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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — The South Kingstown School Committee has appointed Chip McGair as the new principal at South Kingstown High School.

The committee made the appointment at its Sept. 10 meeting. McGair takes over from Robert Mezzanotte, who accepted the principal’s position at Lincoln High School in July.

The search for a new principal was conducted by a screening committee consisting of Tara Schold, Lisa Meller, Jacqueline Christina, Maggie Montle, Matt Shiels, Barbara Crudale, Cathy Fogarty, Terry Lynch, Agnes Pelopida and former interim superintendent Robert Hicks.

Superintendent of Schools Linda Savastano said the committee provided “three very strong finalists,” for consideration.

McGair served as interim principal at South Kingstown for several weeks, and Savastano said he received praise for his work organizing the opening of school.  

McGair has been the district STEM Coordinator since 2016 and also worked in Warwick as a science teacher, department chair, graduation by proficiency coordinator, and assistant principal.  

“Chip shared in his cover letter that over the course of his 19 years as an educator, he has assumed a number of leadership positions where he focused on culture and team building,” Savastano said. “He has always worked to develop a proper culture because he knows that when that exists, we can realize outstanding teaching and learning, and ensure that all our students can be successful. He does this by listening to all stakeholders and gathering evidence in a variety of ways so that we can make the best decisions about what is best for our students.”

McGair thanked the committee and administrators.

“The school year’s been off to a great start, and that wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t working as a team,” he said. “And a big thank you to community members, faculty, staff and everyone that’s been rowing in the same direction so we can get off to a smooth start. Over time I think we’re going to become an even stronger team, and I’m happy to be at the helm of that.”

McGair’s commitment to the district, past experiences and focus on culture made him a very strong candidate, Savastano said.

“His foundation in instruction is something that should also be recognized,” she said. “He researches and thoughtfully plans each of his decisions. He has a very strong skill set around his reflective abilities, which makes him very unique.”

Savastano said McGair’s appointment leaves the STEM coordinator position vacant, for now.  

“This position is essential to the district, and the plan is to do a refresh so that it will be more aligned with the work that is ongoing in the district,” Savastano said.

rblessing@independentri.com

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