Cumberland, RI The Cumberland School Department is pleased to announce Cumberland’s District Teacher of the Year for 2024-2025, Gina Palazzo Campopiano. Gina is a Kindergarten Teacher at Garvin Memorial Elementary School. She works tirelessly to ensure that her students have the foundational skills to become lifelong learners.  Her rigorous academic expectations and her nurturing approach to learning set her students up for success. 

Every year she consistently sets and maintains clear and high expectations for her students. Her classroom is welcoming to students and colleagues alike. Gina consistently demonstrates professionalism, and knowledge, and helps students be the best they can be. As her students advance through Garvin they still come back to her to say hello in the mornings due to her strong personal connections. 

Gina has served as an informal mentor for many new teachers, recently she volunteered to work closely with our new kindergarten teacher and served as the teacher’s instructional coach. She observed, modeled, and co-taught in the new teacher’s classroom and provided continuous feedback and support to help the new teacher succeed.

Her dedication and commitment to the students at Garvin extend beyond the walls of her classroom.  Each summer, Mrs. Palazzo Campopiano helps organize a Kindergarten Kickstart program for incoming Kindergarten students who have not attended Preschool.  She works with the other Kindergarten teachers in a two-week program to prepare students for the social, emotional, and academic transition into Kindergarten. 

Gina also fosters strong relationships with her parents. Gina encourages families to be a part of their children’s learning and invites them into the world of kindergarten in so many ways. This year, her students are “publishing their writing”. Once their work is complete, parents are invited to attend a book signing with author readings. 

Throughout the school community, she is constantly volunteering to spearhead initiatives and pilot new programs.  She does not shy away from a challenge and encourages solution-based decision-making.  When faced with an obstacle she reaches out for guidance and support and is open to suggestions from her colleagues. As a member of the PBIS committee, she has provided the team with a fun and refreshing perspective on many of the annual PBIS events. 

Ayyub Shafique, one of Ms. C’s students, addressed the School Committee Thursday Night to support the announcement. He had some high praises, and words of encouragement “She helped me to learn all the High Frequency words. She is the best teacher in the whole entire Earth. Keep the Hard Work. ”  

Parent, Megan Hennessey Greene shared her thoughts about Mrs.Campopiano. “It’s remarkable how those early years of schooling shape their understanding of the world. Kindergarten isn’t just about learning ABCs and 123 it’s about socialization, creativity, and discovery. It’s where they learn to interact with others, share and collaborate. These fundamental skills are valuable and continue to shape our relationships and interactions as we grow. From a parent’s perspective full day, kindergarten is the first time our children have been away from us for six hours. As soon as we met Ms. C we knew they were in good hands. My children speak so fondly of their time with Ms. C. She showers her students with enthusiasm and affection and her wardrobe and shoe style are on point. In my opinion, there is no teacher more deserving.”

Gina’s energy, enthusiasm, and passion radiate to those around her.  She inspires her colleagues with uplifting support and can add humor and positivity to any situation.  She is an invaluable member of the Garvin team and the Cumberland School Department. We are proud to name Mrs. Gina Palazzo Campopiano as the 2024 Cumberland District Teacher of the Year. 

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