Lauren Hopkins, an English teacher and literacy specialist at Coventry High School in Rhode Island, has a knack for getting recalcitrant readers to love books. With her struggling learners, who typically lag two years or more behind their grade level in reading, Hopkins goes to great lengths to personalize her instruction, choosing texts that align with each student’s interests. Her approach yields significant gains—an average of two years’ growth each year. Coventry’s graduation rate has risen 12% during Hopkins’ tenure, in part because of her continued work with at-risk students.
Parents clamor to have their children taught by Hopkins, a National Board Certified teacher known to create classroom environments that are safe, respectful and intellectually challenging. She teaches students at all levels, from gifted to special needs; last year she co-taught an 11th-grade classroom with a special education teacher. She brings the latest educational methods into her class, included blended learning, station rotations, close reading, Socratic seminars and multiple grouping patterns. Her classroom library contains more than 100 books Hopkins has personally read and recommends to students.
Hopkins cultivates a professional learning culture at Coventry. She attended the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity and is now developing Coventry’s professional development plan. Colleagues rely on Hopkins’ deep expertise in literacy for help developing lessons, text-to-test comparisons and assessments. Hopkins has helped align Coventry’s ELA curriculum to the Common Core standards, taught literacy courses sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, and presented to staff on literacy and technology. She mentors younger teachers and participates on the Culture and Climate Committee, School Improvement Team, Strategic Planning Committee and Advisory Committee. Hopkins has coordinated the Gingerbread Express program, through which teachers provide holiday gifts for 60 of the school’s neediest students. She exudes school spirit and attends countless proms, dances, athletic events and student performances. Students have recognized Hopkins several times at the school’s “Invite a Teacher” sporting events; the teacher wore a student jersey and was recognized at halftime.
Hopkins earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary and middle English education from the University of Rhode Island in 2001.
Press release: On today's agenda: Lauren Hopkins receives Milken Educator Award and $25,000 cash prize
"For me, success is making a career of helping others recognize and achieve their own potential." — from Spotlight: 10..." (read more)
Master's Certificate in Digital Literacy, 2019