Serving children from the New Haven, CT community on the campus of The Foote School

Celebrating Laura Altshul

Posted on by Francie Irvine



Dear Horizons at Foote community,

With heavy hearts and deep gratitude, Rashana and I ask you and the entire Horizons at Foote community to join us in celebrating the remarkable life of Laura Altshul. Laura’s spirit is etched into our very foundation, and we mourn her passing together with all who loved and admired her.

Laura was a lifelong educator and advocate for educational equity. For 20 years, she brought excitement and creativity to the lives of countless kindergartners at the Foote School, helping them discover a love of reading and a thirst to learn. Laura walked the walk; she felt strongly that that love should be shared with students throughout New Haven, no matter their circumstances. In 1996, together with her colleague, Saylor Heidmann, she co-founded FooteBridge, the literacy program that would become Horizons at Foote in 2014. As our founding Board Chair, Laura led Horizons with grace, strength, and an aspiration to give back to her community.

During her decade-long tenure, she taught us all the meaning of courage, kindness, and empathy. Ever-willing and eager, you could find Laura at Horizons activities and events: teaching our students how to make pretzels from scratch, speaking on the history of our program at fundraisers, volunteering to help our students decipher the mystery of magnets on STEAM Day, and much more.

Laura’s legacy will guide us forward. We can honor her by living our lives as she did every day: true to her values, respectful of each child’s potential, generous with her time and talents, strong in the face of adversity, and embracing of all. 

With deepest sympathy, 

Francie Irvine
Board Chair
Horizons at the Foote School

Following her wishes, Laura’s family kindly requests that instead of flowers, donations be made to Horizons at the Foote School.