Teacher of the Year & Principal of the Year

RIDE coordinates the selection and recognition of the statewide Rhode Island Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year.

Rhode Island Teacher of the Year

Rhode Island 2015 Teacher of the Year - David Moscarelli

In a surprise ceremony at Ponaganset High School on Monday, June 2, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced that David Moscarelli, a science teacher at the school, has been selected as the 2015 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.

Mr. Moscarelli, who has taught at Ponaganset High for 22 years – his entire teaching career – now becomes a candidate for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year award.

“David Moscarelli is not only recognized as an excellent classroom teacher who sets high standards and provides his students with individual support, but he is also highly regarded as a technology leader at Ponaganset High School,” Governor Chafee said. “He has devoted his professional life to classroom teaching, and he will represent our state well as the 2015 Teacher of the Year.”

“Because of his deep commitment to science, digital learning, and technology in our classrooms, David Moscarelli is an excellent representative of the teaching profession in Rhode Island,” said Eva-Marie Mancuso, Chair of the Board of Education. “His fellow teachers recognize him as a consummate educator, a technology guru, and a teacher-leader – the perfect choice for Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.”

 “As the instructional technology coordinator, David Moscarelli is committed to using technology to provide each student with personalized support for success,” said Deborah A. Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “He takes pride in the fact that, under his leadership, Ponaganset High became one of the first schools in the country to adopt digital portfolios of student work. As one his colleagues put it: David Moscarelli stands alone as … an outstanding teacher and contributor to our school community. Congratulations to David Moscarelli, our new Teacher of the Year!”

A Providence resident and a 1992 graduate of the University of Rhode Island who also holds a master’s degree in biology from Brown University, David Moscarelli came to Ponaganset High School, in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District, directly from college and he has taught at the school ever since. His teaching covers a wide range of science courses, including alternative energy, biology, physical science, AP environmental science, and two courses he has designed and taught: animal behavior and ecosystems.

As the digital-portfolio coordinator for the school for the past 11 years, he led the design and implementation at Ponaganset High of one of the first digital-portfolio graduation requirements in the country. For the past 19 years, he has been the instructional-technology coordinator at the school, working with his colleagues on the integration of technology into the classroom.

At the conclusion of the ceremony today, Inskip’s Warwick Automall provided David Moscarelli with a Smart Electric Drive car for his use during his time as Teacher of the Year. Other generous donors who have supported the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year program include the Hassenfeld Family Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation, as well as Alex and Ani, the Bank of America, Paul Choquette, Collette Tours, Cox Communications, Ned Handy, Hasbro, Johnson & Wales University, and Smart Technology.

See David’s schedule and travelogue as 2015 RI Teacher of the Year. 

David's State Teacher of the Year Blog

Rhode Island 2014 Teacher of the Year – Patricia Page

In a surprise ceremony on September 12, 2013, at East Greenwich High School, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced that Patricia M. Page, a business and computer education teacher at the school, is the 2014 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.

Page, who has taught at the school for the past three years, now becomes a candidate for the honor of 2014 National Teacher of the Year.

“Patricia Page, who brings into the classroom the knowledge and skills from her background as a corporate and technical trainer, has led her students to success in state and national finance and investment-writing competitions,” said Governor Chafee. “One of her goals is to ‘break down the wall’ between our schools and the world of business, which surely helps prepare her students for success in challenging careers.”

“Students and teachers in East Greenwich know Patricia Page as a strong advocate of project-based learning,” said Eva-Marie Mancuso, Chair of the Board of Education. “Three years ago, her 3rd-grade students at the Meadowbrook School developed a successful grant for a learning garden. More recently, her high-school students used their research and analysis to draft a contract on the use of digital devices in school. Her students have benefitted greatly from her teaching – and so has the East Greenwich community.”

Page, who lives in East Greenwich, began work in the East Greenwich schools 7 years ago, initially as a coordinator at the high school developing the performance-based graduation requirements (e.g., senior projects). She taught 3rd grade for two years at the Meadowbrook Farms Elementary School, and moved to her present position at the high school three years ago. At the high school, she established and chairs the Financial Capability Committee, she led her students to a top-five placement in the InvestWrite financial/investment writing competition, and she led her students to the finals in the R.I. LifeSmarts and the Federal Reserve Cup Challenge competitions.

Patricia Page holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and communication from Bryant University, a Master of Business Administration from Providence College, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Roger Williams University.

See Patricia’s schedule and travelogue as Teacher of the Year.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Inskip’s Warwick Automall provided Patricia Page with a Smart Electric Drive car for her use during her time as Teacher of the Year. Other generous donors who have supported the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year program include Alex and Ani, the Bank of America, Paul Choquette, Collette Tours, Cox Communications, Hasbro, the Hassenfeld Family Foundation, Ned Handy, Johnson & Wales University, the Rhode Island Foundation, and Smart Technology.


Providence Journal - East Greenwich Educator Named Teacher of the Year

Rhode Island Educator Recognition Ceremony - September 26, 2013: Patricia Page, 2014 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, Acceptance Speech

Rhode Island 2013 Teacher of the Year – Jessica Waters

Jessica WatersJessica Waters has been teaching at Beacon since 2008. She currently teaches 11th grade Chemistry and 12th grade Human Anatomy and Physiology. She holds a degree in Secondary Education, Biology and Chemistry from Rhode Island College. Jessica is a member of Amgen Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab Program and the Rhode Island Science Teacher Association (RISTA). Mrs. Waters was named Beacon Charter High School Teacher of the Year (and one of three finalists statewide) for 2012 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. She is the participating teacher for the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) after school program.

Mrs. Waters believes that every student should be afforded an equal opportunity at learning which inherently requires her to continuously monitor students' progress and to intervene, when necessary, at the earliest possibility to effectively promote student success. This belief requires that each student be considered as both "gifted" and of "special needs." Successfully balancing career and family, she is happily married and the proud mother of three girls.

Read more about Jessica's amazing journey to Teacher of the Year

Jessica’s State Teacher of the Year Blog

See Jessica’s schedule and travelogue as Teacher of the Year.

Rhode Island Teachers of the Year – 1964 - 2013

YEAR NAME SCHOOL/DISTRICT*
2015 David Moscarelli Ponagansett High School
Foster-Glocester Regional Schools
2014 Patricia Page East Greenwich High School
East Greenwich Public Schools
2013 Jessica Waters Beacon Charter High School
2012 Julie Lima Boyle Coventry High School
Coventry Public School
2011 Shannon Donovan Scituate
2010 Dana Ramey Middletown
2009 Barbara Walton-Faria Newport
2008 George E. Goodfellow Scituate
2007 Catherine Davis Hayes Warwick
2006 Barbara Morse North Kingstown
2005 Althea Telford Barrington
2004 Kathleen Mellor
(2004 National Teacher of the Year)
North Kingstown
2003 Charles Boucher Burriville
2002 David Neves Scituate
2001 Kathryn Tancrelle Smithfield
2000 Lawrence Verria North Kingstown
1999 Barbara Ashby Providence
1998 Maureen Spaight East Providence
1997 Delores Jablonski North Kingstown
1996 MaryKay Schnare Providence
1995 Martin Perry Middletown
1993 Linda Filomeno Providence
1992 Judith Sweeney Lincoln
1991 Darlene Walsh West Warwick
1990 Len DeAngelis Middletown
1989 Paul Mello Middletown
1988 Albert Belasco  
1987 Carolyn Rabidoux Lincoln
1986 Corlis Moniz Woonsocket
1985 Leslie Bettencourt Lincoln
1984 Mollie K. James  
1983 Marceline Zambuco West Warwick
1982 Rachele Modiszewski Cranston
1981 Elaine Edwards  
1980 Catherine Smith  
1979 Marie Hawkes  
1978 Ruth Curtis  
1977 John Leydon  
1975 Pauline Connor Woonsocket
1974 Crystal Hall  
1973 Paul Donovan  
1972 Jane Anderson  
1971 Norma Garnett Warwick
1970 Katherine Hayden  
1969 Mary Parks  
1968 Shirley Morin  
1967 Maxine Mason  
1966 Catherine Murray  
1964 Beatrice West  

*When Available

History of the Award

The Teacher of the Year Award Program was initiated in 1952 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to bring recognition to the importance of teachers as nurturers of the "American Dream." His intention to honor all teachers by the selection of a representative teacher from each state would find completion in the yearly choice of a National Teacher of the Year. Through an organized and varied selection process involving classroom teachers, school administrators, state officials, students, parents, and business representatives, each state and U. S. Protectorate nominates its own Teacher of the Year.

Application Process

Last year, throughout the state, 38 districts selected and honored teachers as their District-TOY. This year, RIDE is encouraging all districts to identify a district teacher of the year (D-TOY) and submit his/her name to the Office of Educator Quality and Certification. We recommend that you establish a committee and protocol to help in the selection process.

Each district is asked to submit the District TOY Application [DOC, 34KB] which will provide RIDE with the D-TOY’s contact information for future engagements and notifications.

Rhode Island Educator Talent Pool Recommendation Forms

NEW!! RIDE Seeking Talent Pool Recommendations:

The Rhode Island Educator Talent Pool is a group of distinguished teachers and principals. Throughout the year, these educators may be considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces, as well as candidates for special recognition programs. This year RIDE is asking each district to recommend up to 3 educators who represent educators relatively new to the profession (5-12 years) who demonstrate strong instructional practices and impact students, colleagues, and the community.

When you submit your recommendation(s) please include:

Please send the completed packet of information by March 28, 2014 to Mary Keenan at mary.keenan@ride.ri.gov

District Teacher of the Year team

The District Teacher of the Year Network Group met Wednesday, January 9th. Commissioner Gist attended and gave Welcome Remarks emphasizing the importance of recognizing and celebrating our Rhode Island educators.

Jessica Waters, the 2012-2013 State Teacher of the Year, Julie Lima Boyle, the 2011-2012 State Teacher of the Year and Kathy Mellor, the 2004 National Teacher of the Year were presenters and spoke about their personal reflections and experiences on being awarded and serving as Teacher of the Year.

Our next Network Meeting will be Wednesday, March 9 from 4-6pm.

Peter Boland
Peter Boland: District Teacher of the Year at Beacon Charter High School
receives a Golden Apple Award.

Rhode Island Principal of the Year Awards


Each year, the Rhode Island Association for School Principals (RIASP) nominates and selects outstanding administrators for awards in five categories:

  • High School Principal of the Year
  • Middle School Principal of the Year
  • Elementary School Principal of the Year
  • Assistant Principal of the Year
  • Outstanding First Year Principal

The Rhode Island Association of School Principals selects these administrators based on their successful practice as administrators in meeting the needs of their students, faculty, communities, schools, and districts.  The Principal of the Year award and the Assistant Principal of the Year award are part of national awards selection processes.  The MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year award program annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.  These principals are acknowledged by their peers for the exemplary contributions they have made to the profession.  The program honors school principals who have demonstrated excellence in collaborative leadership; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and personalization.  The NASSP/Virco National Assistant Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have demonstrated success in leadership, curriculum and personalization.

For more information on the Principal of the Year awards, please go the RIASP web site.

Elementary Principals of the Year

Year Name School District
 2014 Edward Ferrario Stony Lane Elementary School North Kingstown
 2013 Nidia Karbonik  Ashton Elementary School Cumberland 
2012  Susan Chin Veazie Elementary School  Providence 
2011 Debra Zepp Matunuck Elementary School South Kingstown
2010 Christopher Kennedy Nayatt School Barrington
2009 Nancy Nettik West Kingston Elementary School South Kingstown
2008 Michael Lazzareschi Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Providence

Middle School Principals of the Year

Year Name School District
2014  Patricia Marcotte 
Ponaganset Middle School
Glocester 
2013  Richard Drolet North Cumberland Middle School Cumberland 
2012 Gregory M. Zenion Chariho Middle School Chariho
2011 Thomas Barbieri Hugh B. Bain Middle School Cranston
2010 Michael Almeida Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School Coventry
2009 Lawrence Filippelli Scituate Middle School Scituate
2008 Michael Carbone Kickemuit Middle School Bristol Warren

High School Principals of the Year

Year Name School District
 2014 Scott Sutherland Mt. Pleasant High School Providence 
2013  Michael Hobin Coventry High School Coventry
2012 Daniel P. Kelley Smithfield High School Smithfield
2011 Dennis Mullen Pilgrim High School Warwick
2010 Patricia DiCenso Rogers High School Newport
2009 Daniel Warner Narragansett High School Narragansett
2008 Robert Littlefield Portsmouth High School Portsmouth

Assistant Principals of the Year

Year Name School District
2014  Brooke Macomber Coventry High School Coventry
2013 Renee Palazzo Smithfield High School Smithfield
2012 Jason R. Masterson North Cumberland Elementary School Cumberland
2011 Christen MaGill North Providence High School North Providence
2010 Jaime Crowley Mt. Hope High School Bristol Warren
2009 Kim Granato Birchwood Middle School North Providence
2008 John Lafauci Dr. Edward A. Ricci Middle School North Providence

Rhode Island Outstanding First Year Principals

Year Name School District
2010 Steven Morrone Ashaway Elementary School Chariho
2009 Gail Dandurand Narragansett Elementary School Narragansett
2008 Melissa Marino Wawaloam Elementary School Exeter-West Greenwich
2007 Tracey McGee Colt Andrews School Bristol Warren
2007 Michael Hobin Coventry High School Coventry