South County Independent, 10/16/2014
I am writing this letter to share my experience over the last four years with Representative Teresa Tanzi’s work advocating for the South Kingstown School District.
Tanzi was elected to House District 34 seat representing Narragansett, Wakefield and Peace Dale in the General Assembly in 2010, the same year I was elected to serve on the South Kingstown School Committee. We hold a joint meeting with the School Committee and our House and Senate delegation each December. In those four years, Tanzi has worked tirelessly to address the state-level concerns of the School Committee. Nearly everything we reviewed last December was addressed by the General Assembly this year. Whether it was increasing aid for transportation, fully recouping group home costs, analyzing the cost of charter school funding to neighboring districts or studying the impact of increased use of standardized testing, Tanzi worked with Superintendent Kristen Stringfellow and her staff to submit a bill to make sure our community’s needs were represented at the State House.
Tanzi and I also have had many opportunities to communicate one-on-one regarding issues affecting our town and schools. I have found her to be professional, accessible, informed and always willing to listen to my perspective on an issue. She has a strong voice and the ability to collaborate with those who may not share the same stance on a particular issue. Possessing both of these qualities is rare, yet so important if we are to get the work done for the benefit of all. The time required for School Committee and state representative is significant on top of the responsibilities of work and family, and I am grateful that with Tanzi’s leadership up north, we continue to make headway in improving public education.
The author has been a member of the South Kingstown School Committee since 2010.