Seekonk School Superintendent Leaving
Seekonk School Superintendent Rich Drolet is leaving at the end of June to take over the King Philip Regional School District. The announcement was made Wednesday on King Philip’s web site. On July 1, Drolet will succeed Superintendent Paul Zinni, who is retiring on June 30, pending the successful completion of contract negotiations.
“Dr. Drolet brings a wealth of experience in education and leadership with him to the district, and I am excited to see the ways in which he supports King Philip’s growth in the years to come,” Superintendent Zinni said. “I’ve been fortunate to consider Dr. Drolet a colleague in recent years and am confident he will make an immediate positive impact on our students, staff and community as a whole.”
“In Seekonk, Drolet oversaw the development of a three-year Strategy for Continuous District Improvement, which served as a precursor to the district’s five-year District Strategy for Student Success. This strategic plan serves as a complement to Seekonk’s Vision of a Graduate.”
“In addition, Drolet served on committees that oversaw an expansion of Aitken Elementary School, an installation of Seekonk High School’s turf field and track facility and the construction of Seekonk Transitions Academy — a special education program for adults between the ages of 18-22. Drolet has also spearheaded Seekonk’s work in adding key positions to lower class sizes,” the announcement read.
Drolet has been serving as Superintendent since 2018. Before coming to Seekonk, Drolet served as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Accountability for the Uxbridge Public Schools.
The last several months have been turbulent for Drolet and the school district. Last October, Drolet issued a No Trespass Order to Luis Sousa, a parent of two students at Aitken Elementary School, as a result of incidents at two school committee meetings. Sousa filed a lawsuit October 20 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The complaint alleged Drolet and the members of the school committee committed violations of Sousa’s rights under the first and fourteenth amendments, pertaining to free speech and equal protection, along with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Sousa claims he suffers from bipolar disorder.
For the last few months, Sousa and his wife, Kanessa Lynn, have been protesting outside school buildings. They have held signs which called committee vice-chair Kim Sluter a “(expletive) liar” and for Drolet to be “fired.” The No Trespass Order was lifted last December and Sousa is now allowed to attend school committee meetings.
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