PROVIDENCE, R.I. - At a surprise ceremony today,
Governor Gina Raimondo and Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner announced the
selection of Kristin Hayes-Leite as the 2018 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.
Hayes-Leite has been a social studies teacher at Narragansett High School for
the past 16 years, and currently serves as Social Studies Department
"Kristin embodies everything that we look for in great
teachers. She is a leader, she is innovative, she is compassionate, and she is
completely committed to her students," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo.
"Congratulations to Kristin and the entire Narragansett High School
community for being an example of what can happen when we foster strong
teaching and learning."
At Narragansett High School, Hayes-Leite has created and
teaches new elective courses, including Contemporary Issues, and Law and
Society. She is also a member of the Blended Learning Catalyst Team and was
recently named to Narragansett High School's Fuse Architect pilot design team,
which is charged with creating and piloting systems to increase personalization
and student engagement in learning.
"This year's State of Education address was entitled,
'Creating Pathways to Opportunity,' and that is exactly what Kristin
Hayes-Leite has done for her students. She creates student-centered pathways to
relevant, engaging, and rigorous opportunities in and out of the
classroom," said Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Ken
Wagner. "Kristin is an exceptional choice as Teacher of the Year, and I
look forward to working with her in the year to come to learn from her success
and share her experiences with all Rhode Island educators."
Hayes-Leite's selection comes as no surprise to her
students. As one 12th grader writes, "One thing you should know is Mrs.
Hayes works so hard for what she loves. She puts in so much time for all
students, and presents each and every one with the same help and opportunity,
and always treats us with respect."
A native Rhode Islander, Kristin Hayes-Leite is a graduate
of Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire, and completed Master's degrees in
both teaching and reading from Rhode Island College. She is a member of the
National Council on the Social Studies, the Rhode Island Society of Technology
Educators, and the International Reading Association. She was the 2016
Narragansett Employee of the Year, and was awarded the Horace Mann Abraham
Lincoln Fellowship in 2010.
In her Teacher of the Year application, Hayes-Leite wrote,
"In this field of public education, I am surrounded by heroes: students,
teachers, families, and administrators, who individually persist in the epic
struggle to obtain or deliver a quality education. It is time to stand up for
one another and take pride in public education."
Teacher of the Year, Kristin Hayes-Leite will work with the Rhode Island
Department of Education (RIDE) throughout the 2017-2018 school year to develop
thoughtful policy, lead professional development, and help support education
statewide. She now becomes eligible to represent Rhode Island as the National
Teacher of the Year.