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Melville’s Viveiros named Portsmouth’s next assistant superintendent

The elementary school principal has worked in the district for nearly a decade

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PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth School Committee Tuesday night warmly welcomed the appointment of Melville Elementary School Principal Elizabeth Viveiros as the district’s new assistant superintendent, effective July 1.

Ms. Viveiros beat out a field of 35 candidates to secure the position, a role retired Narragansett Superintendent Kathy Sipala has been serving during the interim since February. Before joining the district in 2012, Ms. Viveiros spent time working as an elementary and middle school special education teacher in the Bristol Warren Regional School District, and is currently working toward a doctorate at Northeastern University. 

Not only has she improved Melville’s academic excellence in her eight years as principal, Ms. Viveiros has also spent the past year as the district’s multi-tiered system of support coordinator — all of which made her qualified for this new job, said Superintendent Tom Kenworthy.

“I am looking forward to her being in this position and being able to work alongside me as we look forward to many great things in our district to come,” he said. 

Several members of the committee expressed their wholehearted approval of the appointment, including Vice Chairman Fred Faerber III, who commented on Ms. Viveiros’ numerous nominations for honors such as Principal of the Year and the Blue Ribbon Award. 

“Your record of accomplishment is terrific; we’re so lucky to have you,” he said. 

Thomas Vadney agreed, saying Ms. Viveiros’ appointment was “well-deserved.” 

“She brings a lot of energy whenever she walks in a room,” he said. “She lights the place up.”

As one of the participants during the interviewing process, Juan Carlos Payero noted how Ms. Viveiros “stood out” against the rest of the competition. 

“I think that it’s the best choice for Portsmouth,” he said. 

The appointment takes effect July 1 — right around the time Ms. Sipala “wraps up” her role toward the end of June or beginning of July, Mr. Kenworthy said. The district will also begin advertising for the now-vacant Melville principal position, he added, with a goal to have that role also filled by July 1. 

With her new position officially approved, Ms. Viveiros expressed her gratitude to the committee.

“I am so excited to be able to advance my career right here in Portsmouth, a community that I’ve truly fallen in love with,” she said.

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