"I want to extend my congratulations to Commissioner Gist on her selection as the new superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools - the city made an excellent choice. I know this is a very special opportunity for the Commissioner to return to her hometown, and I wish her and her family the very best of luck.
"I'm thankful for Commissioner Gist's great work on behalf of Rhode Island's children. During the Commissioner's tenure, she raised expectations for Rhode Island students and led significant improvements to educator preparation programs. Commissioner Gist also expanded access to pre-kindergarten and full day kindergarten and enhanced the quality of early childhood education programs throughout the state.
"In addition, Commissioner Gist laid the groundwork for our schools to succeed in the 21st century through her focus on technology and innovation in the classroom. She advocated for funds to increase the use of technology to support teaching and learning, and she drove the initiative to bring wireless Internet access to all of our classrooms.
"In the coming weeks, we will begin a process to collect community input as we work to identify a new commissioner. We will engage in conversations with parents, teachers, students, school leaders, and superintendents across the state about the characteristics needed in our next commissioner to best serve our students and ensure a smooth transition.
"My main focus is on creating opportunity for Rhode Island families. Not only is a good education a ladder to success, but great schools and a pipeline of trained workers help attract companies to invest and grow jobs."