— Submitted by the Little Compton School Department …Each of us can remember some truly exceptional teachers -- ones that stood apart from all the rest. While many good teachers …
Each of us can remember some truly exceptional teachers -- ones that stood apart from all the rest. While many good teachers are extremely knowledgeable, come to class prepared, nurture and help their students thrive all while making class interesting and fun, it’s the teachers who are life-long learners that make the greatest impact on their students.
It’s that thirst for knowledge, the curiosity to delve deeper and take on new challenges that makes a really good teacher an exceptional one. And if there was ever a year where we needed teachers with lots of courage to take on new challenges and delve deeper into finding new ways to teach students, this would be the year. At Wilbur McMahon School, we have many talented teachers, but this year one teacher in particular deserves to be recognized for her commitment, skills, talent and teamwork and that teacher is Tiverton resident Kelly Cole.
You could say Mrs. Cole teaches Spanish, but that doesn’t begin to explain how she brings the Spanish culture and language alive for her students. Just stepping into her classroom, adorned with lights and Spanish cultural items, opens her students’ eyes to not only a new language but a different way of life. Whether she's cooking Spanish food or dressing up for the Day of the Dead, Senora Cole naturally finds ways to explore the culture and discipline. She ignites a spark in all of her Spanish students, encouraging them to explore the world around them, push themselves to take on new challenges and step out of their comfort zones. Furthermore, Mrs. Cole has always been an advocate for more time in the schedule for academic Spanish, in order to provide Wilbur McMahon students ready for Spanish 2 in high school. It’s that level of enthusiasm that motivates her students to excel.
It’s her constant quest for knowledge that led Mrs. Cole and her fellow technology teacher Karen Corrigan to learn more about coding by attending Code.org’s Professional Learning Program in Phoenix during the summer of 2017. This led to academic courses in computer programming being offered to middle school students and organization of the annual Hour of Code at Wilbur McMahon School. Both teachers are also active participants in Computer Science for RI (CS4RI) Group.
But that’s not all. Mrs. Cole has been a member of the Geek Squad, a group that was formed to help teachers with technology needs. She has taught middle school students how to build SeaPerch ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) that navigate courses underwater, and brought her team to compete against other schools both locally and on a national level. She has served as a Head Teacher, an Eighth Grade Advisor, mentored new teachers and helps out wherever she is needed. For the past two years, Mrs. Cole has been a member of our school FUSE team which embraces personalized learning to create engaging and challenging experiences for all students. Kelly is presently serving as our International Baccalaureate Coordinator - she is working with Middle School staff as we proceed through the multi-year policy to become an accredited IB school. She does this all while she and her husband, Dave, raise two young sons, Wesley and Mason.
It’s Kelly’s can-do attitude, positive outlook on life, and commitment to helping others that makes her an excellent choice for Wilbur McMahon School’s Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Kelly!
— Submitted by the Little Compton School Department