As a member of the Leadership Team at , Julie Lima Boyle has a hand in nominating a CHS educator for the honor of Teacher of The Year. Two teachers from her department had recently been nominated this past year, so when no one was selected this time around, she didn't think anything of it.
It wasn't until her name was announced as Teacher of the Year during a recent meeting of the town's educators that she realized her colleagues had done the sneaky deed of nominating her.
"The whole leadership team completely tricked me," she said. "I was completely surprised. It was awesome."
Boyle was awarded Teacher of the Year for Coventry High School as well as for the Town of Coventry.
"It was a very nice honor to get this recognition, especially because there were so many worthy candidates," she said.
Boyle has taught English at CHS for 12 years; from special education to twelfth grade honors classes. She is also the department chairperson, Curriculum Coordinator for ELA (English Language Arts) and former advisor to the school newspaper, The Entry, among many other positions and accomplishments.
As she talked about beginning her "lucky 13th year" at the high school, Boyle admitted that she will always be loyal to her Coventry roots.
"I love CHS. I graduated in 1990 and have always loved it," she said. "If I let you cut me open, I bet I bleed red and white."
In order to be nominated for Teacher of the Year, an educator must meet certain guidelines including being highly involved in the school community, teaching in a professional and motivational manner, engaging in professional development and earning the respect of students, parents and colleagues.
Within her five-page nomination letter, Principal Michael Hobin expressed just how important she is to the school.
"Mrs. Lima Boyle is one of the unsung heroes of Coventry High School. Her work ethic, dedication to students and desire to further her own professional growth are truly exemplary."
Hobin goes on to explain how she captivates her classes with interesting lessons and inspires students of all abilities to learn by challenging them and allowing for many different kinds of assessments, projects and readings.
"Julie truly makes literature come alive in her classroom," said Hobin. "She creates lessons for her students that are rigorous, engaging and creative and she believes that all students can achieve high standards."
Boyle takes pride in her ability to get students to want to learn by explaining to them how the lessons will help them in the future.
"I try to inspire in my students the love of literature and writing, as well as the ability to carefully select how they say things," she said.
With the speed that information gathering and technology has taken in recent years, Boyle acknowledges that the younger generation tends to create a disconnect between the real world and what they are learning in school, but she thinks the technology that students use has its advantages.
"There has definitely been a shift in the way some students learn, but they are actually writing and reading more because of websites like Facebook. It's a different kind of writing, but it's still there."
Hobin also discussed how Boyle has developed a very strong rapport with her students, their parents and teachers.
"Year after year, parents have requested that their children be placed in Julie's classes," he said. "Parents know their children will feel welcomed, valued and respected. They are also confident that their children will come out well-prepared for life after high school."
"If you work hard, keep in contact with parents and love your kids, you've won the majority of the battle right there," Boyle explained of her teaching philosophy.
She is always showing her students how to use lessons they have learned to create new opportunities for themselves, and she takes her own advice. Over the past three years, Boyle has attended conferences and workshops to help develop her teaching strategies and never stops looking for new things to discover. A bracelet that she wears almost daily bears her motto, "Ancora Imparo", meaning "I am still learning", a mindset that she will always try to instill in her students.