EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence School Committee conducted the last meeting of its two-year term Tuesday night, Nov. 13, in the City Hall Chamber, a relatively brief gathering that reflected on its past and future.The meeting began with current Committee Chairman Charlie Tsonos offering his congratulations to the new members chosen in last week’s election. Mr. Tsonos welcomed all — Joel Monteiro, Elizabeth Clupny, Anthony Ferreira, Richard Pimentel and Tim Conley — then asked each to formally introduce themselves and give a brief comment, which they did.
The night closed with the current members of the Committee giving their final thoughts of the session. Only one of the five, City Councilor-Elect Chrissy Rossi, remains in public office. Luisa Abatecola and Ryan Tellier opted not to run for re-election. Mr. Ferreira defeated Stephen Furtado in last week’s Ward II race while Mr. Tsonos lost in the September Primary in his bid for the Democratic nomination for the General Assembly House District 63 seat.
In wishing the newcomers well, Mr. Tsonos added, “It has not been pleasant to watch what the city has gone through the last two years, but I certainly look forward to better days ahead.”
Each of the out-going members echoed Mr. Tsonos sentiments. They also made special mention of School Department Administrative Assistant Patricia Iannelli for her aid throughout their term.
Other business discussed Tuesday included the announcement by Interim School Superintendent Dr. John DeGoes of the department’s over 1,500-pound donation to the Rhode Island Food Bank. The food was collected as part of the annual Townie Pride Parade last month. In addition, some three school-bus loads of items were donated by students and their families to the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort in New York and New Jersey.
Dr. DeGoes announced that a new 2.5-hour program has been added to the existing 4.5-hour Visual Support Classroom at Meadowcrest School. Dr. DeGoes said the decision to make the change came after consultation with staff and parents. He stressed the decision was made in the school and not at the administrative level. Also, there was no attempt to curb the program for cost-saving reasons.