2017-07-13 / Front Page

New Principal Brings Passion to Leadership

By Brooke Constance White

The Newport School Committee unanimously appointed Jared Vance, former principal at Kickemuit Middle School in the Bristol Warren Regional School District, the new principal at Rogers High School during their meeting on Monday, July 10. Superintendent Colleen Jermain said the principal search committee started with 19 candidates, interviewed eight and was ultimately most impressed with Vance’s extensive experience and accomplishments throughout his 16-year career in education.

“Based on his experience… leadership and high recommendations from previous superintendents, I want to recommend that he be appointed as the new principal of Rogers,” Jermain said at the meeting.

Marcin Rembisz, communications coordinator and secretary for the district, was on the search committee and said that many of the strategies laid out in the district’s strategic plan were highlighted in Vance’s resume, making him the best candidate for the job.

“He’s a strong leader who’s ready to embrace whatever comes his way,” he said. “Rogers is a tough school, but we think he will fit in well with the community.”

Vance is replacing Jeffrey Goss, who has held the position since December 2014. Last year, the committee voted to reassign him to be the district’s assistant superintendent, and then later rescinded the realignment as it went against Rhode Island General Laws. In March, Goss announced he would step down from the position at the end of his contract in June.

Vance, a North Kingstown resident, thanked the committee, saying he’s excited to get started and is looking forward to engaging with the school’s culture and bringing Newport and Rogers to a level of prominence in the community. “I always have an open-door policy, sometimes to a fault,” he said, with a laugh. “But I always, always say yes when a parent or teacher or anyone needs to speak with me about something. I want to get to know parents, teachers, students, the community.”

Vance, 41, also spent four years as assistant principal at Curtis Corner Middle School in South Kingstown and eight years as a special education teacher at Barrington High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s in special education from Cambridge College, a certificate in school administration from Providence College, and one in blended and personalized learning instructional coaching from Roger Williams University. He played football at URI and later was head coach of the junior varsity football team at Barrington High School. He said he’s looking forward to attending Friday night football games and making his face known.

His two biggest passions in education are culture and community connection, and he said he’s excited to immerse himself in the Rogers community.

“I’m all about building culture and changing the perception of culture, and then pushing that out to the community,” he said. “I also think that leveraging community resources like organizations and businesses is really important. In Bristol Warren, we teamed up with the Herreshoff Marine Museum to do boat building, so I’m all about providing students with opportunities and experiences through community partnerships.”

Vance said he has a great deal of experience dealing with behavior issues and is a firm believer that such matters are best addressed by displaying consistency and providing an engaging learning environment.

“It’s all about thinking about how rich and meaningful we can make the education we offer the students,” he said. “That alone will shift behaviors in a huge way. We have to play to [students’] strengths and engage them.”

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