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Providence School Board Welcomes New Members, Elects Erlin Rogel President

February 15, 2023


PROVIDENCE, RI – Today the Providence School Board welcomed four new members to their first full meeting of the Board; Toni Akin, George Matouk, Erlin Rogel, and Carolina Roberts-Santana. During the meeting, members voted to elect Erlin Rogel as the Board’s new President, and current member Travis Escobar was elected Vice President. The terms of the Board’s previous President and Vice President expired at the end of January, 2023.


“It is a privilege to have been elected President of this dedicated group of public servants,” said newly-elected Board President Erlin Rogel. “I'm humbled by the vote of confidence from my colleagues and look forward to working alongside them, the Providence Public School Department, and the RI Department of Education to create a more equitable and effective Providence Public School District. Our families and students deserve nothing less.”


“I am thrilled and honored to have been elected as the Vice President of the Providence School Board. I am eager to work collaboratively with my colleagues towards a common goal of transitioning our schools back to local control,” said newly-elected Board Vice President Travis Escobar. “Let's harness this excitement and work towards a united Board that is committed to improving education for all of our students."


“I'm honored to continue in the role of Board Secretary, and excited to work with our new Board members and the rest of the leadership team,” said Board Secretary Dr. Mark Santow. “It will take all of us working together - Board members, parents, educators and elected officials - to make sure that RIDE's work in Providence is transparent and effective, and that the transition back to local control leads to improved educational outcomes. I'm ready to dig in!” 


The Providence School Board has historically been the governing body responsible for ensuring that the Providence Public School District provides a high-quality education for all Providence students. The School Board is not an administrative or day-to-day operations body but instead, governs by establishing a policy to guide the Superintendent in the administration and operation of the schools.


“With the community-crafted Providence Turnaround Action Plan, Providence Public Schools have moved forward despite decades of systemic challenges," said Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. “A strong foundation is required to continue the progress in the district, and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders including the newly-elected school board members and leadership team to make sure the momentum continues. I look forward to working with leaders who share a deep commitment to making sure student and family needs and priorities are met.”


“Providence Public Schools are at a critical point right now, with many historic changes on the horizon and some historic changes already underway,” added Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez. “I’m a firm believer that we get our best policy decisions when we have a diversity of opinions and perspectives around the table. The voices of our new School Board members will be a critical part of making sure we create the modern learning environments that will help students in Providence thrive for decades to come.”


School Board members monitor the District’s progress toward achieving direct goals, and engage the community in planning for and supporting schools. The individual School Board member works with the Board as a whole and collaboratively with the Superintendent to accomplish the District’s mission. A full list of Providence School Board members can be found on the District’s website.