The Class of 2016 Foundation Builders, This Year’s Honorees

 The Class of 2016 Foundation Builders, This Year’s Honorees


LPR’s Community Excellence Awards Gala is a couple weeks away but we wanted to introduce you to this year’s recipients.   We have what we have named LPR’s Class of 2016, Foundation Builders and then there are our Future Builders. The award is in recognition of their passion, commitment, leadership, achievements and contributions in the education of all RI students. Also, for how they have laid down the foundation of education for those who will lead us in the next phase.

The Class of 2016 Foundation Builders:

:Meghan Hughes

Dr. Meghan Hughes, Ph. D.


Dr. Hughes,  appointed in 2016 as President of the Community College of Rhode Island, is the former Executive Director of Year Up RI. The program provides training for low-income young adults, including skill development, college credits and corporate internships lasting a year.  Dr. Hughes assumed the directorship of the non-profit in 2009 and focused on bringing private and public sector leaders together to train young people and give them access to highly sought out employment opportunities.

She is a dynamic leader committed to social change through advocacy and education. Committed to engaging diverse communities and individuals to empower young adults to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Dr. Hughes has 30 years of continuous affiliation with organizations that advance social justice, education, public policy and public service and endeavors to inspire others to be their best self. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale and holds a PhD from New York University.


Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, Ph. D.

A graduate of the State College of New York at Brockport and the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as a participant in the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Dr. Carriuolo was named the ninth president of Rhode Island College (RIC) in 2008.   Prior to that, she served as interim vice president for academic affairs at RIC, overseeing the management of academic activities and programs for the college, while maintaining her duties as deputy commissioner and chief academic officer at the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education. Dr. Carriuolo’s second grade teacher made a huge, year-long commitment to her, that shaped her into the highly successful, heartfelt leader she is today. While Mrs. Schultz may not have necessarily thought she was teaching «listening skills», Dr. Carriuolo now listens for the collective good, as a result.  During her career she has created numerous opportunities for Rhode Island students that have great promise but that don’t have the means to afford post-secondary education.  She has made a difference because she believes it is the right thing to do.


Keith Oliveira

Keith A. Oliveira is a dedicated advocate of urban public education and an outspoken champion of educational opportunities for urban students throughout Rhode Island.  In 2011, Keith helped found and currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the R.I Nurses Institute Middle College Charter School in Providence, RI, a first of its kind public charter school in the United States located in Providence, RI.  He is the former President of the Providence School Department Board of Directors and has served in various roles impacting the education climate in Rhode Island.  Keith is highly-regarded in both local and national urban education circles.  From 2012-2016, Keith served on the Executive Committee of the Council for the Great City Schools, a national urban education policy and advocacy group based in Washington, DC. Keith is an alumnus of the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Urban Public Policy.

susan Lusi

Dr. Susan. F. Lusi, Ph. D.

Dr. Susan F. Lusi, who has 30 years of experience in education, academia and government, is President and CEO of Mass Insight Education.   She served as superintendent of Providence Public Schools, where she was credited with developing the strategy to improve high school graduation rates and reading scores, and increase school autonomy. She increased the graduation rate by nine percent and reading proficiency in Grades 4 and 11 by 18 percent and nine percent, respectively, with even larger gains for English Language Learners.  Dr. Lusi’s also served as superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools, chief of staff of Providence Public Schools and the Rhode Island Department of Education’s assistant commissioner for support services.   She holds both a M.P.P. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University, as well as a joint A.B./M.A.T. from Brown University. She also is the author of The Role of State Departments of Education in Complex School Reform (Teachers College Press, 1997).


 Dr.Jose Gonzalez, Ph. D.

Dr. Jose Gonzalez is a strong advocate of multicultural education and equal access to educational opportunities.  Since 1978 he has worked on a wide range of educational empowerment and advisory programs for a number of institutions, including the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, Bryant College, and Brown University.  Dr. Gonzalez is currently a ESOL Facilitator with English For Action and also teaches in the Educational Studies Department as an adjunct faculty at Rhode Island College.  Dr. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Social Work and a Master’s degree in Bilingual Education from Rhode Island College.  He also holds a master’s and a doctorate’s degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Dr. Gonzalez is the founder and immediate past-president of Latino Dollars for Scholars of Rhode Island.  He currently sits on the boards of the Coalition of Advocates for Student Opportunities, and the United Way Community Advisory Board.


 Heather Tow Yick

Vice President, Teach For America (national) and until was the Executive Director of Teach For America RI and was instrumental in getting TFA established in RI. Heather is a RI native and firmly believes in holding ourselves accountable to ensure that all learners and educators are performing at promise. She believes that in order to strengthen communities and improve economic conditions the skill gap (academic achievement) that exists across economic lines in our country must be addressed through teaching and learning.

Julie Nora

Dr. Julie Nora, Ph. D.

For the past thirteen years, Dr. Nora has been the Director of the International Charter School (ICS) located in Pawtucket, RI.  ICS is a dual language elementary school that teaches in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese. As a bilingual school that is nationally recognized for the work they do in dual language education, ICS is particularly focused on meeting the needs of Latinos and English Language Learners — two groups of students that Rhode Island serves poorly compared with other states. The school provides an opportunity for any Rhode Island family to have their child educated bilingually, something which is especially important for families who speak Spanish and Portuguese, and for English Language Learners.  Dr. Nora  has served on various state commissions most recently, the Funding Formula Commission and she is an internationally known expert of dual language instruction. She is a 2015-2016 Heinemann Fellow.


 Dr. Frances Gallo, Ph. D.

Dr. Gallo is the former Superintendent of the Central Falls School District. With 45 years’ of educational experience, Dr. Gallo has been a teacher to many and a mentor to more.  She is a highly effective educational leader with demonstrated service and commitment to increasing the student achievement of Rhode Island children and an authentic engagement strategist who validates the voices of students, families and the community.  She has worked for decades to provide school choice to children of impoverished neighborhoods. In her retirement, Dr. Gallo has not stopped servicing Rhode Island’s children; she serves as a CASA volunteer advocating for a better life for the neglected and abused children in Rhode Island.  She also lends support to the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy Schools as a Senior Advisor. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.


  Todd Flaherty portrait - for media

  Todd D. Flaherty, Ed.D.,

Dr. Flaherty is president & CEO of The College Crusade of Rhode Island. Since 2009 he has been responsible for setting the overall goals and strategies that advance The College Crusade’s mission to increase college and career success for Rhode Island’s low-income students. He led development and implementation of the organization’s ambitious five-year strategic plan and strengthened vital partnerships with Rhode Island educators and state policy makers.  During Dr. Flaherty’s seven-year tenure, The College Crusade was awarded a 2011-2017 federal GEAR UP grant from the U.S. Department of Education that provides $3.1 million per year to increase college and career readiness for Rhode Island youth.  Dr. Flaherty has had a distinguished career of educational leadership at state, local, and national levels. Between 1995 and 2007, he served as Rhode Island Deputy Commissioner of Education, Deputy in Residence for the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Senior Policy Consultant for the National High School Center in Washington, D.C.


 Dr Tomas Ramirez, Ph. D.

Tomas Ramirez is a pioneer to Latinos in Rhode Island and someone who epitomizes the qualities of a true servant leader: strong commitment to community involvement and public service characterized by honesty and integrity. Tomas worked for the Providence School Department for 29 years serving as its Interim Superintendent of Schools, teacher, school principal and Director of Science.  In every stage of his career, Dr. Ramirez has touched the lives of those around him; students, families, colleagues and administrators. Mr. Ramirez has volunteered as Chair of the Progreso Latino and  Chair of The Board of Directors of John Hope Settlement House. Other board and commission positions have included; City Year Rhode Island, Volunteers in Providence Schools, Silver Lake Community Center, Rhode Island Children’s Crusade for Higher Education, Rhode Island KidsCount, Phoenix Houses of New England, and the Big Picture Company. His current volunteer work includes the Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Our Future Builders

TIm Hebert_April 2014 (2)


Corporate Community Excellence AwardAtrionOscar «Tim» Hebert

As CEO and President of Atrion, a leading IT services firm, Tim Hebert is committed to elucidating on the importance of fusing business and technology. As a company committed to closing the IT talent gap, Atrion has committed to “adopting” the Academy for Career Exploration (ACE), a Rhode‐Island based high school focused on developing technology talent. Atrion and ACE struck up a fast friendship with the common purpose of improving the educational experience while providing concrete career pathways towards growing advancing economies. By leveraging Atrion’s resources, expertise and experience, ACE will be able to accelerate its vision to become one of Rhode Island’s top performing schools. A champion of leadership development, Tim devotes his time and energy to supporting the Rhode Island STEM center and initiatives across the state. He is a mentor for young students in the Rhode Island’s Year-Up program

The award is in recognition of  leading the way in the 21st century education through the recently announced “Adoption” by Atrion of the Academy for Career Exploration, a public charter school in Providence that is developing technology talent at the high school level.


Community Champion Award- Jonathon Acosta

Jonathon Acosta is the dean of culture at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School. In 2013, he taught math at BVP, where his students scored highest in the state of Rhode Island. He has been a vocal advocate for high achievement for ALL students. His leadership in education and deep commitment to his community of scholars makes him a welcomed role model in the field of education. 


Community Excellence Health Award – Warren Alpert Medical School  

The award is in recognition of the wonderful work that medical students perform in the community as volunteers for the Free Clinic and Clinica Esperanza, in addition to their participation in our radio show, “The Medical Apprentice”, where students share what they have learned in the ObGyn rotation at Women and Infants Hospital. The Latino community benefits every day from the efforts of such great group of future professionals. Your students are learning as they teach patients and our radio audience about the most important health issues affecting our community.

Latino Public Radio would like to congratulate all honorees today for making a difference in our children’s lives.

We invite everyone to join us for what is bound to be a great event on May 14, 2016
Tickets are $150.00 per person

Stay tuned to 1290AM and look out for future emails which will contain more information.

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