When Patricia Page walked into the East Greenwich High School gym for an assembly Thursday, the business and computer education teacher had no idea that she would soon become the center of attention. State education leaders surprised Page by announcing she had been named the 2014 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year.
"I had no idea. None what so ever. I was fully anticipating we were going to be focusing on EGHS matters. And it's wonderful to know that I truly matter, not only here, but on a state level," said Page.
Page was chosen out of the states more than 14–hundred educators. Her students erupted in cheers and gave her a standing ovation.
"She totally deserves it. She is so special and defiantly I would call her top 3 influential teachers I've ever had," said Ella Myette, one of Mrs. Page's students.
Page has been teaching in East Greenwich for 7 years, the last three of which have been at the High School. The wife, and mother, earned her masters degree in teaching from Roger Williams University at night. Her background includes work at the Rhode Island EDC.
"I think what's exciting about what she does is a combination of bringing what she experienced from the business community, combined with what she's learned studying education, and being able to apply that in the classroom," said Deborah Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Being the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year comes with some perks. Page was given a Smart Electric Drive car for her use.
The title also makes Page a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year award. The last time a Rhode Island educator held the title was in 2004 when a teacher from North Kingstown was selected.