Educator Recognition

Each year, the Rhode Island Department of Education in partnership with Providence WaterFire hosts an Educator Recognition event.  This event honors educators for their outstanding service and dedication to the education profession.  The event consists of an awards ceremony followed by a torch procession where all awardees are invited to participate in the lighting of the torches at WaterFire. The evening ends with a reception for educators and their guests.

This event is nothing short of amazing.  As a participant, I felt incredibly respected and truly honored by the recognition. Walking through the streets of Providence in unison with my fellow educators not only felt special, but symbolic.  As educators, we use our time and talent to light the spark of learning for students every day. Lighting that spark is what makes teaching remarkable. Lighting that spark is the magic of teaching and the moment we all reach for when we work with students.

This year’s event was held on September 26, 2015. Below are some pictures (I wish I had taken more!) as well as a link to the speech I gave. After the torch lighting, we were invited to a reception catered by the students of local Carrer & Technical schools.  The food and the service was outstanding!

Tracy Lafreniere’s Educator Recognition Speech

Nick Shanos took photos of the event and the photos may be accessed through the link below.

Click on the link then the Educator Recognition picture.


Leading the torch procession to the basin for the full lighting.


Julie Lima Boyle, RI Teacher of the Year 2012, was beside me the entire time. I couldn’t think of a more supportive and wonderful person to stand beside!


Me and my husband before the awards ceremony. A rare night out!


The full lighting. Beautiful. Powerful. Inspiring.

A very special thanks to the following sponsors who support the Educator Recognition Event!:

Amica Insurance
Bank of America
The Carter Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation
Collette Travel
Cox Communications
Dave’s Marketplace
Hassenfeld Family Foundation
Inskip Warwick Automall
Johnson & Wales University
McAdam Charitable Foundation
Photography by Nick Shanos
The Rhode Island Foundation
Smart Technology
SWG Promotions
TACO, Inc.
Thames and Kosmos


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