Brian Ricca comes to East Greenwich from Vermont
The School Committee voted 7-0 to hire Brian Ricca, Ed.D., as the district’s next superintendent effective July 1, during a special meeting Thursday evening. Ricca will replace current superintendent, Alexis Meyer, who is retiring in June.
The committee also voted unanimously to approve a three-year, $177,000 a year contract.
Ricca, 47, has been a superintendent since 2011, first in Montpelier, Vt., then St. Johnsbury, Vt. He has been in education for 26 years, including in Chicago, New York and Boston before Vermont. Ricca has a bachelor of arts from the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, Mass.), a master of science in teaching from Fordham University (New York City), and a doctorate from Loyola University (Chicago).
“The East Greenwich school community made it clear that we need a superintendent who can build genuine relationships with all members of the community, particularly at this juncture,” said School Committee Chair Anne Musella in a press release. “Dr. Ricca has demonstrated to us that he has that ability and honest desire – in addition to his significant educational experience and credentials. We believe he will be an excellent fit for our community.”
In a phone interview after the meeting, Musella said they had 16 applicants for the position and interviewed 5, with the assistance of a screening committee made up of district and school administrators, faculty, staff and community members. The first interview with Ricca was virtual. After that interview, he spent a day in the district, visiting all six schools and the central office and meeting building principals, administrators, teachers, staff and students, including having lunch with a group of high school students. After that, he met in person with the School Committee and members with the administrative team for a final interview.
“If we had not found the right candidate, we were prepared to start the process again,” Musella said. “We feel very strongly that we found the right candidate and the right fit for our district.”
She noted East Greenwich was competing with several other school districts in Rhode Island and in nearby states. While Ricca will be coming to Rhode Island from out of state, Musella said he had “done his homework with respect to our district.”
She added, “We’re very fortunate. We don’t feel we had to settle.”
In the press release, Ricca said, “As an educational leader who is learner-centered, and data-informed, both the simplicity and the power of the [EGSD] Strategic Plan ‘All Means All: Our Total Commitment to Every Student’ is compelling. These next months and years emerging from COVID-19 will be a testament to how we live that plan in a very concrete way for all students and their families in East Greenwich.”
Ricca is married to Michal Ricca. According to Ricca, they met teaching next door to each other in Chicago. They have two sons, Patrick and Brendan, as well as two yellow labs, Sadie and Waffle.