Superintendent Peter Nero has announced his retirement.
So ends a career in education that was seeded, grew and flourished right here in Cranston, starting with his days as student.
"Superintendent Nero is a great friend, a spirited educator, and a true gentleman. He will be missed more than words can express. I'm proud to have been a part of Peter's team and wish nothing but the best for him!" said School Committee President Andrea Iannazzi on her Facebook page.
Nero is a product of the Cranston School District, graduating from and getting hired to teach electronics and power mechanics at in 1978. He taught at , and became an administrator in 1997 when he took the assistant principal job at . He then became principal at in 1999 and stayed there for 7 years until he became assistant superintendent.
He was appointed Superintendent in 2009 and has without question faced some of the hardest work of his career over the past four years. He took the reins after a Caroulo action didn't end in the district's favor and he led Cranston schools through severe budget cuts, a deficit reduction plan, massive layoffs and the shutdown of dozens of extracurricular programs — all of which he helped to grow and evolve in the years leading up to his superintendency. It was tough work, but he did it in a matter-of-fact, non-sugarcoated style that made his promises and assurances seem — and usually were — bulletproof.
Now, he leaves the district with inarguably brighter prospects. The budget has leveled out and the district is beginning the early stages of preparing to bring back many of the programs it has been forced to cut. During the budget process this year, which wasn't entirely a rosy picture, Nero said on numerous occasions that the district has come through the worst of it and "has turned the corner."
We'll have continued coverage of Nero's retirement tomorrow and in the coming days. Nero was not available for comment at the time this story was first posted.