Tracy Lafreniere teaches reading and writing as a Reading Specialist at North Smithfield Elementary School. At the time she was recognized as Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, she had been teaching for 17 years. Although she has always loved to read and to teach reading, she credits her training as a Reading Recovery teacher as her most significant inspiration because it changed her view about what was possible for struggling readers. She believes that children need to develop a love for reading early and that teaching children to read is the greatest gift we can give them. In addition to teaching and being highly active in her school community, Tracy has collaborated on many state and local projects including the Common Core Ambassador Team and the Rhode Island Writing Project. She is also an adjunct professor for the Providence College Graduate Literacy Program. She holds a degree in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University.