Superintendent's Message

Superintendent’s Year-End Reflection
Jeannine Nota-Masse

June 17, 2022

Last weekend I watched with great pride as seniors from our high schools crossed the stage to get their diplomas. The graduates shared the joy of the celebrations with their families while listening to choirs sing, and speakers deliver their commencement addresses. All of the speakers tried to give these students our best advice. Speeches were given by a variety of adults, and also by students, such as the class presidents, valedictorians and salutatorians. They have been through so much these past four years and yet accomplished so much despite the challenges they faced. Their peers recalled shared memories and laughs from over the years as well. 

However, in May, our students at both Cranston High School East and Cranston High School West were saddened to learn of the loss of beloved educator and coach, Paul Bucci. For Cranston East this was the second loss this school year, as we lost coach and educator Meaghan McGonagle in December, and it was a second loss for the Cranston West school community as well, as we lost educator Angela Paliotte in the spring.  In reflecting over the weekend, I realized I could have said more about these exceptional people. I was blessed to work with both Paul and Meg in my capacity as a school administrator at East, and with all three of them as superintendent. I wished I’d told the graduates to live each day like Paul Bucci, to emulate Meg McGonagle, to be as dedicated as Angela Paliotte. Each of these members of our school communities were kind, selfless and dedicated individuals, and they were passionate about what they did each and every day. They loved their students in school and they loved their athletes outside of school. They gave their all, all day and every day and encouraged their students and athletes to do the same. They were dedicated to their families, to their colleagues, and to their friends. They will be sorely missed in the classroom and on their teams. I think if I could add one more thing to my speeches to the students this past weekend, I’d remind them to be like Paul, Angela and Meg. Love what you do. Be dedicated to whatever it is you choose to do in life. Be a good friend. Cherish your family. Share your kindness and love freely. Treasure the people you have around you, because in trying times you will need the support of your friends, your family and your colleagues as well.

If we’ve learned anything through COVID, it’s how much we value our connections to friends and family, teachers and coaches, especially when we can’t see them.

As our graduates move ahead, they’ve achieved much and they’ve learned to persevere through the hardest of times. I hope they’ll value the connections and friendships they’ve made here in our schools, no matter how long they were here, whether from kindergarten or even if they arrived this year. I hope they’ll take that foundation that they’ve had here, and carry it with them throughout their lives. 

I hope the positive influences Angela Paliotte, Meg McGonagle and Paul Bucci had on their students and athletes live on forever.