Two Burrillville teachers honored at WaterFire Providence


PROVIDENCE – Two teachers from Burrillville were among those honored on Saturday, Sept. 24 at an annual event recognizing outstanding educators from across Rhode Island.

Nancie Lawrence and Lauren Leonti participated in WaterFire Providence’s, “Celebrating Educational Excellence in Rhode Island,” with a full lighting ceremony as part of the yearly fall event. The event is held annually in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Education in recognition of award-winning educators.

Lawrence, a reading specialist at Steere Farm Elementary School, was the recipient of the national Milken Educator Award in March. Schools leaders and Milken representatives surprised Lawrence with a $25,000 check as she was named to the elite group of educators.

Leonti, who currently works as a guidance counselor at Burrillville Middle School, was named Burrillville School Department’s 2023 Teacher of the Year in June. She previously served as a history teacher at Burrillville High School, as well as a social studies teacher at the middle school.

Lawrence, left and Leonti.

The pair joined dozens of other honored educators from the state carrying torches through the crowds following a ceremony at the city’s Memorial Park.

“Please remember that this is just a symbol of what you do for our students each and every day,” said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green.

WaterFire’s next full lighting is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1.

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