Prospective new East Providence School Superintendent meets public tonight

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Prospective Schools Superintendent candidate Kim Mercer will be introduced to both the public and the School Committee during an open meeting Wednesday night, Feb. 27, in the East Providence City Hall Chamber at 7 o'clock.
Ms. Mercer, a Pawtucket resident, has been the Deputy Superintendent of Schools there for the past 11 years. She emerged as the leading candidate for the vacant East Providence post some two weeks ago at the conclusion of the interview process. “This event is the best attempt I was able to make to give the community some kind of involvement in the process,” School Committee chairman Joel Monteiro said, adding he will seek input from school staff, administrators and the teachers’ union about questions they would like to be asked of Ms. Mercer. Mr. Monteiro was part of the search committee set up by the Budget Commission to select a new superintendent, who would permanently replace Interim Super Dr. John DeGoes. The search committee also included Budget Commission chair Diane Brennan, Interim City Human Resources Director Heather Martino and two other state-wide school officials. They reached their decision to proceed with Ms. Mercer as the top choice after she was interviewed for a second time. “Hopefully, with Mr. Mercer’s experience and her familiarity with the demographics of our city, we’ll be able to finish this process and start rebuilding our school department,” Mr. Monteiro

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.