Chariho School Parents’ Forum

September 21, 2009

New Ashaway Principal

Filed under: Ashaway Elementary,Chariho — Editor @ 10:29 pm

Has anyone had an opportunity to meet, talk or work with the new Ashaway principal, Steven Morrone? He came to the town council meeting to talk about a bus issue. He and Bob Petite were there asking for a parking ban during school bus loading and unloading times. Tom Buck has a good handle on the issue and I’m comfortable with his direction on it. But I was more concerned, or curious, about the principal.

My concerns are based on the principal’s experience, or apparent lack of. The principal is on the front lines of interaction between our kids, the teachers and parents, and what little I know of this person from searching the internet and what he wrote us in a letter does not give me a great deal of confidence. 

According to the letter he sent the council, he “taught in Westerly for the past five years in special education and in the classroom. (He) also completed (his) masters degree in administration through Providence College. As part of that program (he) completed a principal internship under Victor Ventura, principal of Springbrook School in Westerly.”

I don’t want to assume that that is the extent of his experience, maybe there is more and he just didn’t mention it. Then again, as young as he is there couldn’t be much more. According to the Westerly Sun he is 28 years old.

Personally, I’m not comfortable with someone so young being in such an important position – a position that requires him to be the facilitator of interactions between children, teachers and parents.  He is younger than 2 of the three.  And he has no experience and very little experience in education at all.  And in this high unemployment you would think we could have found someone with experience. Was this a cost savings move? Does this person posses unseen talents?

The principal also spoke about a new program encouraging “community” he has started. Instead of having the kids go from the bus to the class, he has them go to the  gym so they can build “community.”  I think of community more of helping your neighbor and stuff like that, and whenever a newly educated educator speaks about “community” I fear phrases like “social justice” are soon to follow. But I shouldn’t read too far ahead.

That being said, there are freakishly talented young people who are dedicated at an early age. Maybe he is one of them. I also see he has modeling aspirations. So, I’m not sure what to read on his dedication or capacity. His letter was what I would expect from someone 28 years old.  My first inclination is to be insulted that Ricci would put someone in our schools with so little, strike that – NO, experience in the job. And if his letter is the totality of it, he only has a handful of years in teaching.

That’s why I’m asking if anyone has had contact or interaction yet. Let us know.