Aimee Couto Selected as 2024 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year

Published on Tuesday, June 06, 2023

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At a surprise visit to Emma G. Whiteknact Elementary School today, Governor Dan McKee, Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Forand, and 2023 State Teacher of the Year Lisa Leaheey announced the selection of Aimee Couto (AH-may COO-too) as the 2024 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. Couto began her career in education teaching preschool through second grade before joining the East Providence School Department. She has taught fourth and first grade for the past twelve years.

“Congratulations to Aimee and the entire East Providence community on this distinguished honor,” said Governor Dan McKee. “As Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year, you are a proven leader, educational advocate, and inspiration for the next generation. Thank you, Aimee, for your outstanding contribution to Rhode Island. We wish you great success in the year ahead!”

“Both my mother and my sister are educators, and I know that every amazing day that Aimee provides her students is the product of a long night of working, preparing, and planning. But 180 days a year, she comes in ready to give her students a unique and engaging learning experience,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos. “We are so excited to have her voice representing educators across the state for the next year.”

Lauded by her peers as a “remarkable and inspiring professional,” and “mentor and collaborative educator,” Couto serves as a leader in many capacities within her school and district. The veteran educator helps guide various programs centered around positive social and emotional development at Whiteknact, serves on the school improvement team, and is the district’s Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) facilitator.

"Aimee Couto's unwavering commitment to her students and passion for teaching have earned her the well-deserved title of 2024 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year,” said Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. “On behalf of the Council, thank you for representing the very essence of educational excellence.”

“Aimee’s tireless efforts in nurturing a love for literacy have not only enriched the lives of her students but have also set them on a lifelong path of exploration and self-discovery. Her ability to unlock the wonders of language and inspire young minds to find their voice is truly remarkable,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “We look forward to partnering and learning from Aimee in her new role as Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. Congratulations!”

Growing up labeled a struggling reader, Couto has made it a focus not to label any of her students. She strives to instill a positive growth mindset that all students can do anything they set their minds to with time and practice. Couto is a strong advocate for project-based learning and the Science of Reading. 

On behalf of the City of East Providence, we are so thrilled for Aimee Couto and proud of the fact that her commitment to her students is being recognized,” said East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva. “We hope that other teachers will use her as inspiration in their own passion for teaching.”

“The East Providence School community is extremely proud that Aimee Couto is the State Teacher of the Year,” said Superintendent Dr. Sandra Forand. “Aimee represents all of the amazing educators in our district and across the state. Aimee is committed to excellence in her classroom and professional learning as a practitioner. She has played a leading role in facilitating professional development in the science of reading in East Providence schools. This honor and opportunity will allow Aimee to share her passion, knowledge, and expertise with educators across the state. Congratulations to Aimee, this is a proud day for the entire East Providence School community.”

Couto holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College.

As Teacher of the Year, Couto will work with RIDE throughout the 2023-2024 school year to support education statewide, including strengthening professional development and engaging classrooms. She is also eligible to represent Rhode Island as the National Teacher of the Year.


Contact: Victor Morente

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