In a surprise ceremony before the school’s sixth grade, West Broadway Middle School math teacher Emily Mowry of Coventry, R.I. was honored with the Distinguished Educator Award from the Rhode Island Middle Level Educators.
Joining in the celebration held on April 28 were Mowry’s colleagues, her husband, Scott, and three young sons, Councilman Bryan Principe, Supt. Dr. Susan Lusi, Principal William Black and Bill Fasano, executive director of Rhode Island Middle Level Educators. The surprise announcement was made by Patricia Marcotte, president of the Rhode Island Middle Level Educators and the 2014 Rhode Island Middle School Principal of the Year. Marcotte is principal of Ponagansett Middle School.
The awards are presented to middle level educators that incorporate higher order thinking in their lessons, help students develop a sense of ownership in their learning, foster curriculum connections by implementing innovative ideas in the instruction, and make a positive difference in their school and community.
Acknowledging Mowry’s own three children and her dedication to her “other” children at school, Lusi said, “We know that our great teachers don’t just leave those other kids and their work at school. They take them home, in their heads, in their hearts, and in their tote bags, as they work to figure out the best way to reach their class, or the best strategy to support that student who is struggling, or the opportunities they might share with those who are excelling and can use another push.”
Councilman Principe, a strong advocate for West Broadway Middle School’s reopening this year to accommodate a dramatic rise in the city’s middle school population, presented Mowry with a congratulatory citation from the City of Providence.
“For its first year, the school has gotten off on the right foot and we are continuing in that direction,” said Principe. “This is an example of the excellent students and staff at West Broadway.”
“It is so inspiring being at West Broadway,” said Mowry after receiving her award. She credited her colleagues and students, saying, “You make us want to come to school to work every day. You make us want to become better teachers. Our work could not be done without a team effort.”
Calling her a teacher who is always willing to help her colleagues, Principal Black said to the assembled students, “When you work hard, great things can happen. We get a chance to work with Mrs. Mowry and learn from her every single day.”
A Providence teacher for seven years, Mowry has taught a variety of math topics, including algebra and geometry. She taught at Bridgham Middle School before joining West Broadway this year as a founding teacher. She is a data coordinator at West Broadway and an active member of the Instructional Leadership and Positive Behavior teams.
Mowry’s colleagues describe her as “one who has made a significant impact on the lives of young adolescents through her leadership, vision, practice and personalization, and effective middle level practices.”
One of Mowry’s students, Yeynina Torres, said she was impressed by her teacher on the first day of school because she was so excited to teach. “She told us what she expected of us and made math fun. She always helps us if we have trouble with homework and she always tells us to persevere – to never give up! I want to thank Ms. Mowry for making me a better student and believing in me.”