Warwick’s school superintendent retiring

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — After more than three decades in Warwick, the city’s school superintendent is calling an end to his career as an educator.

Richard D’Agostino announced Monday he’s retiring, effective July 13, 2015.

In a joint news release, School Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Ahearn applauded some of D’Agostino’s accomplishments, including: central registration, all-day kindergarten at nine of the district’s elementary schools, the creation of the Drumrock Early Childhood Center and securing 3,000 Chromebooks for one-third of the student population.

D’Agostino’s announcement comes as Warwick’s School Committee prepares to decide between two school consolidation plans, both of which would close Aldrich and Gorton Junior High Schools.

It also comes amid an ongoing investigation into the school administration’s handling of child abuse allegations against a teacher.

Following the arrest of Gorton Junior High School science teacher Mario Atoyan on charges he sexually abused a relative, D’Agostino said Atoyan had never been involved in any inappropriate behavior at the school that would endanger students. However, not long after Atoyan’s arrest, police told Eyewitness News a student’s mother came forward, claiming Atoyan drew a sexually explicit picture on her daughter’s hand in 2013.

The school committee hired Providence Attorney Vincent Ragosta to investigate whether there was a lack of transparency by school officials handling the case.

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