LHS names Mezzanotte new principal

LHS names Mezzanotte new principal

LINCOLN – The Lincoln School Committee has accepted the appointment of Robert Mezzanotte as Lincoln High School’s new principal.

Mezzanotte replaces Kevin McNamara, who led the school as its top administrator from 2008 to June when he was hired as the district’s first assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, a newly created position in Lincoln.

Speaking during Monday night’s School Committee meeting, both McNamara and Supt. Larry Filippelli said they were “ecstatic” about hiring Mezzanotte to lead the high school into the future. He was the unanimous selection of the committee.

Mezzanotte most recently served as principal of South Kingstown High School, previously filling that role in North Smithfield from 2009 to 2015.

Addressing the committee Monday, Mezzanotte said he was looking forward to getting started in Lincoln and “continuing the great tradition of excellence” here, promising to “continue to push forward for our students.”

“I take this responsibility very seriously. I’m very grateful for the trust I’ve been given,” he said.

He comes to Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in history from Stonehill College and a master’s in education administration from Providence College.

“Without exaggeration he is one of the top five high school principals in the state of Rhode Island,” Filippelli said.

School Committee Chairman Joseph Goho said, “Speaking as a parent I could not be more ecstatic to have an applicant like Mr. Mezzanotte apply. He is a highly respected principal – one of the best in the state – and we’re hoping for many, many years under his leadership at the high school.”

Goho said Mezzanotte, who will start Aug. 1, will make a great addition to a team of administrators assembled “from top to bottom” by Filippelli in an effort to launch Lincoln schools to the top of northern Rhode Island in terms of achievement and student success.

“With the team you have assembled we certainly have the capacity to do so,” he said.

Filippelli called Mezzanotte “an experienced, professional, passionate and dedicated educator who I know will support the core values and outstanding achievements Lincoln High School is known for.”

“In South Kingstown, Rob sustained a school culture that supported high achievement for all students, established vibrant CTE programs and supported positive change for student success through collaborative leadership,” he said in an email to the school community.

After announcing Mezzanotte’s appointment, the School Committee welcomed McNamara to the stage for his first meeting as assistant superintendent.

McNamara said it was a busy first week on the job, spending time meeting with Filippelli, Business Manager John McNamee and Student Services Director Allynn Grantham, “learning how I can best support the work of the district and put Dr. Filippelli’s vision into action.”

McNamara said he’s working on developing a “clear, coherent and limited set of priorities,” with “deeper learning for all students” at the core of the work.

Part of his focus, he said, will be reinvigorating the work that has been done to close achievement gaps in the district.

He said core questions will guide his curriculum instruction work, asking, “Is our district a system of schools, or a school district? How do we guarantee success regardless of school, and how do we measure success?”

He also promised to continue to remain involved with the high school construction project.

The School Committee approved a number of other appointments this week, including a new varsity baseball coach following what Goho called an “unsettling situation for the community and committee.”

In 2017, former Lincoln Lions baseball coach and LHS English teacher Andrew Hallam was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $8,000 from the team’s fundraising program over a three-year period.

The School Committee has selected Steven Reynolds, North Smithfield’s chief of police, to lead the team. He will replace Vin Zibelli, who filled the role as coach in October 2017.

Zibelli resigned in May, and Angelo Bruno took over in the interim.

Goho said Reynolds is highly respected in Lincoln and Rhode Island baseball circles, adding that he’s deeply invested in the community and baseball programs throughout the state.

“We got it right with your appointment,” he told Reynolds. “I’m looking forward to much success under your leadership.”