Three RI teachers rewarded $1K home technology makeovers


WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — To reward the overcoming of new challenges posed by distance learning on educators, Cox Communications launched the campaign “Heroes of Distance Learning.”

The campaign aimed to award a Rhode Island teacher with a $1,000 home technology makeover for their virtual classroom.

“I’ve said it before and I will say it again: teachers were forced to change the tires on a moving vehicle when the pandemic swept through our country,” Cox Communications Senior Vice President and Region Manager Jay Allbaugh said. “To see them not only keep their coursework on track but find ways to extract even more creativity and joy from students attending school for the first time in a virtual setting is just tremendous, and we are thrilled to recognize these teachers with the virtual classroom of their dreams.” 

Cox Communications asked the Rhode Island community and school departments which teachers were excelling in this new challenging environment and received close to 100 nominations.

With new nominations coming in daily they quickly decided to expand the campaign to recognize three teachers and enlisted the help of Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to pick the winners.

“Teachers across Rhode Island have risen to the challenge of making school happen for all our students during this unprecedented public health crisis,” Infante-Green said. “As a result of the efforts of our educators, our state is now a national leader in distance learning. These nominations provided wonderful examples of what we have seen over the last few months, and we are incredibly grateful to Cox for launching this campaign in their honor.”

The winners include Marissa Bianco, a 1st-grade teacher at McGuire Elementary School in North Providence, Michael Carlino, a math teacher at Rogers High School in Newport, and Paula MacMillin, a 4th-grade teacher at Cumberland Hill Elementary School.

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