Guiteras librarian named district teacher of the year

Nicole Galipeau honored as ‘role model’ for school district

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Nicole Galipeau never shies from a challenge, according to those who work with her. Whether its securing grants for special projects, coordinating school-wide academic programs or leading her daily classes with enthusiasm and creativity, the Guiteras School librarian-teacher tackles each project with a creative mind and non-stop energy.

“She just never stops and always has great ideas,” Principal Cindy Sadler said of Ms. Galipeau. “Nicole is really the heart of our school. She’s humble; she cares for everyone. She’s a role model for the kind of culture we want to build at Guiteras.”

Her success working not just with students, but also with fellow teachers and administrators across the entire Bristol Warren Regional School District has earned Nicole Galipeau recognition as the district-wide teacher of the year.

“The whole experience has been a wonderful surprise,” Ms. Galipeau said Tuesday, a day after receiving the award at the regional School Committee meeting Monday. “I was almost speechless. It’s really so humbling and emotional to have your peers recognize you. Really, I’m just doing my job.”

That humble nature has endeared her to her peers, several of whom advised Ms. Sadler to nominate her for the school’s teacher of the year, the principal said. Her willingness and ability to work with teachers and principals throughout the district led the administrators to vote for her over the the seven other highly qualified candidates from the district’s six schools, Ms. Sadler said.

“Several teachers emailed me saying how helpful she is all the time,” Ms. Sadler said, noting her efforts extend beyond the Guiteras walls. “She was voted by all the administrators because of the exposure she gets collaborating with teachers in other schools.”

Ms. Galipeau, who has been at Guiteras since 2003, has led efforts to secure funding through the Bristol Warren Education Foundation for specialized engineering programs and a writing program; she has coordinated Reading Week activities for the entire school, securing authors to visit with the students and organizing lessons and activities for all teachers; and she routinely takes on special projects for the school, Ms. Sadler said.

In her typical humble fashion, Ms. Galipeau deflected the attention away from her and credited her colleagues for collaborating with her on the projects and grants.

“I couldn’t do my job without them,” Ms. Galipeau said. “While they called my name, if it wasn’t for their collaboration. So many jumped in to help out. That culture of collaboration is what makes me a better teacher.”

She’s an excellent teacher all on her own, according to some of her students in the library Tuesday.

“We have fun, but when we need to be serious, she directs us,” said fifth-grader Noah Sadler. “She’s on top of all the books. If you ask her for help finding something, she’ll do it. She’ll help you find a book if you want one, even if it’s not in this library.”

“She’s nice. When we finish our work, she’ll give us free time on the computers or to read books and magazines,” added classmate Margaret DesRoches.

Ms. Galipeau was one of several district teachers honored at Monday’s School Committee meeting. Other schooled teachers of the year include:
    •    Lynne Ramos - Colt Andrews School
    •    Stephanie Breitmaier - Hugh Cole
    •    Jeffrey Bracket - Kickemuit Middle School
    •    Melissa Labonte - Kickemuit
    •    Andre Arsenault - Kickemuit
    •    Caitlin Booth - Mt. Hope High School
    •    Renee McDougall - Rockwell School

The committee also recognized support staff employees of the year, including:
    •    Gail Beauregard - Colt Andrews
    •    Edmundo Figueiredo - Guiteras
    •    Corinne St. Pierre - Hugh Cole
    •    Mary-Beth Tabor - Kickemuit
    •    Michelle Costa - Mt. Hope
    •    Shawn Hollands - Rockwell
    •    Tammy Borges - Administrative office

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