Former Woonsocket assistant superintendent named principal at Blackstone elementary schools

Former Woonsocket assistant superintendent named principal at Blackstone elementary schools

BLACKSTONE – Jenny Chan-Remka, former assistant superintendent of schools in Woonsocket, has been appointed principal of the John F. Kennedy and Augustine F. Maloney Elementary Schools in Blackstone, starting July 1.

The appointment is part of a larger consolidation that will see the two elementary schools under one administration next year. As of next year, both schools will be headed by one principal and assistant principal and share the services of an instructional coach to assist with lesson planning.

“We’re excited about that. I think that it’s going to provide a lot for continuity of services and opportunities for kids,” said Blackstone-Millville Regional Supt. Jason DeFalco.

Chan-Remka previously served as assistant superintendent in Woonsocket, where she headed up the district’s efforts in curriculum and instruction development. In March, Woonsocket Supt. Patrick McGee informed district staff that Chan-Remka was on personal leave. Though the reason for the leave was never disclosed, McGee emphasized it was for “personal reasons” and was not disciplinary in nature.

Prior to beginning as assistant superintendent in Woonsocket in 2015, Chan-Remka served as principal and assistant principal at Bain Middle School in Cranston and taught in the Providence Public School District. She could not be reached for comment on this story.

According to DeFalco, the position was posted at a salary of $100,000 to $105,000 in mid-April and announced shortly after April vacation. He noted Chan-Remka’s experience with curriculum, teaching and leadership development among the reasons she was chosen for the position.

“I think, one, her focus on students, her excitement and energy around teaching and learning, her commitment to families and partnering so closely with families at the AFM and JFK complex, her experience in teaching and learning, her experience in curriculum, her work in leadership development,” he said. “I think those are all things that we are really eager and excited to be bringing on board.”

Though DeFalco said he was not aware of Chan-Remka’s reasons for taking personal leave from the district, he said he spoke with McGee, Woonsocket School Committee Chairman Paul Bourget and the leadership of the Woonsocket Teachers Guild and received recommendations on all accounts.

The principal’s position at Augustine F. Malony Elementary School is currently filled by Carol Brown, who plans to retire at the end of this school year. The principal’s position at John F. Kennedy Elementary School is currently filled by Steve Tringali.

DeFalco said it was uncertain at this point whether Tringali would remain with the district next year.

In addition to consolidating services at the two schools, the new administrative model is expected to result in a cost savings for the district, allowing the schools to hire the instructional coach without incurring an additional cost in next year’s budget, according to DeFalco. Last month, residents of both Blackstone and Millville voted to approve the district’s requested $24.8 million budget, which includes a $9.5 million local contribution from the town of Blackstone and a $3.3 million contribution from the town of Millville. According to DeFalco, the approved budget represents an extra $70,000 on top of a level-serviced budget and will be used to implement a new district improvement strategy developed over the past year.

“We are incredibly grateful to the towns of Blackstone and Millville,” he said. “They both passed our budget at their town meetings and we could not be more pleased with the support and grateful to the towns. We worked really, really diligently with our existing budget and we’re able to restructure some existing resources.”