- Anne Geertman and Sarah Kelly-Palmer
I can tell that we are going to be friends
On the eve of a winter storm that would blanket the state and cause students to delight in a “Snow Day!” two friends (Sarah Kelly-Palmer and Anne Geertman) who carpooled to the School Committee meeting reflect on the evening’s highlights. The initial surprise at arriving thirty minutes early by not taking into account the Executive Session provided an opportunity to catch up and grab some good seats for what would turn out to be a standing-room-only meeting.
The night kicked off with Dr. Morse (Principal NKHS) recognizing student achievements - with special recognition for two students who recently jumped into action to perform the Heimlich maneuver and save the life of a fellow student who was choking. Not only did Dr. Morse recognize these students, but the student they saved movingly spoke in gratitude about his experience. It was a heartwarming moment that anchored and set the tone for a productive meeting. Dr. Morse also announced the top ten students in this year’s graduating class who will officially be recognized during the May SC meeting as well as students who competed at the RI DECA conference and earned the highest showing in the state!
A few highlights during public comments included Teacher of the Year, Lisa Garcia, highlighting the importance of teacher voice and wellness as a part of equity work in our schools. The NKHS girls’ softball team, their coaches, and parents articulately advocated for a dedicated girls’ softball field — as one of the softball players said, “Roll Skips!” Sarah decided to speak and shared her support for the recommendations from the DEI subcommittee, which included adding late buses into the FY 2023-2024 budget for the high school and both middle schools.
The remaining agenda items reflected how actively and efficiently our School Committee has been working to support our community. The timeline for the new Superintendent search was shared, and the hope is to have someone in place by July 1st of this year. North Kingstown resident, Robert Mezzanote, was also contracted as the new Assistant Superintendent. The evening concluded with a discussion about the upcoming budget.
Overall, we walked away feeling thankful for the tireless work of the School Committee members, administration, teachers, and staff. It was a fun and informative night for two friends who love our community. If you are able, we recommend attending the upcoming School Committee’s budget work session on Thursday, March 3rd, at 7 pm. You can attend in person at 100 Romano Way or watch online. If you can’t attend but want to provide feedback, please email the Committee members. Take it from us — school meetings are even better when you go with a friend!