Cumberland Names Tanya Rao Teacher of the Year

CUMBERLAND _ Tanya Rao, an 8th Grade Social Studies teacher at North Cumberland Middle School (NCMS), has been named the Cumberland School Department's Teacher of the Year.
An experienced educator with more than 20 years in the classroom, Ms. Rao was recognized not only for her accomplishments as a teacher, but also as a leader.  In her letter of recommendation, NCMS Principal Beth Coughlin noted that Ms. Rao’s approach to teaching is built on providing safe and caring learning environments rooted in high expectations.
“She is constantly found with a student by her side,” Ms. Coughlin wrote. “Many times she is working with students to improve their work, but quite often she is engaged in a conversation, giving advice or support, or simply enjoying lunch together. Her caring and loving nature resonates as many former students continue to seek out advice and support from Mrs. Rao even after they leave NCMS."
In addition to her teaching duties, Ms. Rao is active as a leader, innovator and trainer – lending her expertise and experience to other educators in the district. She serves as a Thinking Maps trainer, a member of NCMS’s School Improvement Team, a member for the District Standards Based Grading Policy Committee, a SRSD trainer for Grade 8, and the “go to” person for all Social Studies teachers when aligning curriculum and instruction to best practice.
“It is difficult to overstate the contributions Tanya has made – not only to North Cumberland, but the system as a whole, “ said Cumberland School Department's Superintendent Bob Mitchell. “She is an incredible asset and, more significantly, an inspiration to students, parents and her fellow educators. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor.”
PHOTO CUTLINE: From Left to Right: Superintendent Robert Mitchell, Cumberland Teacher of the Year Tanya Rao, and School Committee Chair Raymond Salvatore.