Public forum to be held Saturday, May 6th

THOMPSON – A superintendent of schools from North Providence RI, an assistant superintendent of schools from Smithfield, RI, and Thompson’s current director of pupil services are the three finalists to be the town’s next superintendent of schools, the Board of Education announced Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Ms. Melinda Smith, a resident of Burrillville, and the current superintendent of schools in North Providence, RI, Ms. Bridgette Morisseau, a resident of North Smithfield, RI, and current assistant superintendent of schools in Smithfield, RI, and Scott Sugarman, a resident of West Hartford, CT, and Thompson’s current director of pupil services are the three finalists.

“We are very pleased with the experience, enthusiasm, and qualifications of each of the three finalists,” said William Witkowski, chair of the Board of Education. “The screening committee did an excellent job in narrowing our field to these three individuals, and our Board is confident the search process has yielded us three highly qualified and highly capable educational leaders.”

The search process began in February with a regional search that drew more than 40 applicants who met the basic qualifications for the position. The search firm of Martin & Associates brought 14 candidates to the screening committee, selected because the 14 most closely matched the candidate profile created by the school community. The screening committee selected seven candidates to interview in person, and brought four back for a second interview, before presenting three finalists to the Board.

The Board wishes to thank the members of the screening committee for their involvement. From the Thompson Public Schools: Assistant Principal Larry Prentiss, Executive Administrative Assistant Danielle Pederson, Athletic Director Deb Spinelli, and Physical Education teacher Elizabeth Ten Eyck. From the community, parents Matthew Polsky and David Poplawski, and Board members William Witkowski, Kathleen Herbert, Linda Jarmolowicz, Donna Godzik, Shawn Brissette, and Joe Lindley.

A public forum will be held at Tourtellotte Memorial High School providing the community the chance to see the three finalists in their final interviews. The forum will be held on Saturday, May 6, beginning at 9 a.m. in Thompson Public School’s Auditorium. Ms. Morisseau will present and answer questions from the Board at 9 a.m., Mr. Sugarman will present and answer questions from the Board at 10:15 a.m., and Dr. Smith will present and answer questions from the Board at 11:30 a.m.

“I strongly encourage members of our community to send us their questions, attend the forums and observe the candidates, and help the Board make its decision,” said Mr. Witkowski.

In an effort to include community input, the Board of Education is accepting questions from the community to be asked of the candidates. Members of the Thompson community can submit questions via an online survey at Selected questions from the audience will be asked by the Board and/or facilitator during the interviews.

It is anticipated that the Board of Education will meet and vote to enter negotiations with a candidate on Monday May 8th . The current Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Jolin, announced in January that he would be retiring effective June 30, 2017.

About the finalists:

Bridget L. Morisseau
Residence: North Smithfield, RI


  • Doctoral Candidate, Northeastern University
  • Masters of Education, Providence College
  • Bachelors of Science, Rhode Island College


  • 2011 to Present: Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Smithfield Public Schools in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
  • 2004 to 2011 Principal of William Winsor Elementary School in Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • 2003 to 2004 Instructional Coach/Lead Teacher at Hopkins Hill Elementary School in Coventry, Rhode Island
  • 1998 to 2003 Elementary Educator/Special Educator for the Coventry Public Schools in Coventry, Rhode Island
  • 1994 to 1996 Inclusion Co-Teacher for the Woonsocket Public Schools in Woonsocket, Rhode Island
  • 1993 to 1994 Title I Parent Involvement Coordinator, Woonsocket Public Schools in Woonsocket, Rhode Island


Melinda A. Smith
Residence: Burrillville, RI


  • Masters of Education, Providence College
  • Bachelors of Arts, Rhode Island College


  • 2012 to Present Superintendent of Schools for North Providence Public Schools in North Providence, Rhode Island.
  • 2006 to 2012 Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional Development for Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Rhode Island
  • 2000 to 2006 Principal at Fairlawn Early Learning Center, Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Rhode Island
  • 1998 to 2000 Early Childhood Coordinator at Fairlawn Early Learning Center, Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Rhode Island
  • 1997 to 1998 Director of Early Childhood Programs for North Attleboro Public School Department in North Attleboro, Massachusetts
  • 1983 to 1995 Director, Teacher and Co-Owner of Small Wonders Nursery and Daycare in Swansea, Massachusetts
  • 1981 to 1983 Assistant Director and Kindergarten Teacher at Village Green Preschool in Seekonk, Massachusetts
  • 1980 to 1981 Preschool Teacher at Providence Head Start, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1979 to 1980 Teacher at Pied Piper Nursery and Daycare in Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Scott Sugarman
Residence: West Hartford, Connecticut 06110


    • Masters in Educational Leadership, Trinity University
    • Masters in Education, University of Hawaii Manoa
    • Bachelors of Arts, Ithaca College


    • 2016 to Present Director of Pupil Services for Thompson Public Schools in Thompson, Connecticut

    • 2014 to 2016 Dean of Special Education at Achievement First Charter School in Hartford, Connecticut

    •  2013 to 2014 Director of Education Transformation at Connecticut Council for Education Reform in New Haven, Connecticut

    • 2011 to 2013 Director of Education Initiatives at Our Piece of the Pie in Hartford, Connecticut

    • 2008 to 2011 Building Administrator at DC Public Schools in Washington, District of Columbia

    • 2006 to 2008 Special Education Teacher in Hawaii Public Schools in Ewa Beach, Hawaii