NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — Kristin Hayes-Leite, the social studies department chair at Narragansett High School, has been named Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year for 2017-18.
Hayes-Leite, her fellow teachers and administrators, students and local leaders gathered in the school’s gymnasium on Thursday. They were told, according to the school, that the assembly and media coverage was for the school’s new agri-science center. Instead, Gov. Gina Raimondo and Education Commission Ken Wagner surprised Hayes-Leite with her award.
“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 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.”
Hayes-Leite has worked at Narragansett High School for 16 years, assisting with extracurricular activities and teaching new elective courses. She’s a member of a number of councils and associations, including the National Council on the Social Studies.
Hayes-Leite was also the Narragansett Employee of the Year in 2016, and she won the Horace Mann Abraham Lincoln Fellowship in 2010.
During the ceremony, senior Joe Lebeck spoke highly of his teacher.
“What makes Mrs. Hayes-Leite so phenomenal at her job is her ability to get the most out of her students,” he said.
Hayes-Leite will now represent Rhode Island in the hopes of winning the National Teacher of the Year award. During the 2017-2018 school year, she’ll also help develop policy and support education alongside the Rhode Island Department of Education.