Rhode Island superintendents welcome new Providence superintendent

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Harrison Peters is the new superintendent of Providence Public Schools.

Peters is the outgoing deputy superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida, which includes Tampa, and has also worked in Houston and Chicago.

Thomas DiPaola, the head of the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association thinks that experience makes him a good match.

“His major area of focus was to work with schools that had been experiencing difficulties with student performance, and apparently has had some success with that,” he said. “So it does seem like a real good fit.”

DiPaola says peters also has the advantage of a state unified for change after the scathing Johns Hopkins report, which helped lead to the state taking over providence schools.

“There seems to be a real good alignment and a real commitment at all levels of government and across education right now to literally turn this around,” he said.

DiPaola says helping to provide support for students beyond the classroom…and consistency…are among the biggest challenges.

“Finite resources, lots of competition for those finite resources,” he said. “It certainly brings challenges to it. Really comes down to a simple formula, though: you just try to do the right thing for kids in that moment.”

DiPaola says the stakes are high for the whole state.

“Providence educates about a sixth of all the kids who go to public school in Rhode Island,” he said. “So in order for Rhode Island to do well, we need Providence to do well.”


©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: Providence, Regional News