In a surprise ceremony at Blackstone Valley Prep (BVP) Mayoral Academy Elementary School 1 (ES1) last week (January 6, 2016), teacher Casey Rainha was presented with The Golden Apple Award, an honor sponsored by NBC10, Hasbro and the Rhode Island Department of Education recognizing outstanding teachers who exhibit the “true spirit of teaching.”
Mrs. Rainha, who teaches in the Transitional Learning Center (TLC), is a graduate of Rhode Island College and has a B.S. in Special Education. Originally from Cumberland, she formerly served as a substitute teacher at the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative working with children ages 3-21 with severe developmental disabilities.
The TLC program at BVP is one that offers specialized instruction to children needing social and emotional support. In small classroom environments teachers guide scholars on how to identify their feelings, utilize coping strategies, recognize the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, and how to self-regulate. Teaching these strategies allows scholars to be successful when engaging in general classroom settings and allows them to academically thrive while also giving special attention to their social, emotional and behavioral needs. Scholars who successfully complete their time with TLC become role models for their peers who are able to share and teach the strategies they learned while in the program. Krystal Vasquez, a parent of one Mrs. Rainha’s students in TLC nominated her for the award.
“We have always known that Casey’s daily dedication to our scholars and work with special populations was special, so we are thrilled to have her recognized for the positive impact she has made,” said ES1 Head of School, Kyle Quadros. “Her commitment to the children of BVP has contributed greatly to our efforts to accommodate the specific needs of our scholars and ensure every child receives an excellent education. As a former special education teacher and current school administrator, I know that this field requires humanity, compassion, and patience. Casey’s understanding of social/emotional development, relentless commitment to her scholars, and her love of special education has supported us greatly in our mission.”
A photo from the presentation is below and a video of the award presentation will be featured on NBC10’s 6pm news on Thursday, January 21st.