Golden Apple Award Goes to West Side Educator

Rachel Greenberg celebrates among students, family, and education leaders after being honored with the Golden Apple Award in a surprise visit by the RI Department of Education & NBC-10 / Photo Credit: NBC-10

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Surrounded by her current and former students, colleagues, and city and state education leaders, third grade teacher Rachel Greenberg of Asa Messer Elementary School was honored this month as a Golden Apple Award winner. In line with Ms. Greenberg’s style which her students spoke dotingly about, students and teacher broke out in song during the surprise celebration.

RI's Golden Apple Award program "honors those who believe in the true spirit of teaching by making classrooms a creative and safe place to learn." According to her students, all of whom are English Language Learners (ELLs), Ms. Greenberg was the perfect fit for this honor, and so they wrote and submitted nomination letters to the Rhode Island Department of Education and NBC-10, which co-sponsor the award program.

This nominating team made up of Greenberg’s former students are now in the fourth grade classroom of teaching colleague Deborah Muther. The two teachers had worked closely together the previous year when Muther had been a third grade teacher, and continue to collaborate now that Muther teaches fourth grade.

“I was familiar with her ‘magic,’” said Muther about her fellow educator. “I then talked with a few of her students about the Golden Apple Award…ultimately asking them if they’d like to nominate Mrs. Greenberg. They said absolutely! They were so excited about doing it.”

What better honor for a teacher than to be recognized not only by a colleague and collaborator, but to be nominated for a teaching award by your own students, all of whom are overcoming language barriers to do so.

WBNA congratulates Ms. Greenberg and Asa Messer teachers and administrators for their commitment and great work in cultivating a vibrant neighborhood school on Providence's west side. This past spring, a kindergarten teacher at Asa Messer was awarded Teacher of the Year, and in 2016, school principal Denise Missry-Milburn won Principal of the Year for the entire state.

For more information about Asa Messer Elementary School or to schedule a tour, contact or visit the Asa Messer Facebook page (@asamesserpta). You can also learn more about neighborhood schools at our West Side Kids Committee's annual Conversation About West Side Public Schools taking place this year on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 6pm.


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