Principal's contract not renewed, despite protests


The Warwick School Committee voted to approve Superintendent Philip Thornton’s recommendation to not renew the one-year contract of Norwood Elementary School principal John Gannon, despite a large showing of support by faculty, staff and parents who vouched for him at the committee meeting on Tuesday night.

Eugene Nadeau was the only member of the committee to vote against the measure. Karen Bachus was not in attendance at the meeting, and David Testa, chairwoman Beth Furtado and M. Terri Medeiros all voted in favor of non-renewal for Gannon’s contract.

“It was a surprise to us to learn Mr. Gannon would not return to Norwood School in the fall,” said a representative from the Norwood PTA during public comments who did not identify herself. “Mr. Gannon brings a quiet, strong leadership to Norwood School. He treats parents, students and staff with respect that should be emulated by all…He is the type of principal that school administrations should want to clone, not let go.”

The school administration has not disseminated a reason for Gannon’s non-renewal, holding firm to their protocol on not commenting on personnel decisions.

However some of those who showed up in protest of the decision had their own theories about why Gannon was effectively let go from his role as principal, despite the fact that Norwood is not one of the schools to be closed during the impending elementary consolidation in September.

One Norwood teacher who wished to remain anonymous said that she believed Gannon was let go because he refused to “toe the line they want him to toe” in regards to how he responded and interacted with requests from the central administration.

Representatives from Norwood who penned a letter in support of Gannon read that letter aloud, taking turns as they were cut off by the public comment time limit, to the school committee. Out of a small audience showing, well over 75 percent of it comprised Norwood faculty, parents and staff – and John Gannon was sitting right in the midst of them all. He could be seen hugging various people after the meeting concluded.

One member of the public, Corey Smith, who back in July started a petition to had Dr. Colleen Mercurio, principal of Cedar Hill Elementary, removed for charges of misconduct, delivered a scathing rebuke of the school administration – and the school committee’s – apparent refusal to listen to the will of the public.

“Mr. Thornton you sat in a room with my wife and I and you looked me in the eye and you said my opinion was important,” Smith said. “You handed me a piece of paper with your phone number on it to try to convince me that my opinion mattered to you. Clearly, when this many people come forward and ask for things and petition you to reconsider or take some action, and nothing happens, our opinion is not important to you – and I believe things need to change.”


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This is shameful. I guess "we the people" doesn't apply .

Friday, February 16

As to Principal John Gannon:

I have heard about 100 comments about this leader. Not one was negative. Not one was neutral. Every comment I have ever heard about him was either positive or very positive. I called him mid-day on Tuesday 2-13 to let him know how I and "about a hundred others" felt about him. I was unable to reach him because he was out of his office "covering for a teacher". Good things happen to good people. Principal John is the best of the "good" people.

As to the School Committee members:

They arrived 45 minutes late; gave no explanation; no apology to the audience that was patiently waiting; gave no consideration whatsoever to the schedules of the people who are paying their salaries. That level of arrogance is intolerable.

Good things happen to good people. Yes. But bad things happen to bad people as well. We saw a perfect example of both on Tuesday night.

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, February 16

i cant wait until novumbrr so we can bring in the taxpayers mayer in so that he can clean house and get wrid of those horrible scul commitee members

there will nilly firing of people just becase dey can has got to stop. day draw names outta a hat and fires dat persan with no real reason

Friday, February 16

"That level of arrogance is intolerable."

And yet the fake "mayor" has no problem proving his own arrogance through his failure to report how he paid for a political advertisement and making campaign claims that are objectively and provably false:

He will no doubt continue to humiliate himself through a complete failure to restrain himself from making more arrogant and hypocritical statements.

Happy 262 days until honest, taxpaying voters again reject the arrogant fake "mayor."

Friday, February 16

I don't know John Ganno. I'm assuming he's a decent man who does his best for the kids of Greenwood Elementary. I certainly hope his replacement will since I'm sending a child to Greenwood Elementary in September.

The problem is there are 16 elementart principals in Warwick and we will have 13 elementary schools come September. What is the school committee supposed to do, pay three principals to not be principals of schools?

No matter which three were chosen to not have their contracts renewed there would be facutly and parents protesting and asking the school committee to keep them. We should expect this to happen two more times.

It is very unfortunate for the three who will lose their jobs but this is the nature of things. Warwick is growing older, we have fewer students, and we need fewer schools, principals, and teachers. Tough for the people who lose their jobs but it is simply reality.

Friday, February 16

Dear ThatGuyInRI,

I agree with you. It is a painful reality that we have 3 more principals than we have schools that need them.

How then, do we explain the newly hired "Assistant Principal of Climate and Control" or the newly hired "Assistant Principal of Teaching and Learning".


If we have to remove one principal due to consolidation, shouldn't he/she be automatically re-assigned to one of those new positions in a first-in last-out seniority decision?

I would think so.

Happy Spring ThatGuyInRI.

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, February 20

Hello again ThatGuyInRI:

Once again, it is clear that the fake "mayor" is twisting the words of other commenters. Your comment simply acknowledged that three principals will lose their positions due to consolidation, yet the fake "mayor" again failed to restrain himself from making delusional and patently false claims.

For example, the fake "mayor" is ignoring the many public explanations of the two existing principal positions that were moved to the consolidated middle schools. They were not, as he falsely claims, "newly hired."

Here is a direct quote from Supt. Thornton that the fake "mayor" pretends does not exist, emphasis mine: "The middle school administrators are >>not new administrators,”>two out of three of those admin slots are going to go up with the kids.<< You want to have a good proportional balance of vice principals to students.”,131144?

In the same way, the fake "mayor" hopes that voters ignore the growing evidence of his ethically questionable and potentially illegal campaign activities:

Also, in yet more proof of his inability to keep from making objectively false statements, spring does not start until March 20. Honest, taxpaying voters are certainly looking forward to that date, which will mark 231 days until they can overwhelmingly reject his candidacy again.

Wednesday, February 21