Rhode Island Department of Education to Celebrate Educational Excellence at September 30 WaterFire

Published on Friday, September 29, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green today announced that the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) will once again honor Rhode Island educators for their outstanding service and dedication to the education profession and to their students with WaterFire: A Salute to Rhode Island Educators. The award ceremony and torch procession are scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, September 30 at Memorial Park in downtown Providence. The full lighting is expected to begin at sunset, approximately 6:40 p.m. Approximately 85 District Teachers of the Year and educators identified for excellence in their content areas will be recognized.

“We are thrilled to come together at WaterFire and honor educators who make a difference in the state of Rhode Island every day,” said Governor Dan McKee. “With our educators front and center, we will continue to improve student outcomes and prepare all students for success. I look forward to honoring these talented individuals at this special event.”

“On behalf of the Council, I share my deepest gratitude with all Rhode Island educators,” said Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. “Every day, they ignite a passion for learning in their students and guide them towards success. Congratulations to all recipients of this recognition and thank you for your service to Rhode Island.”

The event will feature performances from the East Greenwich High School Jazz ensemble and catering from culinary students and chef instructors from: Beacon Charter High School for the Arts, Coventry Regional Career and Technical Center, Cranston Area Career and Technical Center, East Providence Career and Technical Center, Providence Career and Technical Academy (PCTA), William M. Davies Career and Technical High School, and Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center. Additionally, PCTA students will provide mini manicures, face painting, and hair braiding to guests during the reception. PCTA Carpentry and Graphic Design students also designed and crafted signage and other items for the event. Additionally, North Kingstown High School pre-engineering students created gifts for educators, while the high school’s DECA membership will serve as volunteers during the reception.

RIDE extends its gratitude to WaterFire: A Salute to Rhode Island Educators sponsors, including the XQ Institute, Cox and Cox Business, and Epic Productions, among many other generous community partners.  

“When a person is asked about the most influential people in their life, more often than not, they will mention a teacher. Educators truly have the ability to change lives and we know their impact is felt in Rhode Island,” said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “We are excited to once again come together, honor the profession, and highlight some of the brightest stars in our teaching workforce.”

“Rhode Island is home to thousands of exceptional educators, and I am so proud to share the stage with so many at this special event,” said 2024 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year Aimee Couto. “We hope you are able to join us and learn more about my peers who serve the students, families, and communities of Rhode Island with passion and fidelity every day.”

“WaterFire is proud to partner with the Rhode Island Department of Education once again to honor our State’s educators and highlight some of the brightest stars in our teaching workforce” said Managing Director + coCEO of WaterFire Providence Peter A. Mello.

As Rhode Island honors educators of all kinds, RIDE encourages everyone to join the conversation. Share what you love about our Rhode Island educators and our schools using #ThankaTeacherRI and #Back2SchoolRI. Additionally, we are asking communities to continue to promote good attendance this school year using #Cool2BeInSchoolRI. A variety of attendance resources can be found at www.ride.ri.gov/backtoschool.

Press Release Topics