Cox Celebrates “Heroes of Distance Learning” with $1,000 Home Technology Makeovers for Teachers

Local educators nominated by parents, principals and peers for creating cutting-edge curriculums while teaching from a distance

WEST WARWICK (June 4, 2020) – As educators have migrated to uncharted waters with the transition to distance learning, many have emerged as heroes to the students and families depending on them to keep their school work on track. Cox Communications asked members of the community and school departments which teachers were truly excelling in this challenging environment in order to reward educators with a $1,000 home technology makeover for their virtual classrooms.  

The request for recommendations led to a surge of nominees. With no shortage of deserving candidates for the technology makeover, Cox quickly expanded the campaign to recognize three teachers in Rhode Island with $1,000 awards. With the expanded program made more challenging every day as new submissions rolled in, Cox enlisted the help of the Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green to pick the winners.

After considering close to 100 nominations, educators from schools in North Providence, Newport, and Cumberland were chosen as the recipients of the $1,000 technology makeovers. The winners include: Marissa Bianco, grade 1 teacher, McGuire Elementary School (North Providence); Michael Carlino, math teacher, Rogers High School (Newport); and Paula MacMillin, grade 4 teacher, Cumberland Hill Elementary School (Cumberland).

“Teachers across Rhode Island have risen to the challenge of making school happen for all our students during this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Rhode Island Education Commissioner. “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 nominations were packed with colorful anecdotes showing there is no limit to the creativity of teachers across the Ocean State. From using every technology tool at their disposal in the Google Suite platform to scheduling personal time to chat with their students about anything other than schoolwork to using fun props like pets and stuffed animals to make lessons more engaging, the recognized educators clearly demonstrate that their love of teaching knows no bounds – or limits, even in the face of a pandemic.

“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,” said Jay Allbaugh, senior vice president and region manager, Cox Communications. “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.” 

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