Floor Statement Honoring Cranston School Superintendent Catherine Ciarlo
MR. REED: Mr. President, I rise today to recognize and honor the significant accomplishments of Cranston School Superintendent Catherine Ciarlo. Superintendent Ciarlo is retiring on June 30 after 46 years of working tirelessly to educate and raise the academic achievement of Rhode Island's students. After graduating cum laude from Rhode Island College with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, Catherine entered the classroom as a reading teacher the beginning of her lifelong commitment to developing and improving the literacy skills of Rhode Island's children. Horace Mann, considered by many historians to be the father of modern American education, once said, "Teachers teach because they care. Teaching young people is what they do best. It requires long hours, patience, and care." Superintendent Ciarlo consistently exhibited all of these qualities, devoting her life to leading the Cranston school system to new scholastic heights and maintaining a steady focus on providing her students with a high-quality, first-class education. Catherine was appointed superintendent of Cranston Public Schools in 1997. During her tenure, she has helped foster a strong community of learning for all Cranston students. A potent symbol of her successful efforts as Cranston superintendent is the district's most current State report card where it met or exceeded proficiency targets in math and literacy across all grades and racial subgroups, and for both ESL students and those with disabilities. These scores are also an emblem of what is likely to be Catherine's most enduring legacy her passionate dedication for ensuring that students whom traditionally might have gotten lost in the shuffle were given the necessary support to enable them to thrive academically. Superintendent Ciarlo's contributions have been recognized in the past, most notably in 2005, when she was named Rhode Island's Superintendent of the Year and as a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. Countless students owe their academic and professional success and achievements to Superintendent Ciarlo's efforts. Educators such as Catherine form the backbone of American society, providing our children with the essential tools to succeed in an ever-expanding global economy and keeping the United States competitive in the world. I have a special place in my heart for the Cranston School System. For many years my father worked there, ultimately as the supervisor of custodians. He would be very proud of "his system" under the expert leadership of Catherine Ciarlo. So am I. Thank you for your exemplary service, Catherine, and for your important contribution to the education of Rhode Island's students.