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Dr. Javier Montañez to Serve as Providence Interim Superintendent

Dr. Montañez has worked for PPSD for over two decades, currently serves as principal of Leviton Dual Language School

PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green today announced that Dr. Javier Montañez, the current principal of PPSD’s Leviton Dual Language School, will serve as Interim Superintendent of Providence Public Schools. Dr. Montañez, an alum of Hope High School who has worked more than two decades in Providence Public Schools, will lead the District while RIDE works to select a permanent superintendent.

“Dr. Montañez possesses a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the needs of the `Providence Public Schools community,” said Governor McKee. “I am proud to welcome him as interim superintendent and look forward to working with him to move the District forward.”

“As a product of Providence Public Schools and now a leader in the District, Dr. Montañez is uniquely prepared to build on the strong foundation laid to turn around Providence schools” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “Throughout his years of service Dr. Montañez has demonstrated a deep commitment to Providence students and families. A lot of work remains ahead to improve outcomes for students in the capital city, and I’m pleased to have him as a partner in this critical effort.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead Providence Public Schools and work with our incredible school community during this pivotal moment,” said Dr. Montañez. “I know the immense value of an education personally because it changed my life, and I’m eager to contribute to the transformational work that is taking place in Providence to help students reach their highest potential.” 

“As a former student and now current principal in the capital city, Dr. Montañez is familiar with the challenges and strengths of Providence schools, making him an ideal interim superintendent,” said Board of Education Chair Barbara Cottam. “Dr. Montañez’s leadership will be essential in keeping the turnaround of Providence schools on course. I’m excited to welcome him and continue the work to ensure every Providence student has access to a high-quality education.” 

Dr. Montañez has dedicated nearly his entire career in education to supporting PPSD students as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He began his career in Providence as a bilingual teacher at Spaziano Elementary--then known as Laurel Hill Elementary--in 1997. In the nearly 25 years since, he has been promoted multiple times ascending to assistant principal and principal.

Dr. Montañez received a masters of education from Rhode Island College and a doctorate in educational leadership from Johnson & Wales University. Under his decade of leadership at Leviton Dual Language, the elementary school has seen significant growth, having gone from being a one- to three-star in the state’s ranking system. Leviton was one of only three schools in the entire state that grew by at least two star levels. 

On a personal level, Dr. Montañez understands the transformative power of education because it changed his life. As a student in Providence, Montanez experienced homelessness, and he often attended school only because he knew he would receive two meals a day if he did. In high school, he struggled with reading and dropped out of Hope High School. Through perseverance and a drive to succeed, he went back to school and received his GED. Decades later, he has earned his doctorate and superintendent’s certification, and is ready to work to support PPSD students.