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Lisa Garcia Selected as Rhode Island Teacher of the Year

Governor McKee, Commissioner Infante-Green Make Surprise Announcement at North Kingstown High School

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. – At a surprise ceremony today at North Kingstown High School, Governor Dan McKee and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green announced the selection of Lisa Garcia as the 2022 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. Garcia teaches math across several grade levels at NKHS, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

“Teachers have the ability to inspire students to grow not just in the classroom but beyond it,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Lisa clearly has dedicated her life to that cause, giving her students the support they need to succeed throughout their time at North Kingstown High School. I’m proud to have her representing our state as the 2022 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year."

“Sometimes, when RIDE gets an application for Teacher of the Year, a story just leaps off the page. This was one of those times,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “Lisa has not only been an incredible teacher for nearly three decades, but has gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic to help her students both academically and emotionally. We are so glad to have her, and we are grateful to Lisa and the many teachers like her who have kept Rhode Island learning throughout the last year.”

“Lisa is an exceptional educator and an inspiration to anyone who wants to help children reach their full potential,” said Board of Education Chair Barbara Cottam. “Every student deserves to have a teacher like her. We are going to keep working to ensure that educators across the state have the resources and the support to help their students succeed the way that Lisa has helped hers.”

Lisa has taught math at North Kingstown high School for 27 years, nearly her entire 30-year career. During her tenure, she has led multiple initiatives at NKHS, including serving as Lead Teacher on the school’s international Mason Tours. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lisa spearheaded the NKHS Flocked Fundraiser, a pandemic-safe way of celebrating the school’s senior students and keeping morale high.

“We are proud and honored that our teacher, Lisa Garcia, has been chosen as the 2022 RI Teacher of the Year,” said North Kingstown High School Principal Dr. Barbara Morse. “She has the wisdom of a teacher who has been teaching for more than 25 years, but still possesses a new teacher's enthusiasm and passion for learning. When it comes to helping students with academics or being there to run student activities, she is always available.” 

Students praise Lisa as both an educator and as a mentor. “Mrs. Garcia’s classroom embraces the school spirit but elevates it to actively engage the mind,” wrote Tori Chace, a student in Lisa’s Honors Algebra II and Advanced Placement Calculus classes, in a letter. “Mrs. Garcia brings out the highest level thinker in reach and every one of her students, supports students with her whole being, and truly shapes an individual, not just a math student.”

As Teacher of the Year, Lisa will work with RIDE throughout the 2021-2022 school year to support education statewide, including a special focus on educator recognition initiatives. She is also eligible to represent Rhode Island as the National Teacher of the Year.