Administrative Changes for Martin Middle & Silver Spring Elementary Schools in EP
By Bob Rodericks
"Students gave a rousing standing ovation and quite a few tears were shed."
A change in school leadership will take place on Monday, November 6th when the popular Principal at E.R. Martin Middle School will move over to the Principalship at Silver Spring Elementary School. The staff at Martin Middle received an email from Superintendent of Schools Kathryn Crowley this week inviting them to a meeting at school. "Dear Martin Middle School Faculty & Staff, I am requesting a voluntary meeting with all faculty and staff tomorrow, Thursday, November 2nd at 2:30 p.m. This meeting will be approximately 10 minutes. Please make every effort to attend," Crowley wrote.
Indeed Crowley met with Martin staff to inform them that their Principal, Fatima Avila, would be taking over the administration of Silver Spring School where Somaly Prak-Martins is the current Silver Spring Principal. No public official explanation has been given as to why a change is being made at this point in the school year. Reached for comment, Superintendent Crowley said that she will gladly comment after the Tuesday School Committee meeting.
In a social media post, the Martin Middle School website said the following today, November 3rd. "You have likely heard the news that our principal, Fatima Avila, has been tasked to take her leadership talents to Silver Spring School starting on Monday. Today, we honored Mrs. Avila during an assembly at the end of the day. The MMS Staff Morale Committee, one of the groups that Mrs. Avila created, honored our leader with flowers, balloons and gifts. Students gave a rousing standing ovation and quite a few tears were shed. It was a fitting, albeit hasty, send-off for a person who is renown as much for her hugs as she is for her pedagogical skill and education leadership," said the post written by Assistant Principal, Robert Perry.
It is believed that Perry will be the Principal, at least for now. "For my part, I want Fatima to know how much I have learned about diligence, attention to detail, and plain old hard work. More importantly, I have marveled at the way she interacts with people every day in a way that is warm and respectful," writes Perry.
Fatima has been a veteran teacher in East Providence and was previously the Principal at Kent Heights Elementary School. After a stint back in the classroom, Avila was hired as the Martin Principal in November of 2015. She has been widely praised in her prior roles and as Principal of the large Martin Middle School. No official word has been issued as to the reason for these transfers.
"Students, parents, and colleagues have extolled the virtues of Fatima over the past few days. I am happy to offer a place on Facebook for comments and heart-shaped ‘likes’ for my friend and mentor, Fatima Avila," said Assistant and now Interim Principal Perry.