The South Kingstown schools are at a critical point and in clear need of School Committee leadership to bring the community together in support of the schools and not exacerbate existing divisions. I believe I am the best candidate to do this not because I come loaded with all the right answers, but, rather, because I have a track record of bringing people together to solve problems collaboratively. I will, and do, share ideas and my thinking about issues, but also know that any ideas I might offer can only be improved by the analysis and contribution of community members.

I have a track record of both a commitment to children and fiscal responsibility. I’ve been recognized as a champion for children by the Washington County Coalition for Children and also called upon by the Central Falls Bankruptcy Receiver to come in and analyze the school department for efficiency savings. I’ve led SK to increased student performance (the highest middle school writing scores in Rhode Island) and several cost saving reorganizations (a school closing, redistricting, bus consolidation, middle school reorganization) while restoring balanced budgets, a positive town/school relationship, and community support.

Now, in retirement, I remain committed to serve in my volunteer roles with the Coalition for Children and the Jonnycake Center and, hopefully, as an elected official. I care about the schools; my grandchildren attend them. I want high quality schools with strong, well-supported programs and believe that efficiency is required to have them. So, for collaborative leadership that listens, a commitment to high quality schools, and a frugal mindset, I ask for your support.

Robert Hicks

South Kingstown

The author is a candidate for South Kingstown School Committee.

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