As featured in the Woonsocket Call by Erica Moser.
Sara Tucker, a dean at Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School 2, has been named the school’s new head. She is replacing Colleen Colarusso, who last month was named BVP’s chief schools officer.
“I’m really excited,” Tucker said at last week’s Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy Board of Directors meeting. “It’s some big shoes to fill with the chief but I’m really excited about the opportunity, and I think our scholars and our success will prove it.”
Tucker was among 30 people screened for the position, said Colarusso, who was part of the screening process.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, who is chair of the board, said of Tucker: “She’s very passionate, and I think when she talked about helping out peers and bringing them all together, that’s what I’d look for in a leader.”
Tucker, who has been a dean for the past two years, graduated from Syracuse University in 2008 with a bachelor’s in public policy and French. She went on to teach kindergarten and first grade in Louisiana for four years.
After moving up to Rhode Island, she founded the first and second grade teams at Elementary School 2. Through the Principal Residency Network Program, Tucker is expected to receive her master’s degree in urban education from Providence College in May.
“I think that Sara is definitely, in my opinion, absolutely ready for this,” board member Jessica Waters said. “I feel really, really confident that she’s going to be awesome.”
The changes in Tucker’s and Colarusso’s positions will go into effect July 1. As chief schools officer, Colarusso will be responsible for coaching, supporting and managing BVP’s six school leaders next year. As of September, the charter school network will operate three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school, in Cumberland, Lincoln, and Central Falls.
Colarusso completed her undergraduate studies in history and Spanish at Regis College in 2006. She taught in Miami through Teach For America before getting her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the Mind, Brain, and Education Program in 2009. Colarusso began at BVP as a kindergarten teacher before working in instructional leadership and then serving as the founding head of Elementary School 2.
“I’m most excited about just having the opportunity to work with all of our principals on the day-to-day,” she said, “helping them problem solve.”
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