New leadership program created for school principals and superintendents

Commissioner Wagner announces the LeadRI Partnership.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A new nonprofit group comprised of some of Rhode Island’s top business executives announced Wednesday they are launching a leadership development program for school principals and superintendents.

The Partnership for Rhode Island, which includes the CEOs of Hasbro, Inc., IGT Global Solutions Corporation and Amica, said the year-long executive development program will focus on leadership and innovation with school and district leaders.

Known as the LeadRI Partnership, the program will begin by selecting a group of 20 current or former principals from around the state next month. The curriculum includes 12 two-day units and will be led by the National Institute for School Leadership.

“In successful businesses, robust talent development is a common thread among them,” Education Commissioner Ken Wagner said in a statement. “Industry invests in workforce because that investment pays dividends. It’s time for education to follow suit and invest in our workforce.”

The announcement was made in front of more than 100 school leaders who attended the Innovation for Rhode Island School Leaders Conference at Bryant University.

“This goes to the heart of our commitment to ensuring the educational success of every Rhode Islanders,” Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, said in a statement. “We are proud to join with the state’s corporate leadership in supporting innovative approaches to getting the job done.”

Wednesday’s announcement marks one of the first major initiatives from the Partnership for Rhode Island, which was established last year. The partnership’s creation was recommended in a Brookings Institution report on Rhode Island’s economy that said state leaders should form a nonprofit and an affiliate partnership fund “focused on facilitating strategic, cross-sector collaborations that strengthen the state’s economy and improve access to opportunity and quality of life for all Rhode Islanders.”

The group’s directors include Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner, CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo and IGT Global Solutions Chairman Don Sweitzer, according to incorporation papers filed with the R.I. secretary of state.

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Dan McGowan ( dmcgowan@wpri.com ) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan