At our opening day convocation for NKSD faculty and staff, Rich Garland, teacher of business at NKHS was named North Kingstown Teacher of the Year, and Linda Andrew, principal’s secretary at NKHS was named Educational Support Professional of the Year! Both Mr. Garland and Ms. Andrew have made extraordinary contributions to NKHS and the school department, and we are truly fortunate to have them. Written below is more about them and their work in North Kingstown.
Rich Garland: NK Teacher of the Year!
Mr. Garland has been a teacher of business at North Kingstown High School for five years. He is a 34-year veteran of the private sector having served in various leadership roles primarily in the fields of business and information technology, often in cross industry, global leadership roles. Mr. Garland was the Director of Global Competency in IBM's Global Services business until his retirement in 2009 and before entering the field of education, a passion he was determined to satisfy long before retirement. In that relatively brief time, Mr. Garland proven himself as an influential teacher leader and has had an enormous impact at NKHS fostering a thriving learning environment surrounding financial literacy.
Mr. Garland secured funding and created North Kingstown High's first Early Enrollment Program (EEP) courses. This program allows students to earn college credit while still in high school. Under his tutelage, over 300 students have earned Rhode Island College credits prior to graduation. Mr. Garland has taken on the role of curriculum leader for NKHS Career and Technical Program in Business/Finance. He was instrumental in North Kingstown’s bid for state recognition its first Career and Technical Education center (CTE), The Academy of Business and Finance which was accompanied with a $320,000 grant and subsequently its certification by the National Academy Foundation.
Garland was the first teacher at NKHS to involve the business students in the Bryant University bulldog challenge. His students earned first place for three years. He has also brought his Business Club to DECA Club status, and together, they have won many individual and partner medals.
Mr. Garland is a recent recipient of the RI Financial Literacy Teacher of the Year Award, presented by Treasurer Seth Magaziner, for his outstanding contribution to personal finance education in North Kingstown. He is also a recent nominee for the Life Changer of the Year Award, Mr. Garland was cited for his enthusiasm to see his students succeed: According to one of the NKHS students to nominate for this award, “Whether it's at a DECA competition or just in the classroom, he's always pushing us to fully put ourselves to the test. He always makes sure to praise us, even if we don't come out on top, and seeing him smiling at us with pride makes me want to live up to that. Finally, the fact that he made it to the top ranks of IBM inspires me to show that his teaching skills can do the same for me."
Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Michele Humbyrd and NKHS Principal, Denise Mancieri praise Mr. Garland as someone who “builds trust, works collaboratively and helps all stakeholders to succeed. His traits are also the characteristics of an IBMer, and fortunately for the school and district, he brings his best self everyday. He acknowledges others' contributions and champions their cause, which in turn, gives everyone a strong sense of purpose in an authentic environment. Mr. Garland makes NKHS a better place to learn and work.”
Linda Andrew: NK Educational Support Professional of the Year
Ms. Andrew has been with the North Kingstown School Department since 1986 and has worked various support positions in NK schools. Ms. Andrew was cited for her exemplary professionalism in the high school's main office - responsible for the overall process and workflow supervision. In this position she supports not just the principal, but over one hundred educators and potentially any one of fourteen hundred students and their parents, at any given time. According to NKHS principal, Dr. Denise Mancieri, “she makes it look easy - she makes our jobs easier with her attention to detail and her ability to anticipate what is needed. She serves as the model of an educational support professional. She is done, and always up for learning something new.”
In her work at NKHS Ms. Andrew oversees student activity accounts for the school’s several organizations, the scheduling of meetings, field trips, and payments to vendors—all with a smile and the eloquence of a seasoned professional. She is a welcoming first impression that is so important to visitors to the school - particularly important students coming to evaluate NKHS for their final secondary school experience before college and career. Ms. Andrew is a recognized leader among her peers, one who often helps other clerks to navigate district financial software and protocols.
Ms. Andrew’s influence on the success of NKHS does not just affect educators and administrators, but also students. She is often the last support staff member to go home and is often a real problem solver for students. She is also a lead member of the Graduation Committee for which she organizes all of the meetings, works with multiple vendors, including Jostens, and the Ryan Center, and invites community guests and VIPs to the ceremony. In all that she does, her work is vital to the success of the operations at NKHS.
The North Kingstown School Department is very proud to have Linda Andrew represent us as our Educational Support Professional of the Year. We cannot thank her enough for her exemplary commitment and professionalism!