Former Barrington High School Principal John Gray will replace Joe Militello as the interim principal of East Greenwich High School, confirmed Superintendent Victor Mercurio.
Gray served as principal at Barrington High School for 29 years, retiring in 2009.
“He certainly has a tremendous amount of experience at the high school level,” said Mercurio of Gray. “I think he’s going to be a really nice transition” between acting interim principal Joe Militello and whoever is hired to fill the position permanently in the coming months.
“I think it was great when Joe Militello came in for the first semester,” Mercurio said. “The entire community knew him.”
He said that Gray’s experience with the accreditation process – he’s been on both sides – would be helpful when the accreditation team visits in April.
The School Committee will get a chance to meet Gray during closed session before the public part of their meeting begins at 7 p.m.
Both Militello and Gray are part of the state pension system, which limits their ability to serve in a position for longer than six months.
Reached at his home last night, Gray was enthusiastic about coming to .
“I am extremely excited,” said Gray. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Gray started his teaching career in Maine, but quickly moved to Connecticut, where he made his way closer and closer to Rhode Island, with stints in Norwalk, New London, Ledyard and Stonington. He was serving as assistant principal there when he got the call from Barrington.
“The rest was history,” said Gray. He attributed his long tenure there to the shared leadership he fostered.
“All of us working together helped to build a strong school district,” he said.
Gray said he was especially proud of the number of “exceptional” teachers he was able to bring to the school while principal.
“John is a wonderful person and a great administrator,” wrote Jeff Brenner, former Barrington School Committee member, via email. “One of John's strengths was to identify others with leadership potential and put them in positions of authority.”
Brenner continued: “East Greenwich is fortunate to have John Gray as the high school principal, even on an interim basis.”
Mercurio said he hopes to hire a permanent EGHS principal before the accreditation visit in April, so that the new administrator could serve alongside Gray until Gray steps down on June 30.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said the School Committee must vote to approve Gray as the interim principal. According to School Committee Chair Deidre Gifford interim appointments do not require a vote by the Committee.