The Revere school system, already considered one of the best urban school districts in America, has received more national recognition.
Madeline Ceballos Wilkinson, a first-grade teacher at the Hill Elementary School, was notified by SONIC Drive-In Restaurants that she was “among the exceptional teachers nationwide” whose project received funding in coordination with Teacher Appreciation Month.
The honor for Ms. Wilkinson, 28, who holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Salem State University, came as SONIC pursued the noble cause of recognizing “the entrepreneurial spirit driving teachers to meet their students’ distance learning needs during this difficult time.”
Ceballos Wilkinson’s project came about through the Donors Choose organization, a platform where educators can ask for donations from donors. SONIC collaborated with Donors Choose for Teacher Appreciation Month and selected the project for its generous support.
“I created this project to get more electronic devices (Amazon Fire Tablets) to students who don’t have them in order to access the technology of remote learning plans,” explained Ceballos Wilkinson. “I was able to raise funds through the support of my family and friends and SONIC matched every donation ($315) that was given to my project.”
Ceballos Wilkinson reached out to families and then took her thoughtful initiative a step further by also personally delivering the tablets to the students and their parents.
“I drove to their homes and delivered the tablets to the students,” said Ceballos Wilkinson. “It’s definitely made a difference. I see several of those students on my Zoom lessons and they’re using the technology, so they’re more engaged now than they were before.”
Parents were very grateful to the Hill schoolteacher who is in her sixth year of teaching in the Revere district.
“The parents sent me messages and gave their thanks, but the kids were very excited,” said Ceballos Wilkinson, who was a member of the faculty at the McKinley School before the move to the new building on Park Avenue “I love the Hill School. Our principal [Melissa Lomas] was very supportive and super excited and very grateful that I was able to get the devices and bring them out to the families.”
Revere School Officials Congratulate the Honoree
Both Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly and School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio offered their congratulations to Ceballos Wilkinson.
“I can tell you that she is a wonderful educator and an asset to the Revere Schools,” said Dr. Kelly. “She is the kind of teacher who goes the extra mile to support all students and families at the Hill, and especially those with whom she works directlty, as she did in this case by taking the time to pursue this funding opportunity from SONIC. This is well-deserved recognition for Madeline Ceballos Wilkinson.”
Said D’Ambrosio, a first-year member of the School Committee, “I have been lucky enough to work with Madeline on student-oriented issues in the past, and her incredible work here comes as no surprise to me. She, like so many of Revere’s amazing teachers, is incredibly dedicated to supporting the development of her students. I think I can safely convey the sentiments of thousands of residents of our city by offering her a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for her selfless work during these uncertain times.”
Christi Woodworth, vice president of public relations for SONIC, also commended Ceballos Wilkinson. “Teachers across the country face new and complex challenges to keep their students learning right now,” said Woodworth. “As we continue to celebrate teachers during this Teacher Appreciation Month, we sincerely thank educators like Madeline Ceballos Wilkinson, who are creatively keeping their students learning, even as schools are closed.”
SONIC pledged its continuing assistance to schools across the state, including Revere, in its $1 million funding campaign.