SOUTH KINGSTOWN — The exodus of administrators from South Kingstown’s schools continued this week, with South Kingstown High School Principal Robert Mezzanotte announcing he’s taking the principal’s position at Lincoln High School.

“I am honored and thrilled to begin my new journey as principal of Lincoln HS,” Mezzanotte announced Monday on Twitter. “Can’t wait to begin working with an outstanding team of educators.”

The Lincoln School Committee made the appointment Monday night, and Mezzanotte will begin his tenure there on Aug. 1.

For Mezzanotte, it’s a return to northern Rhode Island, where he was principal at North Smithfield High School from July 2009 until March 2015, when he joined South Kingstown.

He was a nominee for Principal of the Year in 2014.

Lincoln Superintendent of Schools Lawrence Filippelli offered a warm welcome to Mezzanotte.

“Congratulations to Rob Mezzanotte, the newest member of our dynamic administrative team in Lincoln,” he said. “We are so excited for your leadership as the new principal of Lincoln High School!”

Lincoln Public Schools (Mascot: the Lions) include four elementary schools, a middle school and the high school. The total enrollment as of June 2018 was 3,056 students.

Mezzanotte’s departure from South Kingstown is the latest in a string of exits of top school officials, including Superintendent Kristen Stringfellow, Assistant Superintendent Pauline Lisi and Director of Pupil Personnel Services Teresa Egan. The latter two vacancies have been filled, while Robert Hicks is serving as interim superintendent while a permanent replacement is found.

Other principals leaving their positions include Wakefield Elementary School principal Lynn Dougherty, who will remain employed within the district and Peace Dale Elementary School Principal Lisa Wilson.

Mezzanotte is generally seen as a well-liked and passionate educator and administrator in South Kingstown. In April, he cited achievements such as implementation of a 1:1 laptop initiative, establishment of new CTE programs and a significant increase in the graduation rate as among the district’s successes under Stringfellow.

He also opened the high school’s doors to students on the weekend in March when three high school students were injured in a car crash.

“This year, I have been particularly proud of our school community for demonstrating character, compassion and perseverance in good times and bad,” he wrote in his May newsletter. “There is no doubt that the South Kingstown community is reflected in the character of our schools, and I can say without hesitation that the character of the high school is defined by the values that we all share- chief among them respect for others, hard work, and integrity.”

rblessing@independentri.com

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