WOONSOCKET – The School Committee on Wednesday approved three recommendations by School Superintendent Giovanna Donoyan to fill principal and assistant principal posts in the district while also granting the nod to the postings of two elementary principal vacancies.
The action by the four committee members present — Christopher Roberts, Eleanor Nadeau, John Donlon and Anita McGuire-Forcier — sends Middle School Assistant Principal Robert Picard to head the Bernon Heights Elementary School. School Committee Chairwoman Vimala Phongsavanh was absent.
The Bernon Heights post was left open after George Nasuti took a position heading Athletics, Health and Wellness in the Central Office.
Picard has worked in various leadership roles for the district since 1995, Donoyan said in her recommendation of him for the promotion.
Picard started out with the district as a Social Studies teacher at the high school in 1995 and became a middle school assistant principal in 2004, she noted.
“Mr. Picard has led the faculty and staff of the Middle School maintaining the highest priority on students,” Donoyan said. “His leadership helped to reform the middle school from a school that was labeled in need of “Progressive Support and Intervention” to currently meeting “Adequate Yearly Progress” three out of the last four years,” she said.
“He is a valued and loyal member of the Woonsocket Education Department leadership team and we look forward to his work at Bernon Heights Elementary School,” Donoyan said.
The panel also acted to fill the Middle School Principal position left vacant when Patrick McGee went to the Central Office as the director of curriculum and assessment.
Middle School Assistant Principal Steven Boss, who has been running the school with Picard in McGee’s absence, was named Middle School Principal by the Committee.
“Mr. Boss has been a loyal employee of the Woonsocket Education Department since 1999,” Donoyan said of Boss.
Noting Boss began his career with the department as a math teacher at the middle school, Donoyan said he was promoted to assistant principal of the high school and transferred to the assistant principal post at the Middle School in 2010.
“The Woonsocket School Department has been fortunate that Mr. Boss has taken on the leadership role and responsibilities as acting principal of the Woonsocket Middle School at VillaNova for the 2012-2013 school year,” Donoyan said. “Mr. Boss has directed the faculty and staff, evaluated teachers with fidelity, and has ensured a safe learning environment.”
Donoyan said she believes Boss will continue to lead the Middle School “into the future as a strong and respectful administrator.”
“Our community and our students are fortunate to have him take the reins of the Woonsocket Middle School,” Donoyan said.
The School Committee also approved the hiring of Christopher A. Lopardo as the Assistant Principal of the Middle School, to fill the school’s current administrative vacancies.
Lopardo began his teaching career with the Providence School System as a physical education and health teacher and served as an aspiring principal, and an acting principal of the Perry Middle School and an assistant principal of the Esek Hopkins Middle School.
For the past year, Lopardo participated in the Rhode Island Department of Education Aspiring Transformational Leaders Program with the New York City Leadership Academy. He has also been an Aspiring Transformational Leader at the Central Falls High School, she noted.
“Mr. Lopardo brings to our district a skill set to help empower and lead positive school change, implement programs that accelerate children success, and provide meaningful parent, teacher and community engagement,” she said. Lopardo is certified as a principal in Rhode Island and earned his Masters in Education from the University of Rhode Island.
The Middle School Principal position carries a salary of $99,000 and the Middle School Assistant Principal post a salary of $91,000.
The committee also approved the postings of the elementary principal positions at the Kevin K. Coleman and Gov. Aram J. Pothier elementary schools. Elementary Principal posts carry a salary of $90,000 annually.
Donoyan later said she was pleased by the committee’s action to fill the vacancies and post the remaining positions.
She added that the district should be able to find the new administrators in time for the coming school year.
“We are going to make lots of positive change for the children of this district and there are people out there who want to be a part of that process,” she said.