CHS English Teacher Receives Scholarship

The 2012 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, CHS' Julie Lima Boyle nominated her colleague, Tara Correia for the scholarship.


was recently given the opportunity to choose a colleague who would receive Teaching It Forward scholarship with the University of Phoenix.

Boyle selected Tara Correia, an English teacher who will be entering her tenth year of teaching at in the fall.

"I'm honored and thrilled at the opportunity," said Correia. "I'm humbled really, when I think about how there were so many people that Julie could have picked."

"I'm so grateful that Julie has given me this chance. It's like winning the lottery!" Correia went on to say. "She is a fantastic, warm and caring individual and an all-around great person as well as a top-notch teacher that all of the kids rave about. She does so much for the high school as well."

Correia currently teaches ninth and twelfth grade English at CHS and will be using her scholarship to earn a Masters of Education degree in Administation and Supervision.

"When Julie told me about the scholarship and asked me to think about it, within two days I realized that there was absolutely nothing to think about," she said. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Correia may begin the online curriculum as early as May 23.

In the following letter, Boyle explained why she chose Correia for the Teaching it Forward scholarship:

I feel truly blessed to serve as the 2012 Teacher of the Year for Rhode Island and marvel at the opportunities and experiences I have a chance to be part of as I spend a year serving the teaching profession as the representative of 15,000+ hard working teachers in my state and community. I am humbled by the responsibilities of this prestigious award and have enjoyed attending conferences and educational policy making meetings as well as other learning and teaching opportunities. I still have to pinch myself to prove it is all really happening!

Since November when I was announced as the , colleagues, students and their parents often have asked me, “What is the best thing about being Teacher of the Year?” My response has usually been, “The best part has to be having the chance to give to others and to share my good fortune with students and teachers.”  

Then I go on to offer an example and describe the generosity of institutions such as the University of Phoenix giving the PERFECT teacher gift of the chance to enable the dreams of a deserving person through a scholarship. Teachers who are called to teach enter the profession in the hope of fostering the love of learning and the dreams of others.

We thrive when our students and colleagues thrive. That being the case, there could be no accolade, no title, or event exciting enough to outshine the wonderful gift of being able to award a Teaching It Forward Scholarship.

On the night that the Teaching It Forward Scholarship opportunity was announced (as tears streamed down my face), I knew right away that the chance to enable the dreams of another with a scholarship to the University of Phoenix was definitely going to be something special. Something else I also knew was that, although I know so many deserving students and colleagues, it would be very challenging to come up with anyone more deserving of this scholarship than my colleague, Tara Correia. 

Tara is a fantastic, motivated, smart, funny, loving, caring, techno-savvy and dedicated secondary English teacher and colleague of mine from . She inspires me and countless others daily with her “can do” attitude and omnipresent hope for a brighter tomorrow despite some tough cards that have been dealt to her and her family in recent years. Additionally, as a mother and grandmother, Tara nurtures humility and respect while setting a stellar example of how to love and how to treat others. Quite simply, she is one of the finest human beings I know and it has been my honor to select her as my nominee and to see her recently confirmed as a recipient of a Teaching It Forward Scholarship from the University of Phoenix to complete her Master’s Degree in education.

Completing a Master’s in Education is something Tara has long wished to do, but financially she had resigned herself to supporting her children’s education before her own. That is Tara- never complaining, always putting the needs of others first! She is certainly ready in every way to take on the challenges of earning an advanced degree and the work in educational leadership it will eventually lead her to accomplish. Her “real world” and teaching experiences, knowledge of technology and resources in her fields of interest, and discipline will certainly be assets as Tara gets underway with her studies and continues throughout the program set forth by the University of Phoenix.

I wish Tara the best in life and in her studies always. A wonderful colleague and friend, Tara will undoubtedly flourish after having been in her words “touched by a miracle” in the form of this Teaching It Forward Scholarship. Her cohort of students and professors at the University of Phoenix are in for a treat as they get to know and grow alongside Tara Correia. I know that I am a better person for working with her these past several years and that my nearly instantaneous decision in selecting her as a deserving recipient is absolutely correct. 


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