On Tuesday afternoon, Coventry High School faculty members gathered in the school's cafeteria for a staff training session. What one unsuspecting teacher didn't know is that she was about to be recognized by her colleagues for her outstanding work.
Colleen Manuppelli from Horace Mann Insurance Company joined the faculty to present one of the company's "Crystal Apple" awards that recognizes educators across Rhode Island who are strategic, professional, collaborative, supportive and reflective.
Before presenting the award, Assistant Principal Brooke Macomber explained to the group that the the recipient would likely be quite surprised when her name was announced as she was part of the committee who worked to select a recipient based on staff nominations.
English teachers Julie Lima-Boyle and Kristen Capwell along with Unified Learning teacher Shelley Bigelli spoke of the recipient whom they work with on a daily basis.
"This person is there beside me and inspires me every day," said Lima-Boyle, the Rhode Island 2012 Teacher of the Year who expressed that the Crystal Apple recipient serves as her daily reminder of what makes a great teacher.
"This person, from the perspective of my department is always someone who has a pure concern for her students and that caring comes from such a pure place inside," said Bigelli. "She is also innately proactive with supporting students and their families."
"She is always proactive about reaching out to students and their families and always has our students' best interests at heart," said Capwell.
Macomber then presented the award to Unified Learning teacher Amy Cronin who was welcomed with an enthusiastic standing ovation from her colleagues.
"I just want everyone to know that I was totally tricked," said Cronin. "I just want to say thank you. I work in a lot of classrooms and I can't tell you what a compliment it is to know that the people that I work with chose me to get an award like this. It really means a lot."
Horace Mann will present a Crystal Apple Award at CHS two more times during the school year and will also hold a Staff Appreciation day next week at the Knotty Oak Room with snacks and an iPod giveaway.
"This is all for you guys to say thank you for what you do," said Manuppelli.
Check out the attached presentation to see what qualities Amy Cronin's colleagues recognized her for having as well as a list of CHS educators who were acknowledged for having perfect attendance so far this school year.