CHESHIRE- James Dare Trifone, PhD. passed away Monday, May 17, 2021 at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He was the loving husband of Cynthia (Wickersham) Trifone whom he was married to for 33 years.
Dr. Trifone was born May 21, 1952 in Miami, Fl. He was the son of the late Alfred and Elizabeth (Dare) Trifone.
James earned a B.A in Biology and Education, an M.S, in Microbiology and 6th Year Certification from the University of Connecticut. He began his career teaching Biology at Roger Ludlowe High School in Fairfield. He then moved to Weston High School where he taught Biology for nine years and served as Science Department Chair and Coordinator for three years before accepting a position teaching Biology at Cheshire High School in 1988.
In 2005, James was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Lancaster University in Lancaster, U.K. His thesis was entitled, “The Efficacy of Concept Mapping in Motivating Students to Take a More Meaningful Approach to Learning Biology.” James implemented the use of concept mapping in his teaching and shared this technique with his colleagues. Concept mapping provides students with a metacognitive strategy to find and make meaningful relationships between concepts. Concept mapping is still being used as an effective teaching and learning strategy in science classrooms today.
At Cheshire High School, James served as the Co-Advisor for the Student Senate for years and coached indoor track and softball. In 2015 he was recognized and awarded UCONN’s prestigious Excellence in Instruction for teaching the Early College Experience Biology course offered at Cheshire High School.
Twenty years ago, he and a cadre of educators founded The Graduate Institute in Bethany. There he created the Master of Arts in Learning and Thinking degree program. He had served as the program’s Academic Director, and continued to teach PreK-12 educators how to foster a new culture of learning and thinking.
James very recently published a book on whole child education called “Whole Child Teaching”. The book addresses educating the whole child by detailing the need to consider the students’ social and emotional intelligences. It is a must read for parents and for early child educators and beyond. Administrators should use it as a guide book to address the overall transformation needed in each of their schools to teach students 21 century skills. He also authored the book: “From Being to Becoming: Living an Authentic and Meaningful Life. The book provides an insightful look into finding one’s passion and living a meaningful life.
James will be remembered for being a master teacher, true scholar, and deep thinker, and musician. He was an invaluable resource for his colleagues and administrators, and role model and inspiration to his students.
Besides his wife, Mr. Trifone is survived by his two daughters Alyssa and Abby Trifone; three brothers Robert and his wife Marjorie Trifone, Steven and his wife Diane Trifone, and John Trifone and partner Gene Cutter; sister Nancy Ferrarese and her longtime companion Jay Anthony; and sister Celeste and husband Laurence Kroll and many beautiful nieces and nephews.
Calling hours for Mr. Trifone will be held 3 to 5 PM, Friday, May 21, 2021, which would have been Jim’s 69th birthday, at the Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St, 06410. A private service will be held at the end of calling hours. Donations may be given in his name to Smilow Cancer Center, PO Box 1849, New Haven, CT 06508-9979.