The Council on Elementary and Secondary Education has selected three Providence Schools administrators and one student to serve on the Ambassador Design Team, which will develop and write the next strategic plan for elementary and secondary education in Rhode Island.
Among the diverse group of 26 Rhode Islanders that were selected from 300 applicants are Doris De Los Santos, executive director of partnership, development and community engagement; Brian Baldizar, assistant principal at Classical High School; Piedade Lemos, foreign language teacher leader at the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex; Kai Cameron, facilitator for community partnerships; and Sidi Wen, Classical High School student.
“I am very proud that we have selected such a diverse and talented group of people to develop and write the next strategic plan for Rhode Island public education,” said Eva-Marie Mancuso, chair of the Board of Education. “I am so grateful to every single person who applied to join this team. The team has the balance, the talent, and the expertise we need to develop a great strategic plan. With this team in place and ready to begin work, I am confident that we will have a plan that will advance learning and achievement for all Rhode Island students.”
“As many of us have said from the outset, we want our next strategic plan to be a plan that all Rhode Islanders can embrace and support,” said Deborah A. Gist, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The design team members whom the Council members have selected represent a wide range of views, but they share a commitment to our schools and to our students. We all have a role to play when it comes to improving our public schools, and the tremendous interest that Rhode Islanders have shown in the development of our strategic plan is very encouraging and heartening. I believe that the plan this team develops will guide our work and inspire us as we continue to transform education in Rhode Island.”
Members of the team will begin meeting this month, with the goal of presenting a plan to the Council for approval in June. The plan will guide public education in Rhode Island over the next five years.
The team will base its work in part on the results of the survey on public education, which is underway and will run through the end of the year. A link to the survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2BSZ7L6
The design team comprises two groups: a core team of 12 members, which will do the research and writing toward development of the strategic plan, and an extended team of 14 members, which will engage in school visits, outside research and readings, and other activities to support the ideas and work of the core team. De Los Santos and Wen will serve on the core team while Baldizar, Lemos and Cameron are members of the extended team.
David Moscarelli, the 2015 Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, and Jeremiah Newell, a doctoral student in education leadership at Harvard University, who is doing a residency at RIDE, will facilitate the meetings of the design team.
Editor Note: An earlier version of this story inadvertently omitted Piedade Lemos as a member of the team.