By Brian G. Ricca, EdD
Our family has been a big fan of the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso, and we are excitedly awaiting the third season. I highly recommend it based on the many positive themes around perseverance, teamwork, and relationships. It also has a theme that I hope will define my work in East Greenwich as I begin my tenure as Superintendent of Schools.
“Be curious, not judgmental.” (Walt Whitman)
The title character, Ted Lasso, is playing darts in a British pub with one of the least-liked characters in the show, and Lasso is down to his last turn. Facing almost certain defeat, he needs a nearly impossible score with each of his remaining darts. And during his final round, Ted shares this beautiful memory from his life. Click this link to view the video (credit to YouTube for sharing it).
So what does Ted Lasso have to do with the beginning of my work in East Greenwich? As I learn and grow into this role, I commit to being curious, not judgmental. The only exception I would make is if there was a threat of harm to a student or employee. Other than that, I will approach this work with a humble curiosity, two listening ears, and a genuine desire to learn and grow with all of you.
I ask the same of all of you. Please commit to learning with me this year, whether you are faculty or staff, parent or community member, School Committee, or Town Council. When students ask what a superintendent does, I tell them my job is to ensure that each of them feels safe, welcomed, and included when they come to school. My job for the employees is to ensure they have what they need to be their best professional selves. For the School Committee, my work is to further the Strategic Plan, live the mission, and help all students achieve the vision of a graduate.
I hope you will all join me in this commitment as we learn about each other and grow in our service to the students, faculty, staff, and families of East Greenwich!
Brian G. Ricca, EdD, is the superintendent of East Greenwich Public Schools.