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NARRAGANSETT - Narragansett High School Science teacher Adam Reis has spent the last nine years educating students about the natural processes of the earth and its oceans. On Wednesday evening, School Committee members recognized him with the Narragansett Teacher of the Year award for the work he has done in and beyond the classroom.
“I am still reluctant to accept the award based on individual merits,” said Reis. “This is more about representing the groups of our school, such as the science department and the athletics department.”
“In representing them, I accept this proudly,” he added.
Reis arrived at NHS after five years as a field aquarist, fisheries biologist and a lab research associate and has brought the rigor and exactitude necessary for those those fields to thrive into the classroom.
Reis has taught primarily Ninth grade earth and physical science, but has also developed electives in advanced biology, forensics and oceanography. He has also been the JV and Varsity Assistant Boy’s Soccer Coach for the past seven years.
“This year, Adam accepted the challenge of training and teaching AP Biology because he was committed to offering a college level experience to any student, regardless of their prerequisite experiences, who was up to the rigor required of the course,” said Superintendent of Schools Katherine Sipala. “He willingly takes on Independent Study students eager to expand their knowledge beyond the courses we offer in preparation for careers in science in college.”
“He sparks their interest as underclassmen and then hones it in a 1 on 1 rigorous and time consuming deep exploration of a chosen topic,” she added. “It has been remarked of him that he has inspired many students to pursue a career in the sciences.”
Although much of his teaching during the year stays within the classroom, Reis has also expanded the school’s borders by serving on a number of outside scientific projects with organizations such as URI’s Watershed Watch and the ARISE Science Program out of Brown University. Reis has also taken part in ARMADA, a URI project which brings high school teachers into the field to study Antarctica.
Reis stated that he has enjoyed his time working within the Narragansett School System, and is amazed at the level of cooperation and collaboration from students, parents, and teachers together to provide a quality education.
“Narragansett is unique in that there is a close-knit network of educators and students that feel equally invested in the end product, which is providing an exceptional education,” said Reis. “I have never experienced other places, but it feels unique here.”
“Students and parents are strong advocates and extremely important for providing a balance,” he added. “I do miss being a research biologist, but I don’t know what more people don’t go this route [to teach].”
In closing, Sipala praised Reis for his work and dedication, as well as citing that he is one of many teachers in the Narragansett School System that strive to make every student’s education a memorable one.
“We have a number of great teachers in Narragansett and [Reis] is what we want form the best of our teachers,” said Sipala. “He is passionate, respected and knowledgeable about his work. He is also very humble and almost didn’t want to accept it.”
“Here I am describing a lot of Narragansett teachers, and he is a great representative,” she added.