Victoria Carruba, a social studies teacher at Gallagher Middle School, was named the 2019 Smithfield Teacher of the Year at the May 6th School Committee meeting. Below is a exerpt from her nomination.
Tori is a fabulous social studies teacher! The incredible variety of rigorous, interesting, projects and assignments she creates is impressive. Students are challenged, engaged and clearly motivated by the types and depth of assignments she designs. From writing a narrative story from an Egyptian’s point of view, to creating “trading cards” of gods and goddesses full of pertinent biographical information similar to baseball or pokemon cards that kids love, to researching and creating posters, to station work where students collaborate to research a particular culture and even an exciting review game where students, armed with fly swatters, race around the room to “swat” the correct answer hanging on the wall, she truly is able to mesh both fun and rigor in her assignments.
Tori incorporates essential skills middle school students need to succeed. She teaches students to pace their work; to be better writers by including vivid language, dialogue and textual evidence; and to work together to accomplish common goals.
Tori also directs the drama program. She manages all the acting and choreography that culminates in a phenomenal show each spring that many community members look forward to with anticipation. This is a huge time commitment and the stamina she shows while managing upwards of 50 or more students is awe inspiring. Tori is a truly amazing and unique teacher that brings out the best in her students both in and out of the classroom.