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Top Teacher

Rhode Island teacher named 2004 Teacher of the Year

Kathy Mellor says a big part of teaching is "remembering what it was like to be a kid." The middle school teacher from Rhode Island is the top of the heap in her profession -- being named National Teacher of the Year for 2004. Mellor has taught limited English students for 24 years. She reshaped the English-as-a-second-language program in her North Kingstown district, allowing students to be integrated with others while they also got special help. She also formed a parents group for speakers of other languages, improving their ability to help their children. Mellor says she supports changes so schools are not "ranked and sorted" just by scores on standardized tests. She and the top teachers from other states will be honored at a White House ceremony on Wednesday.

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