Elizabeth Russillo named Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Elizabeth Russillo named Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Elizabeth Russillo, who won Smithfield’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, with her family, her husband, Steve, who also works for SHS, and their daughters Brooklyn, left, and Gabriella.

SMITHFIELD – The School Committee named Smithfield High School science teacher Elizabeth Russillo Outstanding Teacher of the Year during a meeting May 7.

Russillo, a Johnston resident, began teaching a variety of science subjects, including chemistry and physical science, at the high school 16 years ago. Parents and teachers nominated her for the Crystal Owl Award, presented by Jeff Larrow of Horace Mann.

“It’s a great award and achievement. I work with the best people ever,” she said.

Teachers were nominated for their efforts in instructional practices, contributing to a positive school demographic, and contributing to the profession.

Supt. Judy Paolucci said Russillo displayed all the qualities of a great teacher.

“As our 2018 Teacher of the Year, she will represent the many excellent educators in our schools. Her infectious enthusiasm, dedication, and skills make her a perfect choice for this honor,” Paolucci said.

During her time at the school, Russillo was also a student council adviser, and freshman mentor adviser as well. She worked with Fuse RI, a team of educators and administrators around Rhode Island teaching about blended, technology learning.

In her time as a fellow with Fuse RI, she held televised sessions teaching professional development to educators regarding technology in the classroom.

Russillo also worked with the Rhode Island Department of Education for several years as a Rhode Island Learning Champion, helping revise state graduation standards and rubrics, then as an EdPrep fellow, improving educational pathways for aspiring teachers.

Married for 12 years, Russillo met her husband, Steve Russillo, a Spanish teacher, at SHS in her first year of teaching. The pair have two daughters, Gabriella, 10, and Brooklyn, 7.