NORTH SMITHFIELD – James Lombardi formally announced his reelection bid for the North Smithfield School Committee this week.

Lombardi has been chairman of the School Committee for the last four years.

“I am running on my record of progress and transparency,” Lombardi said. “There is respect, cooperation, and healthy debate among the different elected branches in town. That is not by accident but by working together for a better town.”

Lombardi pointed to the “age-old question:” Are the schools better off now then they were four years ago?

“In the five years that I have been a member of the School Committee, I always ask or factor in, ‘Do expending these funds bring us closer to being the best school district we can?’ Through cooperation, transparency, and working with the Town Council for adequate funding, we have been successful in keeping key personnel to increase our quality of education.”

Lombardi credits the bond funding and efficient use of the cumulative surplus, to build the new state of the art science labs, the addition at North Smithfield Elementary School, and the current project of updating the high school locker rooms. He noted that all of the projects came in at or under budget and are eligible for between a 35 to 40 percent reimbursement from the state of Rhode Island.

Lombardi additionally credits the accomplishments due to the collaboration of the School Committee and the School Department.

“We are all rowing in the same direction,” he said.

The chairman laid out a list of achievements during his time on the board as follows:

• Although the Halliwell School was beloved by everyone, it was inhabitable for our children and was decommissioned and turned over to the town for potential use in the community.

• The schools have all been updated through the hard work of the maintenance staff. They have upgraded the look, efficiency, and security at a substantially reduced cost.

• A year before COVID, we were approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education for remote learning. When Covid-19 hit, the transition of remote learning went seamlessly, and we need to credit the superintendent, principals, teachers, and the technology staff for hitting the ground running.

• I am proud of all of the accomplishments of our children and grandchildren during these tough times; they all adapted and took on the challenges.

• School Committee supported and voted unanimously to have live graduation, which the School Administration pulled off superbly ending with a grand fireworks display.

• All our sports teams have new uniforms through a four-year phase-in. Some team uniforms were over 16 years old. With donated equipment from the North Smithfield Athletic Association and the will of our athletes, our athletes exceeded expectations.

NRI NOW is offering all local candidates the opportunity to discuss their background and platform. Those interest should send biographic information and a headshot to sandy@nrinow.news. To see information on those who have already announced their platforms, visit the “politics” tab above.

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