PORTSMOUTH — There will soon be a new school superintendent in town, and her name is Ana C. Riley.The School Committee Tuesday night voted unanimously to appoint Ms. Riley, who has served as the superintendent of schools in Dartmouth for the past two years, having first been hired as assistant superintendent in 2008.
She will succeed Interim Supt. Barbara E. McGann, who was appointed to that job last August. Ms. Riley’s contract starts July 1.
“We are really thrilled to have Ana C. Riley,” said School Committee Chairman David Croston. “She comes with a long list of accomplishments in Dartmouth. I think Ana will serve this district well for many, many years.”
After the vote, Ms. Riley said she was excited to start work. She plans on meeting with Dartmouth school officials on Monday to formulate a transition plan, but hopes to settle into her Portsmouth job as soon as possible.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity,” said Ms. Riley. “I look forward to working with all of you. I want to be done with two jobs and have one job as soon as we can get that going.”
Ms. Riley, a mother of six who lives in Fall River, worked 16 years in that city’s school district as a chemistry, biology and physics teacher at Durfee High School and as principal at the elementary and middle school levels.
According to a press release released by the School Committee, she’s been recognized in Dartmouth for her focus on improving student achievement, working with district stake-holders to develop a strategic improvement plan guided by core values and multiple measures of student data.
“She has also worked diligently in Dartmouth to bring trust and transparency to the budget, publishing a detailed budget aligned to the strategic improvement plan and directed at improving student achievement. These were all core qualities the Portsmouth School Committee sought in its next superintendent,” according to the release.
Mr. Croston said Ms. Riley has a proven track record of high achievement in Dartmouth and Fall River.
“She brings the core qualities that Portsmouth will embrace and she will continue to drive our system to excellence,” Mr. Croston said in a prepared statement. “I am thrilled to have Ana’s energy and good humor in Portsmouth. Ana’s door will always be open, she will be incredibly visible, and she shares our long-term strategic vision for our district.”
$152,000 salary plus benefits
The committee approved a three-year contract — beginning July 1 — for Ms. Riley, who will earn a base salary of $152,000 plus benefits, a package comparable with other similarly sized districts in Rhode Island, according to the press release.
The contract, which calls for a minimum annual salary increase of 2 percent, also provides a $7,500 professional development stipend, a $225 monthly allowance for travel expenses, a 20-percent cost share for medical insurance, five weeks of vacation and 20 sick days.
The net cost of the contract is $204,443 for fiscal year 2015, $209,968 for 2016 and $215,639 for 2017, according to figures released by school officials.
According to the press release, Ms. Riley has initiated several innovative programs in Dartmouth.
“Her ‘Every School, Every Week’ program had district administrators at all levels visiting one school per week; she started an academic summer school for grades 1 through 8 integrated with the Dartmouth Recreation Department that provides a full day summer enrichment for over 100 students; she budgeted for every junior to take the PSAT exam; brought the National Institute of School Leadership into her district to support professional development; hired the position of chief technology officer in Dartmouth to align technology in the district; and, implemented the STAR assessment program in the Dartmouth schools, a less time-consuming common assessment tool,” stated the release.
Ms. Riley received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Regis College, a master’s degree in school administration from Fitchburg State College, and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in education leadership.
Ms. Riley and her husband, Kyle, live in Fall River with their six children: Brenna, 20; Gaelen, 18; Connor, 16; Jensen, 13; Colman, 11; and Seamus, 4.