LHS’s Schofield named RIMTA Outstanding Teacher of the Year

LHS’s Schofield named RIMTA Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Lincoln School Committee Vice Chairman Joseph Goho offers congratulations to Lincoln High School’s Melissa Schofield, who has been named the 2018 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the R.I. Mathemathics Teachers Association.

LINCOLN – The Rhode Island Mathematics Teachers Association has named Lincoln High School’s Melissa Schofield its 2018 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Schofield has taught in Lincoln for 20 years, beginning at Lincoln Middle School and moving to Lincoln High School in 2001.

A University of Rhode Island graduate, Schofield said she was shocked to receive the recognition, and that it, “means so much that current and past students, as well as parents, teachers and staff members have taken the time to reach out and say congratulations.” She said her students were especially excited for her, noting, “One student asked if I won a car.”

LHS Math Department Chairman Paul Ruhle, who nominated Schofield for the award, said, “I can say I am so proud of Melissa for this recognition; it is well-deserved. She does an amazing job not only helping the students of Lincoln understand mathematics, but also supporting her colleagues on a daily basis.”

Schofield, who said she always knew she wanted to become an educator, loves the opportunity that teaching provides for a fresh start each September.

“It’s hard to become bored when there’s a new crowd in front of you every year. I enjoy their energy and enthusiasm. I enjoy the pride that they have during spirit week, for their sports teams and for the Variety Show,” she said. “The kids keep us young … well as young as we can be. I’m definitely more tired than 20 years ago and never where high heels anymore,” she added.

The greatest challenge of the profession, according to Schofield, is teaching children to persevere through obstacles.

“We have become a society of immediate gratification and a struggle teachers have is teaching kids to learn how to struggle when they don’t understand or get something the first time,” she said. “It’s much easier to give up and say, “I don’t get it” than to stick it out. It’s an important lesson for kids to learn and a challenging one to teach.”

Schofield said she has learned a lot from her colleagues in Lincoln, both past and present.

“It’s a wonderful staff to work with,” she said. “I have said countless times that I wish I lived in the town so that my own children could come to Lincoln schools. Students leave LHS ready for college and the work force.”

LHS principal Kevin McNamara said, “Mrs. Schofield understands that caring relationships with students are the first building block of academic success. She challenges students to do their best and the students respond with their best efforts. LHS is indeed lucky to have her on staff.”

Presenting Schofield with a citation on behalf of the School Committee at its April 9 meeting, Supt. Georgia Fortunato said, “Mrs. Schofield takes great pride in teaching mathematical concepts in multiple ways so that students understand the materials. She certainly goes above and beyond to engage with her students to build strong relationships, the key to any successful educator. We are so proud to call Melissa our own, and are so thankful for all that she does for our students each and every day.”

School Committee Vice Chairman Joseph Goho, who attended Classical High School with Schofield, said, “I know firsthand the good work that Melissa does … my son has her as a math teacher currently, and I know she is truly deserving of this award.”

She will be honored at RIMTA’s Spring Meeting on May 17 at the Radisson Hotel in Warwick.