Emily Rendine is excited about learning, and so are her students. Rendine teaches third grade at Hennessey Elementary in East Providence, Rhode Island, where she fosters empowerment and ownership. Students rotate through stations with individualized activities that meet children at their level and always know what to expect thanks to her clear communication. Rendine practices “productive struggle” in her class, encouraging students to take risks and embrace a growth mindset as they dive into projects like creating machine launchers or exchanging letters with third grade pen pals across the country. During the pandemic, Rendine led her students on more than two dozen virtual field trips, including to sports arenas, a topiary garden and the Basketball Hall of Fame. She holds high expectations for her students, and they rise to meet them as they achieve, grow and succeed. In 2021-22, all of Rendine’s students showed significant growth, going from 28% to 67% proficiency for reading and from 12% to 55% for writing. Due in part to Rendine’s leadership, Hennessey Elementary has moved from priority status to a three-star rating (out of five) from the state.
Rendine serves on Hennessey’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Equity committees, leads an annual STEAM night, and has participated in training to ensure equitable access to Hennessey’s most marginalized populations. She leads professional development in literacy, especially related to her training in teaching students with dyslexia, and is Hennessey’s lead teacher for the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) Writing initiative. Rendine secured grants to create and maintain a school garden, tended by her students during the year and by the local Boys and Girls Club over the summer. The garden has helped students understand the value of green space in urban communities, and features like rain barrels serve as the centerpiece for discussions of water conservation.
Rendine consistently keeps parents up to date on their children’s learning, sending home photos and details about classroom activities every week. Outside of school, she leads the “Fancy Feet” dance program at the Boys and Girls Club, where her student performances draw big crowds.
Rendine earned a bachelor’s in elementary education and psychology in 2012 from Saint Michael’s College, a master’s in literacy from Providence College in 2019, and a certificate in dyslexia knowledge and practice from the University of Rhode Island in 2021.
Press release: Milken Educator Awards Kicks Off 2022-23 Season in Rhode Island: Third Grade Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Prize
"I just love my students. I try to make learning special and magical. I'm so excited for what's ahead and the opportunities that I'll..." (read more)