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Kathy Mellor, an English-as-a-second-language teacher in North Kingstown, R.I., was honored as the 2004 National Teacher of the Year at a White House ceremony in the Rose Garden last week.

President Bush and first lady Laura Bush presented the award to Ms. Mellor, 55, who teaches at the 630- student Davisville Middle School.

Awards were also presented at the ceremony to 54 other teachers of the year for 2004, representing the other 49 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.

In his remarks, President Bush praised Ms. Mellor’s creativity.

"She embodies the qualities that all students and parents hope for in a teacher," he said. "Kathy redesigned her district’s ESL program to better integrate students with their English-speaking classmates. And the educational benefits of her innovation have been clear."

Ms. Mellor began her career as a substitute teacher in 1970. From 1974 to 1980, she stayed at home with her three children, while beginning work on the first of her two master’s degrees.

She started working for the North Kingstown school district as an ESL consultant a few months before she began teaching the subject at Davisville Middle School in June 1985.

A committee composed of representatives from 14 national education organizations chose Ms. Mellor for the award, which is sponsored by the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers and the New York City-based educational publisher Scholastic Inc.

Ms. Mellor is the 54th teacher to receive the national honor and the first from Rhode Island.

—Catherine A. Carroll

Send contributions to People in the News, Education Week, 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814; fax: (301) 280-3200; e-mail: [email protected]. Photographs are welcome but cannot be returned.

Vol. 23, Issue 33, Page 5

Published in Print: April 28, 2004, as People in the News

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