LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Melissa Ferrara

Position: Sixth Grade Science Teacher
School: Birchwood Middle School
School District: North Providence School District
City, State: North Providence, RI

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Melissa Ferrara was nominated by a parent, David Upegui.

Ms. Ferrara is an extraordinary teacher. She currently serves as a sixth-grade science teacher, but in the past, she was an elementary school teacher. As a result of her trajectory, she has had the chance to teach both of Mr. Upegui's children. Over the years, Mr. Upegui has come to appreciate Ms. Ferrara's creative lesson planning, her compassionate approach towards students, and her ability to communicate with parents.

This year, Ms. Ferrara has ensured that all students use their critical thinking skills in order to explore scientific ideas while learning new content. For example, Ms. Ferrara created opportunities using project-based learning, which involves research, group work, reflection, and presentations. Mr. Upegui's youngest son, who is currently in her science class, has developed a deeper appreciation of science, as well as a better understanding of our natural world. She has enabled him to become an independent thinker and problem-solver. Every day in her classroom, she combines science knowledge, pedagogy, and compassion.



Comments (1)


melissa goho Posted over a year ago

It is with confidence that I submit this letter to nominate Melissa Ferrra, science teacher at Birchwood Middle School in North Providence, Rhode Island, for the 2017-18 LifeChanger of the Year Award. I have had the opportunity to work alongside Mrs. Melissa Ferrara for over three years as a building administrator for the North Providence School Department. I have had the opportunity to witness her extraordinary work and positive interactions with students, families, teachers, colleagues and district administrators. Throughout her teaching career at Birchwood Middle School, she has demonstrated keen insights into the academic and developmental needs of her students. Her ability to address the diverse needs of her students in a manner that is both nurturing and compassionate is remarkable. In addition, her use of instructional methods and strategies are appropriate for the students in the classroom and that support student learning. She is highly effective in her use of student assessment to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning and is reflective in her practice and life-long learning to improve teaching and student learning. Mrs. Melissa Ferrara is highly respected by her students, their families, her colleagues and building and district administrators. As a professional, Mrs. Ferrara has taken the lead in the establishment of the Thinking Maps initiative to our school with great success. She has become a valuable member of the “Thinking Maps” lead team at Birchwood to help execute the new program. She researches the individual units for student success, teaches the lessons first, and shares the successes and challenges the students have encountered with her fellow colleagues. Mrs. Ferrara is the “go-to” person for questions/answers that teachers have when teaching the lesson. She has welcomed teachers into her classroom for demonstration lessons with each new unit. She has also worked personally with the Central Office Liaison in our district to implement the program at the district level, attending numerous hours of professional development. In summation, I believe that Mrs. Melissa Ferrara is worthy and so deserving of this nomination and should be seriously considered, honored and chosen for this prestigious award. She should be recognized for the outstanding work she does with students, families and teachers each and every day as well as for her remarkable abilities and the exceptional professional qualities she possesses as a teacher leader. In selecting Melissa, you will be choosing someone who is insightful, dedicated, caring, creative, honest, energetic, extremely knowledgeable and someone who possesses a strong work ethic and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills.