. in the Paul E. Johnson Sr. Community Conference Room of the J. Eugene Smith Library

            In a civics lesson, Cahill told her students in Reno, NV that anyone can run for political office. They disagreed, claiming that "normal" Americans did not have a role in government. Determined to prove them wrong, Cahill dedicated herself to running for the Second District Congressional seat even though she didn't have a great deal of money or name recognition.

            In her election bid, Cahill's campaign composed such issues as education, mental health and nuclear waste. Though Cahill lost the campaign, she received 34 percent of the vote and proved to her students that an average American can run for office and make a difference.

            Cahill's memoir, "Ms. Cahill for Congress," tells of her experience running for office and was released in 2008. The story of her courage and dedication is the subject of the upcoming film, "Class Act," starring Halle Berry.

            For more information on Cahill's presentation, contact Starsheemar Byrum, Eastern's coordinator of the Women's Center at (860) 465-4313 or at


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