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Lisa Leaheey Selected as Rhode Island Teacher of the Year

Lt. Governor Matos, Commissioner Infante-Green Make Surprise Announcement at North Providence High School


NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. – At a surprise ceremony today at North Providence High School, Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green announced the selection of Lisa Leaheey as the 2023 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year. Leaheey has taught English at NPHS for the entirety of her 22-year career.

“Teachers across Rhode Island have gone above and beyond identifying student need and accelerating student learning during the pandemic, and Lisa is no exception,” said Governor Dan McKee. “This veteran educator has dedicated her life to helping our students think critically, challenge themselves, and strive for success. I am proud to have Lisa, a lifelong learner and tireless student advocate, representing our state as the 2023 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.”

“As a parent of school-aged children, I see the direct impact teachers can have on our youth. They truly change lives, and Lisa is a shining example of an educator who not only helps students excel, but also provides knowledge, inspiration, vision, and mission to our high schoolers,” said Lt. Governor Sabina Matos. “Lisa is the perfect person to guide these students as they approach their next chapter. We are so proud to have her in our classrooms, and now, representing Rhode Island.”

From the beginning of her career, Lisa has focused on what her students need to achieve, and she continuously seeks out new ways to engage her students in class, simultaneously challenging their individual strengths, supporting their individual needs, and building towards their futures.

“Students not only need 21st century classrooms, but also 21st century teachers. We commend Lisa for her commitment to transforming her classroom with innovative teaching practices and meaningful technology integration,” said Chair of the Board of Education Barbara Cottam. “There is no doubt she has played a significant role in ensuring our students are college and career ready. Congratulations to Lisa and to the North Providence High School community for this great honor.”

A graduate recently called Lisa the “most influential teacher” he has ever had. A parent said she is the “most deserving of this honor.” “Lisa is the kind of teacher and leader who embodies the qualities of an excellent educator,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “She is an innovative, creative, and energetic educator who works to ensure all students have engaging learning opportunities. Lisa is deeply committed to her profession, to sharing her expertise with colleagues, and to learning from them. Together with her empathy and humility, she sets a profoundly strong example to educators across the state. We look forward to learning from Lisa in her new role as Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.”

Additionally, Lisa is a FUSE Fellow, and has also supported districts in preparing for accreditation visits for the past 14 years. Lisa has a deep passion for supporting educators. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was instrumental in supporting multiple educators in converting their classrooms to online learning spaces.

“Lisa is an exemplary educator who has helped lead our district and her colleagues in many professional areas. As an English teacher for 22 years, she continues to be a highly-respected role model due to her exceptional content knowledge and successful evidence-based pedagogical practices,” said North Providence Superintendent Joseph Goho. “Simply put: Lisa is the real deal. We are so proud to have her represent our school community and are thrilled to see the impact she has in this new role.”

In addition to her M.A. in English, Lisa holds an M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus in Technology Integration.

As Teacher of the Year, Lisa will work with RIDE throughout the 2022-2023 school year to support education statewide, including strengthening professional development and engaging classrooms. She is also eligible to represent Rhode Island as the National Teacher of the Year.