Wall, school board's new chair, looks ahead

The Cranston Herald ·

Now in his third term as the School Committee representative for Ward 6, Dan Wall was sworn in as the committee’s new chairman during the city’s inaugural festivities Jan. 7.

Wall reflected on how the change in leadership on the committee came about.

“In early December, [Ward 5 representative and former chairwoman] Janice Ruggeri inquired about committee members thoughts with regards to the leadership of the committee,” Wall said. “At that time, citywide representative Mike Traficante said that he wasn’t interested in being the chairman due to his heavy work commitments. At this time I expressed my interest in becoming the chairman. [Ward 4 representative and current vice chairman] Vincent Turchetta also stated that he was considering a leadership position on the committee. In the subsequent weeks I reached out to members the committee to request their support.”

Wall, an educator in Providence’s schools, said he hopes to “use the experience I’ve gained on the committee, in the field of education and as a parent of two daughters in the Cranston school system to help guide my work as chairman.”

“I plan to work hard to improve our schools by continuing the work of updating, rebuilding and renovating our buildings,” he said. “This will help our schools to better suit the needs of our students. I also want find ways to reduce class size especially in the lower grades. I addition, I would like to continue improving the School Committee’s relationship with the City Council and the administration. We must work together to make our city an even better place to live.”

Ruggieri, who chaired the committee for six years, and Ward 2 representative Stephanie Culhane, who previously served as vice chairwoman, each declined to seek re-election to their leadership positions, citing the desire of other committee members for new leadership. Ruggieri and Culhane both questioned what led other committee members to seek the leadership shakeup.

“My dedication to Cranston Public Schools will not waver and I look forward to working with my colleagues both old and new to continue to move Cranston Public Schools in a positive direction,” Ruggieri told the Herald previously.

“I do not believe in change for change sake, but since the majority has expressed their views, I will not stand in the way of their plan,” Culhane said through a recent statement.

Traficante spoke of his wishes for the committee moving forward.

“We are a policy making board. And, those policies and responsibilities are determined by a majority voice of the board members,” he said. “Any and all success we have had in meeting all of the above in the past, is a shared success. No one person, be it the chair or otherwise, can lay claim. All seven members of the current board are ready and capable to continue.”


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