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RIDE Announces 2019 PrepareRI Ambassadors

23 education and community leaders to serve across Rhode Island 

PROVIDENCE, RI –The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) today announced the 2019 PrepareRI Ambassadors, a select group of education and community leaders who will help guide RIDE’s college and career pathways work around the state.

“I’m excited to welcome this impressive group of leaders to the PrepareRI team,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “These men and women represent a broad range of skills, experiences and backgrounds. Their work in the coming year to prepare Rhode Islanders for success in college and careers will make a lasting difference in our state.”

“These new ambassadors bring the energy and creativity we need to improve education and career preparation for all students of all backgrounds across the state,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “I look forward to working with them over the next year as we improve student outcomes and create new career opportunities for a generation of Rhode Islanders.”

The 23 new ambassadors will use their perspectives and skills to advise the PrepareRI cross-agency team, create resources and trainings to help their colleagues working in education and career preparation, and serve as spokespeople for the initiative. In this role, they will work part-time and earn a stipend. The program begins in September 2019 and ends in June 2020. The process was highly competitive: RIDE received 78 applications and conducted 48 interviews before selecting the 23 ambassadors.

This is the third cohort of ambassadors. Exciting additions to the program for this year include ambassadors for different language groups (Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese) who will share perspectives from their respective subgroups around education, translate PrepareRI materials, and spread awareness regarding opportunities for students; a parent ambassador dedicated to strengthening the parent voice within PrepareRI, including collecting data around parent awareness and creating an engagement strategy; and ambassadors focused on advancing new statewide efforts, including the XQ+RI high school design initiative and FAFSA/college financial aid.

Each of the 2019-2020 PrepareRI Ambassadors will work on a particular focus area:

  • Advanced Coursework:Caitlin Broccoli – Career Education Specialist, University of Rhode Island
  • Advanced Coursework: Ann Durham – Deputy Director, Providence After School Alliance
  • Alternative Learning Plans: Jenelle Davis – Career Coordinator, Rhode Island Alternative Academy
  • Arabic Community:Melanie Magdow – Marhaba Language Expert and Consultant, Marhaba Language Expertise
  • Career Exploration:Lori Leburn – Rhode Island School Counselor President and Grade 7 School Counselor, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School
  • Career and Technical Education Board of Trustees: Lynne Bedard – Career Coordinator, Ponaganset High School and Director of CTE Teacher Certifications, Roger Williams University
  • Career and Technical Education Equity: Rosemary Miner – Science Educator, Nowell Leadership Academy
  • Computer Science for Rhode Island (CS4RI) Data:Ann Larson – Pre-Engineering and Computer Science Teacher, Middletown High School
  • CS4RI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:Alison Murray – Teacher/Principals Leadership Team Member, Central Falls High School
  • CS4RI Program Development:Charlie McLaughlin – Professor of Technology Education, Rhode Island College
  • CS4RI Program Development: Jay Fogelman – Associate Professor, URI School of Education
  • English Language Learners: Tricia Kelly – English Language Program Coordinator, Nowell Leadership Academy
  • FAFSA & College Financial Aid:Yaruska Ordinola – Financial Aid Assistant, Office of Postsecondary Commissioner
  • Individual Learning Plans: Stacy Haines-Mayne – Student Support Specialist, Exeter-West Greenwich High School
  • Individual Learning Plans:Jael Lopes – Director, Office Strategic Partnerships, Providence Public School District
  • Spanish-Speaking Community:Soljane Martinez – Educational Strategies Consultant, Soljane Martinez Consulting, LLC
  • Parent Engagement:Stacy Monteiro Mendes – Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Portuguese/Cape Verdean Community: Carla Barbosa – School Counselor, Pawtucket Public Schools
  • Postsecondary Connections: Deana Golini – Guidance Counselor, Cranston High School West
  • Students with Disabilities:Cindy VanAvery – Director of Special Education, North Providence School District
  • Urban Core:Carlon Howard – Co-Director, Breakthrough Providence
  • Work-Based Learning:Stephanie Shields – Graduation by Proficiency Coordinator, Toll Gate High School
  • XQ+RI:Julia Carlson – Assistant Superintendent, Fall River School District (former principal of Central High School, Providence)

  • PrepareRI is a statewide initiative to prepare all Rhode Island youth with the skills they need for jobs that pay. It represents a strategic partnership between the Rhode Island government, private industry leaders, the public education system, universities, and non-profits across the state.

    To stay up to date on all of the opportunities available to students, parents, educators, business leaders and the community, please visit the PrepareRI website (www.prepare-ri.org) or sign up for our monthly newsletter at www.prepare-ri.org/newsletter. You can learn more about the Ambassador program at www.prepare-ri.org/ambassadors.