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RIC Foundation Board Member, John Smith, Named to the Board of Education



Gov. Lincoln Chafee has named John J. Smith Jr. ’63, ’67 M.Ed. to the Rhode Island Board of Education (BOE), and the appointment has been confirmed by the Senate.

The BOE is the chief policy-setting body, overseeing all elementary, secondary and higher public education institutions in the state. There are 36 locally governed primary and secondary school districts and three higher education institutions.

The board has two councils with eight members each. The councils were designed to address issues specific to the elementary and secondary education systems and the post-secondary system respectively. Smith will serve on the board and on the Council on Post-Secondary Education.

Smith has been a long-time member and past president of the Rhode Island College Foundation and a generous supporter of Rhode Island College.

Now as a member of BOE, Smith said he sees “this as an excellent opportunity to give back.”

“With the experiences I’ve had in the education field, at all levels, I will be able to assist the board of education in planning, implementing and developing policies and procedures for the benefit of students, faculty and their institutions,” he said.

For 35 years he was a teacher and principal in the Cumberland school system – 30 as principal, five as a fourth-grade teacher.

After retiring in 1998, he remained active in the Cumberland school district as a substitute teacher and substitute principal.

He went on to supervise student teachers at Providence College for 10 years and taught at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Current BOE members are Eva-Marie Mancuso, chair; Antonio Barajas, M.D.; Amy Beretta; Michael Bernstein; Colleen Callahan; Dennis Duffy, Esq.; Karin Forbes; Jo Eva Gaines; Patrick Guida, Esq.; The Honorable Thomas Izzo; Judith Oulette; Lawrence Purtill; Kerry Rafanelli, Esq.; Mathies Santos; John Smith Jr.; Joyce Stevos; and the Rev. Jeffery Williams.