NORTH SMITHFIELD – North Smithfield Elementary School’s Monika Bailey has been named the Rhode Island Speech and Language Pathologist of the Year for 2023 by the Rhode Island Speech and Hearing Association.
The annual award is presented each year at Waterfire in Providence, at a special event held in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Education dubbed, “A Salute to Rhode Island Educators,” celebrating teachers who go above and beyond. Dozens of educators attended the 2023 event, held on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Started in 2012, the RISHA award is given to a speech and language pathologist who is nominated by a colleague and demonstrates leadership qualities, and ongoing continuing education efforts. Winners must be in good standing with RISHA, and active full-time employees in a Rhode Island public or charter school.
Bailey, who was hired by the district for her position in 2003, holds a master’s degree, and is one of three speech and language service providers at the school. She started her career at North Smithfield High School before moving to the elementary school, where she has remained since.
“Mrs. Bailey is known for her creativity and ability to make her therapy lessons engaging and exciting,” said NSES Principal Jennifer Daigneault. “She is especially gifted at making her families feel at ease in meetings and, through her professionalism, imparts her vast knowledge. She is sought out by her colleagues as an expert in her field and is a pioneer in new teaching strategies.”
“This award is so well-deserved and we are so incredibly grateful Mrs. Bailey is part of the NSES team,” Daigneault noted in an acknowledgement of the honor.