Barry Ricci was a hero, beloved by the children and families of Charlestown and all of us who were privileged to work with him at Town Hall. We mourn his loss and we extend heartfelt condolences to the Ricci family.
A quote from Barry when he became assistant superintendent of the Chariho Regional School District hints at how powerfully inspiring he was — his “long-held beliefs about the fact that support should be unconditional and that we need to do whatever needs to be done to help a young person to be successful."
I was very fortunate to work with Barry these last five years on the Charlestown Town Council. In addition to staying in touch as concerns came up and congratulating him on the academic excellence the Chariho students, teachers and principals were achieving, I am proud of supporting him in passing the Chariho budget every year, the creation and the construction of the Chariho Alternative Learning Academy for providing an equitable education for special needs students, and this year working hard for two new legislative bills; one to reinstate state funding for bus transportation and another for giving Chariho the municipal rate rather than the much more costly commercial rate they had been paying for waste disposal tipping fees. Like his tireless work on behalf of equitable education, these bills brought equitably to Chariho Regional Schools.
I will hugely miss his great vision, high principles, good humor, driving intelligence and warm-heartedness.
The writer is the president of the Charlestown Town Council.