Elizabeth Gibbs, a Thompson Middle School Grade 7 Science Teacher, has been named the 2018-2019 Newport Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
“It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Elizabeth Gibbs, Grade 7 Science Teacher, as the 2018-2019 Newport Public Schools Teacher of the Year,” a press release from Newport Public Schools stated on Friday. “Gibbs’ enthusiasm as a lifelong learner shines brightly and inspires people of all ages to explore the world through a scientist’s perspective”.
The full announcement from Newport Public Schools;
It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Elizabeth Gibbs, Grade 7 Science Teacher, as the 2018-2019 Newport Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
Gibbs’ enthusiasm as a lifelong learner shines brightly and inspires people of all ages to explore the world through a scientist’s perspective.
Gibbs began her teaching career at TMS in 1998 as a Grade 8 Science Teacher and moved to Grade 7 in 2000. During her twenty years as an educator, she has dedicated significant effort to student engagement, community outreach, and professional development.
Gibbs is actively engaged at Thompson. Over the years, she has served as a student council advisor and a Co-Chair of the School Improvement Team. She currently serves as Co-Advisor for the SMILE after-school program (Science and Math Investigative Learning).
Gibbs connects students with learning outside the classroom by working with local partner organizations, writing grants, and fundraising. Community partners include Casey Farm in Saunderstown, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the Norman Bird Sanctuary, and URI.
Gibbs shares learning in global contexts as well. During three expeditions as a scientist for Earthwatch and the ARMADA Project, Gibbs engaged her students in field research while studying in faraway destinations, including Antarctica and New Zealand. She continues to share these experiences with current students.
Gibbs’ excels in professional development. She learns perpetually and shares knowledge generously. As a Newport Early Adopter for FuseRI, she works with a team of educators to implement blended and personalized learning into her classroom. She co-presents staff development sessions using knowledge gained from FuseRI and from NPS Digital Literacy Team experiences. She presented to wider audiences during several conferences for the National Science Teachers Association as well.
Many of Gibbs’ experiences have connections to environmental awareness and study. Her past employment includes work as a marine outreach scientist for the University of Rhode Island, writer/editor/educator for the Rhode Island Sea Grant Communications Office and Coastal Resources Center at URI, and education coordinator at Save the Bay.
In addition, Gibbs holds professional membership in and serves on committees for several organizations, including Southeastern New England Marine Educators, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Clean Ocean Access/Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, and the National Science Teachers Association.
Elizabeth Gibbs exemplifies the definition of an outstanding educator. Her efforts in the classroom and outside the school’s walls demonstrate the highest standards of lifelong learning. Her connections to local and global communities provide opportunities for her students and colleagues to see beyond immediate situations and apply learning in larger life contexts. Her enthusiasm prompts others to experience the wonders of the world through a scientific lens.