NORTH SMITHFIELD – A physical education teacher and coach who has worked for the district for nearly 20 years has been named North Smithfield Public School’s 2022 Teacher of the Year.
Jeff Crins was presented the honor at the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 17.
Crins, a Cranston resident, was hired by the district in 2003, previously serving as a substitute in both North Smithfield and Attleboro, Mass., and as an early learning physical education teacher for North Attleboro Public Schools from 2001-2003. He received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire in 1999 and a bachelor’s physical education from Rhode Island College in 2002. Crins has been an adjunct professor at Rhode Island College since 2014.
Crins currently teaches physical education at North Smithfield Middle School, and Principal Christine Lopes read a letter announcing the top teacher for 2022.
“Crins is an outstanding physical education teacher who always puts his students first and does whatever it takes to help them become successful,” Lopes said. “He is a consummate professional and always meets his students where they are with their fitness, health, and well-being. He continually challenges them to be the best version of themselves.”
“When Mr. Crins teaches his students about health, he always makes real world and outside connections. He isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and he shares relevant stories about himself and his family,” Lopes said. “This allows his students to connect with him, build trust, and establish strong relationships with Mr. Crins. His calm demeanor comforts students, families, and colleagues. Mr. Crins understands that success only occurs when families and the school community work together. He goes above and beyond to bring his passion of fitness, health, and well-being into the classroom and into the community.”
Crins has also served as head volleyball coach at North Smithfield High School since 2001, and officials noted this week that he has additionally been involved in community and faculty workouts, wellness events, mentoring of seniors for their student projects, and participation in the North Smithfield Athletic Association. He has also mentored student teachers, and run and contributed to many programs and committees in the district.
“I have worked with Jeff a number of times and have the utmost respect,” said School Committee Chairman James Lombardi, adding to Crins, “We really appreciate your work here.”
“His strong leadership qualities help ensure that the middle school students have fun while learning how to be active and healthy,” said Lopes. “He truly cares about everyone around him, and our faculty and staff depend on Mr. Crins’ encouragement, advice, and his positive energy about fitness. Mr. Crins represents the best of North Smithfield and our entire school community.”
Crins thanks school officials for the award.
“It’s an honor to be selected,” Crins said. “I think we have a great district, we have great students and we have a great staff, so to be chosen among that elite group of professionals – it’s really an honor.”