PROVIDENCE — To a standing ovation from his staff, Arthur Petrosinelli said goodbye to a school that he was instrumental in bringing back from the academic grave.
Petrosinelli announced Wednesday that he was leaving Hope High School to become the assistant superintendent in Johnston, where he will responsible for curriculum and instruction. Dec. 3 will be his last day in Providence.
“This was a really, really hard decision,” he said Wednesday. “I leave with a heavy heart. But I want to have control over my destiny.”
In an impromptu speech to his faculty Wednesday, Petrosinelli touched on Hope’s many accomplishments since the state intervened nearly six years ago: hiring a new staff, breaking the school into three smaller learning academies, introducing order to a chaotic building, revamping the entire curriculum and winning accreditation from the prestigious New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Most of all, the three principals, including Scott Sutherland and Wayne Montague (who has since left), transformed a school jokingly referred to as “Hopeless” into a model for urban school reform, one whose student advisories and individual learning plans received national recognition...
“Dr. Petrosinelli was part of the heart of this school,” said Becky Coustan, a former teacher-leader at Hope who now heads the Paul Cuffee High School. “He helped make Hope what it is.”
This entire strategy is completely dependent on charters and suburban districts not deciding to poach all the proven talent from the district, which is giving them every reason to get the hell out.