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Tuttle Selected as RI Teacher of the Year

First Gentleman, Commissioner Make Surprise Announcement for Jamestown Teacher

JAMESTOWN, R.I. – At a surprise ceremony today, First Gentleman Andy Moffit and Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner announced the selection of Charlene Tuttle as the 2019 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. Tuttle is a sixth grade science and social studies teacher at the Lawn School in Jamestown, and is a veteran educator of more than 25 years.

“Each year, I’m amazed by the talent, creativity, and commitment of our Rhode Island Teachers of the Year, and Charlene Tuttle is no exception. Charlene always puts her students first and, in doing so, is both a leader and a mentor to her colleagues,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Congratulations to Charlene and to Lawn School for cultivating an environment of great teaching and learning.”

“Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs in the world, and being an exceptional teacher – like Charlene Tuttle – is one of the most significant ways in which you can impact the life of a child,” said First Gentleman Andy Moffit. “Gina and I are both so grateful to Charlene and to all of the educators who have dedicated their careers to helping Rhode Island students succeed.”

“If we want our students to excel, they need to be actively engaged in their education. In Charlene Tuttle’s classroom, students have the opportunity to explore their interests, collaborate through hands-on activities, and help design their learning. That’s exactly the kind of experience our students need and deserve,” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Charlene will be an asset to the RIDE team next year, as we continue to focus on support student passion and building student pathways.”

At Lawn School, Tuttle has made STEM come alive for her students, creating a range of work-based and hands-on learning opportunities. She designed a SeaPerch program to build underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles) with students, created and ran after-school coding workshops, and collaborated with Roger Williams University and commercial aquaculture interests to study the local environment. Tuttle has also been essential to statewide professional learning and curriculum development efforts, serving as a member of the State Leadership Team for the development of Next Generation Science Standards.

"Ms. Tuttle is an exemplary teacher who is full of passion for her content, radiates love for her students, and gives back to her school and community. As you walk the halls of the sixth grade wing at Lawn School you can sense the excitement that is flowing out the door of the science room. Students are laughing, having fun and enjoying the learning that is occurring daily with Ms. Tuttle. Her smile and love for learning is contagious to all her students and colleagues. She builds confidence in her students to become student leaders to advocate for legislation, to support education and protect their community, and to stand up for treating others with kindness," said Jamestown Superintendent Dr. Ken Duva. "Ms. Tuttle will proudly and confidently represent Jamestown and educators across RI as the 2019 RI Teacher of the Year."

In evaluating their teacher, Lawn School students praised her ability to make class exciting.

“Ms. Tuttle loves hands-on activities. She loves to learn while doing,” wrote one student. “She makes me want to learn more about science!” and “We get time to look at things on topic outside, when we are tired of being cooped up inside all day” are other thoughts shared by her students.

As Teacher of the Year, Charlene Tuttle will work with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) throughout the 2018-2019 school year to develop thoughtful policy, lead professional development, and help support education statewide. She now becomes eligible to represent Rhode Island as the National Teacher of the Year.