By Kim Kinzie
Marc Brocato, an English teacher at East Greenwich High School, received WJAR’s Golden Apple Award Wednesday. The Golden Apple honors “those who believe in the true spirit of teaching by making classrooms a creative and safe place to learn.”
WJAR’s Patrice Wood, with a camera crew in tow, surprised Brocato in his classroom Wednesday, to deliver the good news. Rhode Island’s Commissioner of Education Ken Wagner presented the award. Also present were Supt. Victor Mercurio, Principal Michael Podraza, and Brocato’s wife Beth and daughter Leah. While appreciating the crowd of familiar faces, Brocato joked that his daughter shouldn’t have skipped school.
Junior Riley Brooks nominated Brocato. On Wednesday she said she appreciated Brocato’s listening skills and that during her freshman year, Brocato had helped her “actually like school.”
Brocato said his main goal is to get his students to be confident in themselves. “I encourage them to find a style that works for them and then I teach to the individual,” he said.
When asked what he most appreciates about teaching, Brocato, who is in his 25th year of teaching, said, “The kids energize me!” In addition to his teaching duties, Brocato coaches the Girls Tennis team.
The award presentation segment will air on Channel 10 on Thursday, March 7, at 6 p.m. This isn’t the first time this school year that the Golden Apple has come to EGHS. In the fall, social studies teacher (and softball coach legend) Rob Petrucci received one, nominated by colleague Brendan Carniaux, who teaches music.
Learn more about the Golden Apple here.