I was recently on a panel of Learning Assistants fielding questions from a lecture-hall of students. One student in particular asked us how we manage an ever-increasing work-load, level of difficulty, and number of exams. This question reminded me of my doubts entering high school. I did not have the confidence to imagine myself understanding academic material, let alone over the course of the next four years.
This fearful thinking, however, quickly faded as I sensed the immediate support and encouragement of my new teachers. I received a diverse education from EGHS – from P.E., Ceramics, Web-Page Design, and Renewable Technology to the core subjects and, most importantly, character. The challenge and thoroughness of my educators’ lessons have, thus, given me the confidence I need to whole-heartedly accept challenges and complete them conscientiously. This, after all, is the the reason I have pursued opportunities such as becoming a Learning Assistant, participating in research, and training to be a Resident Assistant at Penn State University.
Please consider the role my EGHS teachers had in molding my character, and providing me with a diverse education.
EGHS Class of 2015
I was born and raised in East Greenwich and am a product of the public school system. I can honestly say that the education that I received in the 90’s and early 2000’s has proved invaluable in both my personal and professional successes. The lessons that I learned inside and outside of the classrooms of Frenchtown, Eldredge, Cole, and the High School not only prepared me for further education but also for the unexpected hallways and playgrounds of life.
That being said, the education and guidance we all received from EG would be nothing if it weren’t for the attentive, compassionate, and wildly talented educators that we were privileged to learn from. The relationships that were built between students and teachers here were unmatched to those of our peers in neighboring towns and (I later figured out in my secondary education) in competing educational systems.
The East Greenwich teachers are our preparers, our partners, our coaches, our advocates, and our friends – I fully support them in their contract negotiations and believe we need to do everything in our power to continue to attract the best and the brightest to work in this community.
EGHS Class of 2006
When I went to the High School from 2005-2009, the building was old and ugly, we didn’t have fancy facilities or state-of-the-art technology or a new turf field, but all the way through I knew that I was getting the best education I could get in the state of Rhode Island. I knew that my teachers were excellent. I knew that with their guidance, my future was completely unrestricted.
Even after eight years, I have vivid memories of my four years there:
I remember the Chemistry and Physics experiments that my teachers went out of their way to perform with us - what a spectacle! (They didn’t have to do that…but they did.)
I remember how supported I felt when teachers would expose me to the best literature, lend me their personal books, and offer extensive feedback on my writing. (They didn’t have to do that…but they did.)
They cheered at my sports games; after hours they supported events and performed in the Talent Shows; they dressed up for Halloween and stayed after school to coach and tutor and lead clubs. (They really didn’t have to….).
They threw their efforts into my education - they were mentors, role models, and unmatched advocates. I give East Greenwich High School teachers considerable credit for propelling me to where I am right now: in graduate school, preparing to be a teacher myself.
Teachers make a school. Teachers certainly make EG High School.
To the School Committee:
Do you want EG students to be proud of their public school education?
For goodness sake, do you ever want to beat Barrington?
I hope we realize our teachers are the best resource we’ve got - please treat them with the respect they deserve. Remember their care and their expertise. Remember their overtime. Treat them like the professionals they are.
They are not replaceable.
EGHS Class of 2009
I fell in love with writing during my freshman English class. I never knew I was good at it until then. It was during that class where I learned that writing papers didn't mean just writing formally or structurally, but instead, writing with a purpose. After that class, I wanted to keep writing and EGHS had all the classes that made that possible-- along with the teachers that made those classes a reality.
I took honors sophomore English, AP English, Creative Writing, Speech, and From Books to Film. Not only did these courses teach me about all different aspects of writing and literature, but they taught me to work hard and take risks. My teachers always made themselves available to meet with me after class and after school to answer any questions I had. It was obvious they were always interested in my personal improvement.
Without my teachers at EGHS, I would have never had the confidence to do what I am doing today. Today, I am a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, where I study creative advertising. Specifically, copywriting. I want to write billboards, radio spots, TV commercials, and more. Not only am I pursuing this dream at one of the top-rated public schools, but one of the top-rated advertising schools. As I am graduating soon, I am currently interviewing for jobs as a copywriter. When I'm asked how I know this is what I want to do, I always refer back to the time when I first fell in love with writing-- in my freshman English class-- as well as all of the teachers that inspired me along the way.
EGHS Class of 2013
University of Texas, Austin 2017
I was told for years that I was “stupid, slow and not good enough.” If it wasn’t for the teachers at EGHS who truly believe in their students and pushed us all past our comfort zones, I would not have graduated college with a BS in Physics.
I can’t even begin to tell you the impact East Greenwich High School has had on my life. My teachers believed in me more than I believed in myself and that confidence is what changed my life. They pulled me out of my shell, but reinforced my strengths. They embraced my weaknesses, but encouraged me to get help. Teachers are more than knowledge communicators: they were the second closest, if not first, interaction to adults we had through out our teenage years. As a result, teachers unintentionally become a catalyst for how we love, forgive and respect people. The most influential moments of a teacher’s life are outside of the classroom: the time that is not paid and the actions that are not listed as a requirement on their applications. One can never repay for the time teachers have sacrificed for their students. Teachers from EGHS spend hours before and after school for their students. Some of us even call them our family. One teacher picked me up from school in the morning just so I could participate in extra-curricular activities. Another showed up an hour early to school every week to tutor me in a topic that we both knew I would never use again. Another teacher inspired me to act and copied twenty CD’s for me to listen to and be inspired. Not only do these people go the extra mile, but they prepare us to be self-motivated, determined, diligent and hopeful. We were always pushed but respected and challenged but loved. It’s a rare thing to experience teachers that take on the role of a mentor, parent, friend and tutor every day all in one building.
"In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years." ~ Jacques Barzun
EGHS Class of 2011
When I reflect back on my time at East Greenwich High School, I only have wonderful memories filled with friendship, a sense of community, and the teachers that made all of this possible. Ultimately, EGHS has an incredible reputation because of the nurturing environment its teachers have created, leading their students to learn and grow. The extra time they put in every single day outside of class is obvious in the quality of the work that comes out of the school each year, propelling EGHS to its top spot above other RI institutions.
Without [the] teachers [in East Greenwich], I and many others would not have grown into people we are today. They are the core of EGHS and should be respected, aided, and protected rather than risk of derailing all the wonderful strides we have made as a school. Education is everything in today's uncertain world, and we must hold those who are making a positive impact in the highest regard.
EGHS Class of 2012
Like a lot of kids I grew up with, my parents moved to East Greenwich for the public schools. They wanted the absolute best for their kids while keeping them in the public school system. It's been almost five years since I attended East Greenwich High School and to this day, I look back on it as a very positive experience.
School has never been easy for me. While I may have excelled skills in the Arts, subjects like math and science have always been a real struggle for me. I was friends with the smartest kids in the class and constantly felt pressure to do better because of it. If it weren't for the amazing staff at EGHS, I do not think I would have made it into the colleges that I did. There was one teacher in particular that really made a difference for me and that is Mr. Lenox. Junior year Chemistry was an absolute nightmare that just didn't make sense to me. Mr. Lenox wasn't my teacher, nor had he ever been, but he stayed with me after school twice a week for the whole year and would help me with my work until I was able to understand it. It is because of him and his dedication to find solutions for me that I was able to bring my D's up to B's. The fact that Mr Lenox had never even had me as a student and was so determined to help me succeed says a lot about just how much EGHS cares about their teachers and the experience that they are going to provide for their students. There are so many teachers at EGHS that have helped me grow tremendously as a student and as a person and this is just one small example.
EGHS Class of 2012
Every now and then, it's important to stop for a moment, take a breath, and think. For me, right now is one of those moments. Between the midterm exams, lengthy papers, and stacks of novels that are accumulating during this hectic time of year, it can be easy to become lost in the stress. In this moment, however, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to spend my time with my nose stuck in novels and to fill paper after paper with my thoughts. I get to spend every day at a school that I love, studying what I love, but I didn't get here alone.
Without my years at EGHS, I cannot confidently say that I would have followed this same path. EGHS is the type of school that pushes and challenges its students, while simultaneously supporting and guiding them. The piles of work and hours of studying that I put into those classes is what prepared me for a college workload, and, quite honestly, the transition was practically seamless. While I overheard many of my friends here complaining that they'd never had so much work or been under so much stress, I felt at ease, and I have EGHS to thank for that.
Yet, despite the rigorous classes that led me to achieving my academic goals, there's much more to my EGHS experience than that. Really, I have my favorite teachers to thank for helping me reach my personal goals, which is arguably far more important. Whether it was inside or outside of the classroom, I felt as though I had a strong web of teachers that I could visit and talk to, whether it be about a problem or just a casual chat. I had teachers who challenged me personally on more than an academic basis, and I had teachers who guided me in forming my future goals. It truly felt to me that teaching was more than just a transaction of information from teacher to student - it was a personal connection, and I am sure that no two students had an identical experience. I had teachers who made classes fun, challenging, creative, serious, and everything in between.
No two of my relationships with my teachers were the same, and that's my favorite part of my experience. Now, in lectures with hundreds of students, or even in classes of twenty, it can be easy to be lost in a mob of faces, but I never felt that way at EGHS. I had teachers that I could joke around with, talk about our weekends, go to for any sort of help, or for any other reason I could think of. I had teachers that I felt truly cared about me and understood me on a level past being simply another student, and I even have teachers that I continue to communicate with now. The experience at EGHS is a unique, personal, formative one, and without it, I am not sure that I would be at a school that I love today, and for that, I have the teachers to thank.
EGHS Class of 2015
I graduated from EGHS in 2010 and now I sit on the other side of the desk in my classroom each day. Though I wish I could say I had the same appreciation as I do now for my teachers during my time in the EG school system, I now look back on my time as a student in the system and am eternally grateful, knowing even more so how much teachers really put into each day.
I try to channel all that I learned in the classroom into every interaction with my students each day. EG teachers are intelligent and hardworking, kind and helpful, but most importantly, these teachers care about their students. Middle and high school can be a difficult time for many students, but my teachers in high school made sure to let me know that they all valued me as a student and as an individual. Whether it was in [social studies] class learning about RI's rich history, channeling my transcendentalist self in ... American Literature class, or learning derivatives in ... Calculus class, what mattered most at the end of the day was that I knew these teachers cared about me and valued me and my opinion. After leaving the safe space that was EGHS and moving away to Boston, I felt prepared to tackle the difficult courses at my college. More importantly, I felt confident enough to become one of few female computer science majors, and never doubted my ability to succeed. EGHS also instilled in me the importance of my civic duty of helping others along the way, and I have been volunteering in schools and with children since I left EGHS. I can only hope to instill these same values in my students for years to come, and I hope my students all feel the same level of self-worth, care and respect that I did during my time in EG.
EGHS Class of 2010
The education that I received at East Greenwich High School has prepared me in every way for my college career. I find that a lot of the material that I have learned in my first semester has been a review of material that I covered extensively in high school. I find that I constantly assume a leader position in my group projects, and that I am equipped to have conversations with professors and peers. If it weren’t for the relationships that I formed with my teachers at East Greenwich High School and learned so much from all that they taught me, I would not have made the Dean’s List in my first semester of college, and I would not be as confident in my future as a student and as a person.
Isabelle Iannotti 2016