Dr. Ken Wagner, Governor Gina Raimondo’s pick for state Education Commissioner, spent Thursday morning at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls. It was his first site visit since his nomination’s announcement Wednesday. The students demonstrated to Wagner how to operate bottle rockets.
Wagner finishes up as New York Deputy Education commissioner Friday, and says his post in Rhode Island would begin in August.
“When I start, I’m thrilled to have a month before school opens, and I just want to meet as many people as possible and get into buildings and learn about all the exciting stuff that’s going to happen in the fall.”
Wagner says he hopes to begin building relationships with teachers and their unions, who criticized his predecessor for not listening to their concerns.
“ I am very encouraged by how gracious everyone has been as I’ve met with people,” said Wagner. “I’m very encouraged by the positive statements that have been made in the media and publicly, and I look forward to building upon that great start.
Wagner’s nomination still requires the approval of the Rhode Island Board of Education. Before he starts in Rhode Island, Wagner says he and his wife will be on vacation for two weeks in Italy.
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