The School Committee said goodbye to three of its members Monday night during the final regular meeting of the elected officials’ terms. School Committee Chairperson Dan Wall (Ward 6), David …
The School Committee said goodbye to three of its members Monday night during the final regular meeting of the elected officials’ terms. School Committee Chairperson Dan Wall (Ward 6), David Alden Sears (Ward 5) and Kenneth Mancuso (Ward 4) wrapped up their tenure and were each recognized for their years of service. Taking their places in January are Anthony Melillo (Ward 6), Tera Norberg (Ward 5) and Frank Ritz (Ward 4).
Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse thanked the three outgoing School Committee members for their service. She said that while school committees in other districts may receive compensation for their work, Cranston’s School Committee members do not receive payment – the position is entirely volunteer-based and requires a great deal of time and thoughtfulness. In addition to the two meetings a month that members attend, there are many behind the scenes meetings, negotiations with collective bargaining units and school ceremonies. Nota-Masse said the position requires heart and soul and one has to love what they are doing and have passion for the community.
The Cranston School Committee put forth three separate resolutions Monday night honoring Wall, Alden Sears and Mancuso for their public service. Wall’s resolution notes him as “an exemplary leader whose commitment to the students, his constituents and colleagues was unwavering.” Wall was sworn into the Cranston School Committee on Jan. 5, 2015, and became chairman of the committee on Jan. 7, 2019. Overall, he served eight years representing Ward 6.
School Committee member Kristen Haroian, who introduced the resolution, said Wall has the patience of a saint.
“Your leadership on this committee has been amazing,” said Alden Sears.
He recalled the early days during the pandemic where meetings lasted until midnight and many people from the public showed up to speak.
“You gave everybody equal time and you gave everybody equal respect. And whether people agree with you or disagree with you, you made a point to stop and listen and that's what makes an exemplary leader,” Alden Sears said.
“If I am going to be remembered, I’d like to be remembered as someone who always acted with honesty and acted in the best interest of the students,” said Wall.
President of the Cranston Teachers’ Alliance Liz Larkin thanked Wall for his service and dedication to the tedious work of being on the School Committee. She said he was the ultimate gentleman and professional in the most heated situations. She also thanked all School Committee members for their service and support in collective bargaining agreements.
Wall said he’s thankful for the support and confidence his Ward 6 constituents bestowed upon him over his last four terms. He also thanked colleagues and members of current/former school committees for their support. He added that he’s proud of the collaborative working relationship that the committee has had with the school administration.
School Committee member Domenic Fusco introduced the resolution recognizing Alden Sears for his time on the School Committee. Fusco reflected on the first time he met Alden Sears when they were at the Twin Oaks bar. From the start, Fusco saw Alden Sear’s passion. Alden Sears was sworn into the Cranston School Committee on Jan. 29, 2020. The School Committee’s resolution stated “Alden Sears’ loyalty and service to the students, his constituents and colleagues was exemplary.”
Fusco – along with Nota-Masse – noted that Alden Sears brought a level of comedic relief to the committee. Alden Sears reminisced on coming to the School Committee as a 24 year old with no legislative background. Still, members took a chance on him and had confidence in him.
Wall added that Alden Sears brought forth a unique perspective to the committee since he had recently graduated from Cranston Public Schools in 2014; other School Committee members were a bit farther removed from the classroom.
Citywide School Committee member Michael Traficante introduced the resolution recognizing Mancuso for his work on the School Committee.
Mancuso was sworn into the Cranston School Committee on Sept. 20, 2021, and noted for his commitment to his constituents and colleagues was exemplary.
Mancuso said he enjoyed the experience and learned a lot.
Fusco added that Mancuso’s passion for safety brought a different perspective to the committee that was greatly appreciated.
The new School Committee’s first meeting will be held on Jan. 9 at the Briggs Building.