By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The suspense was building as students filed into the gym at Cole Middle School Thursday for a special assembly. When the TV camera and Channel 10’s Patrice Wood showed up, it was clear a Golden Apple award wasn’t far away. But who was getting it?

The award is usually given to a classroom teacher, with the presentation made in the classroom. But this award was for popular guidance counselor Caroline Bradshaw, who has no classroom. Hence, the assembly.

Caroline Bradshaw, center, a guidance counselor at Cole, with her husband, Matthew, her father and two of her three children, after receiving the Golden Apple award from Patrice Wood (in blue) Thursday.

Bradshaw, an EG alum herself, was in the gym just like everyone else, not aware that all the fuss was for her. That is, until newscaster Wood announced her name. Bradshaw, wearing a big surprised smile, got a few hugs from colleagues on her way to the center of the gym where Wood gave her a golden apple.

According to Cole Principal Patricia Marcotte, being a guidance counselor in 2019 is not what it used to be.

“It’s not just, ‘Hey, take this class.’ It’s about how can we get the whole child adjusted to school and get through successfully,” said Marcotte. “And Caroline is very good at that. She sees each student as an individual. And, whenever they come to her door, she has a great smile for them and takes the time needed for each student and their family if needed.”

The Asay family bears that out. They were the ones who nominated Bradshaw for the award.

“She has been a support system to not only Tyler but us as well,” said Jennifer Asay of Bradshaw. Tyler Asay is in 7th grade.

“As Tyler has told us from day one at Cole — her door is always open. She encourages the students to be independent and advocate for themselves. She is always available even when emailed at night. She also consistently checks in on Tyler’s progress and our concerns. From what I hear this is not exclusive to us, she is there for all of her students. A well deserved award for one of the many hard working teachers in EG,” Asay said.

Director of Teaching and Learning Alexis Meyer was particularly pleased by the award – Bradshaw has been at Cole since 2007 and for most of that time, Meyer was her principal (Meyer moved to her new position last fall).
“The entire Cole school community has been the beneficiary of Caroline’s selfless commitment,” said Meyer. “She has been devoted to staff, students and their families with her genuine concern for their well being and learning.”

This was the third Golden Apple award given out in East Greenwich this year. Rob Petrucci and Marc Brocato, both teachers at the high school, were earlier recipients.


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