DiManna Named Cumberland’s Assistant Superintendent of Schools

CUMBERLAND – By unanimous vote, the Cumberland School Committee on Wednesday evening appointed Antonio ‘Tony’ DiManna as the district’s new assistant superintendent.

“I am excited to be promoting this impressive educator from within our school system,” Superintendent Robert Mitchell said. “Tony has distinguished himself as a strong instructional leader.  He has led his staff in improving the academic achievement of his students in every school where he has served as principal. I look forward to working with Tony.  His experience and expertise will be an asset to improving the quality of education in our community.”

Mr. DiManna has been the principal at BF Norton Elementary School since 2012. During his tenure, B.F. Norton has increased science proficiency scores within a two-year span to third in the district. Historically, when it came to science scores, BF Norton had been the lowest performing school in Cumberland. The school now outperforms the statewide average in science, with 44% of Norton students at proficent, compared to a statewide 39% proficiency average.

“I’m honored and excited about this opportunity,” said Mr. DiManna, who holds a master’s degree in educational administration from Providence College and a bachelor’s degree in science, graduating magna cum laude, from Rhode Island College. “I’m eager to work with my colleagues as we collaboratively move our district forward. We’ve come a long way as a district in the past few years, and I’m confident we can do even better.”

During his time at BF Norton, Mr. DiManna initiated parent workshops focused on understanding curriculum initiatives. He also oversaw the creation of an assessment tracking system that provides teachers with data that immediately impacts their classroom instruction, and established professional relationships with local college and universities that provide support and professional development in science, math, and writing.

“Tony has a firm grasp of the current climate of education and has demonstrated the ability to initiate necessary changes to better serve our students,” said Jenn Bernardo, president of BF Norton’s PTO. “He has been working to change the culture of the school so as to be in a better position to tackle the common core standards we are trying to align with and prepare for the transition to PARCC assessments. His experience with our new grading system has been extremely beneficial to both teachers and parents.”

Mr. DiManna’s previous experience includes serving as principal at Clayville Elementary School in Scituate from 2011-12, and as Principal and Director of Academics at Times Squared Academy in Providence from 2007-2011. He also has five years of classroom teaching experience.

CHS's Alan Tenreiro is the 2016 National Principal of the Year

U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline, Governor Gina Raimondo and a host of others came to Cumberland High School on Oct. 5th 2016 to offer congratulations to Principal Alan Tenreiro, who learned during a surprise assembly that he is the 2016 National Principal of the Year. 
“We are all proud of everything Alan has accomplished at Cumberland High School and I congratulate him on the well-deserved National Principal of the Year award,” said Governor Raimondo. “This award shows just how vital a principal is as an instructional leader in creating more empowered school communities. I know that by working together, Rhode Island will continue to grow opportunities for our kids.”
Here's a quick video that captured the moment: https://youtu.be/zwLSYJrQgxc

School Committee Names Robert Mitchell Superintendent of Schools


With a 7-0 vote Wednesday evening, the School Committee officially appointed Robert Mitchell as Superintendent of Schools.

Mr. Mitchell, a former teacher, coach, and principal, has served as assistant superintendent in Cumberland for the past four years.

"Bob Mitchell is a well known commodity, an extremely talented leader, and someone who has been sought after by other school districts in recent years," said School Committee Chair Lisa Beaulieu. "Bob knows Cumberland extremely well, knows our strengths and areas where we need to improve, and has demonstrated he is more than qualified and more than ready to continue the vision that we have for our school system."

Mr. Mitchell said he is honored to be named superintendent.

“I understand the tremendous responsibility associated with being the superintendent of schools,” he said. “ I have high expectations for myself and everyone connected to the Cumberland school system including students and staff.  I promise you that we will hold one another accountable to improving the quality of teaching and learning in our district.”

Mr. Mitchell’s first day as superintendent is Oct. 19th. He replaces Dr. Phil Thornton, who resigned earlier this month to accept the superintendency of Warwick Public Schools.

“I want to thank Dr. Thornton for the strong foundation that he has established here,” Mr. Mitchell said. “He is the most supportive leader I have worked with in my 32 years in education.  He has put together a strong, incredibly talented, highly qualified, and like-minded team that will continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the district.”

Ms. Beaulieu said Mr. Mitchell’s vision for the school system is exciting.  “I think Dr. Thornton brought us to this level and Bob is the right leader to bring us to the next level,” she said.

Mr. Mitchell said his primary focus will be on classroom instruction.

“In the coming months and years, we will focus on strategic planning that incorporates best practices from not just around this country but around the world,” he said. “To that end, we will focus on getting the right people to become teachers, developing all teachers into highly effective instructors and, ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.

“We will always be mindful of our responsibility to be efficient with taxpayer money when it comes to managing our finances,  we will continue to pay close attention to our buildings and grounds, but at the end of the day, it’s all about the teacher in the classroom, the adult in the room working with our students, all day and every day.”

Mr. Mitchell earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Rhode Island and holds a master’s degree from Providence College.