I am committed to initiatives designed to achieve literacy by the end of third grade, which engage both parents and children as contributing members of our community. With this sense of buy-in we create a healthy community. The Pell School is a demonstration of what happens when the City makes a bold move, with the financial commitment and backing to create a school which is a model facility. Parents tell me that the Pell School is working for their kids. We need to extend that commitment to Thompson and Rogers. Both are schools which have benefitted from recent investment in the infrastructure, but they lag behind Pell in the sophistication of the technology offered to the students. We need to make Newport Schools a source of real pride on the Island.
Supporting the public schools and creating meaningful jobs with a decent wage are two of my top priorities. I feel the two go hand in hand, as we need to offer education and training at Rogers that exposes those students to the opportunities available here in the community and sets them on the path to those jobs. Newport is a unique center, recognized nationally, for the trades associated with historic preservation – whether of buildings or of boats – and practitioners of these trades earn a good living. I would like to see a collaboration between IYRS and the carpentry program at Rogers, for example. I also believe students at Rogers would benefit from business training at the same time they learn vocational skills, so that they will have the skills necessary to go into business for themselves when they are ready. Newport offers unique opportunities for satisfying careers in sophisticated trades, whether boat building, historic preservation, culinary arts, or blacksmithing. There is intense demand for people who are good at their trades. This demand can lead to successful businesses, offer independence to the entrepreneur and a satisfying life creating something beautiful which is in demand, and not least, a good living.