2018-08-02 / Front Page

School Committee Chair Resigns

By Andy Long

David Hanos, Chairperson of the Newport School Committee, resigned July 31 from that body. He wrote in a text message to Newport This Week, “It’s for personal reasons. Came up quickly, not an easy decision.”

The committee, which met last Tuesday evening, heard from Hanos of his resignation before the session in a private conference. He then left the site of the meeting.

Hanos did not elaborate further on the reasons for his resignation, either in the text or when contacted by phone.

His withdrawal from the committee before the meeting meant that they didn’t have a quorum, as members Raymond Gomes and David Carlin weren’t in attendance, so member Becky Bolan had to be called in while in the midst of preparing to leave for a family event.

Hanos filed for re-election before late June’s deadline, saying to NTW then, “I need to stay with the vision and committee to upgrade/build a high school, expand Pell or find a permanent fix for the overcrowding there, find a spot for our early learners as well as continue to expand our career tech. I love the kids.”

Carlin wrote in an email to NTW of his former fellow committee colleague, “I have known David Hanos for 43 years. We were neighbors, schoolmates, and friends. We are still friends. He has spent his entire adult life in the service of the citizens of the City of Newport.”

Hanos informed Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop of his decision and the mayor commented by email to Newport This Week, “David called me… and told me he was going to resign for personal reasons. I have great respect for David and his years of service to the students of Newport. I wish him nothing but the best and respect the decision he has made.”

Newport This Week spoke by phone with committee member Sandra Flowers. “Well, I was surprised, totally surprised upon hear ing the news,” she said, adding that she believed that it was personal considerations that led to his decision.

“I wish the best for him and once the dust settles, I hope he’ll be happy in his work,” Flowers continued. “Ourselves, we’ve always gotten along. We’ve had our differences, but we’ve always gotten along,” she said.

Another member who spoke by phone with Newport This Week, Jo Eva Gaines, said, “I wish him the best. He made a very painful decision. He made it with his family’s and personal well-being in mind.”

District Superintendent Colleen Jermain responded by email to Newport This Week to say that she hadn’t spoken with Hanos, either on the night of the meeting or later.

Flowers was not certain of what the committee must do, as it now has no chairperson, but she believes that Vice Chairperson Raymond Gomes will assume the duties of chairing their meetings until a new chairperson is elected by the members.

After hearing of Hanos’ resignation and returning to public session, the committee voted to allocate $36,000 to increase the salaries of principals and vice principals, in order, in the words of member Kathleen Silvia, “To keep them in line with the other state districts.”

Silvia went on to say that Newport’s administrative salaries were low by Rhode Island standards. She also pointed out that this increase wouldn’t affect the budget, as they agreed to cuts in other areas.

The Newport School Committee’s next scheduled meeting will be on August 14, at 6:30 PM and it will be held at Pell Elementary School.

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