Westerly’s Auth selected as new director of Chariho Tech center

Westerly’s Auth selected as new director of Chariho Tech center


WOOD RIVER JUNCTION – The Chariho School Committee has approved the appointment of Gerald Auth to the position of Director of Chariho Tech. Auth replaces Susan Votto, who left the district to work at William M. Davies Jr. Career and Tech in Lincoln.

Auth, 37, is a Westerly resident whose wife teaches mathematics at Chariho High School. He begins his new job on Oct. 23. His contract runs until June 30, 2019, and his salary will be $104,312. The committee unanimously approved his appointment at the Tuesday meeting.

Auth was the Director of the Cranston Area Career and Technical Center. He holds a Master of Education in Administration degree from Providence College, a Master of Science from Hofstra University and a Bachelor of Business Administration, also from Hofstra University.

“He brings a wealth of experience,” Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci said. “We are so grateful to have found someone like that. He can hit the ground running. He has done wonders at the Cranston center. He’s local. He lives in Westerly, so he has a commitment to the region.”

Auth is the father of three children, all of whom attend schools in the Westerly school district. While he said he had enjoyed his six years working in Cranston, he always wanted to come to Chariho Tech.

“I’m a big advocate for career and tech in the state of Rhode Island, and this was the job I always had my eye on,” he said. “This is my regional center. I live in South County and this was a decision that I’m excited about.”

Auth said one of his priorities would be to expand the school’s outreach efforts to explain to the public the range and depth of career and technical programs.

“It’s really about disseminating information, letting the general public know what we have to offer,” he told the committee.

Ricci said Auth is a perfect fit for Chariho.

“We hit the prize as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We have someone who’s experienced, someone who understands career and technical education, someone who knows how important career and technical education can be, and who’s passionate about it — and we don’t have to train him.”

In other business, the committee approved a resolution endorsing a uniform school calendar for all Washington County school districts. A committee comprising Ricci, Hopkinton committee member Catherine Giusti and Charlestown member Craig Louzon met Sept. 20 with superintendents from the other districts to discuss the proposed calendar changes.

Giusti cited an online survey she conducted two years ago as Parent Liaison, before she was elected to the committee. The results showed that most parents wanted a shorter February vacation.

“Overwhelmingly, 60 percent wanted to see a reduction in the February vacation, and we find that there are a lot of other districts that are moving in the same direction,” she said. “A lot of the comments that we got were that people wanted to start after Labor Day [classes now start the week before] and one of the ways to do that was to shorten February vacation.”

The school districts in addition to Chariho that are considering the resolution are: Exeter-West Greenwich, Jamestown, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, South Kingstown and Westerly.

If they adopt the new uniform calendar, all schools would begin the day after Labor Day, close on the Friday before Presidents’ Day and remain open Presidents’ week. Schools would close as usual for April vacation. The school committee voted unanimously in favor of the resolution and will now await the responses of the other school districts.



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