Deborah Gist

The pit of winter has settled over Rhode Island, judging by the combination of snow and sub-freezing temperatures. The governor used the recent blizzard to remind us we're supposed to be hardy, so no mewling here. Instead, we offer thanks for your visit here, welcome your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (org), and invite you to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Big changes are in the offing for Rhode Island public education policy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on what’s at stake.

After six years as Rhode Island’s top education guru, education commissioner Deborah Gist is headed to her native Tulsa to become school superintendent. Eva-Marie Mancuso, chairwoman of the state education board, is out. Barbara Cottam is slated to become the new leader of the board as Gov. Gina Raimondo puts her stamp on arguably the most important mission of government, educating  the young.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Developer, real estate owner and former mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr. joins Political Roundtable to discuss his contingent agreement to buy Newport Grand; the pending exit of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist; and Governor Gina Raimondo's moves to remake the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.

Chair of the state’s board of education said Tulsa is lucky to land Deborah Gist as its next superintendent of schools. Board chair Eva-Marie Mancuso calls Gist a forward thinker and someone easy to work with.

Elisabeth Harrison

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist has gotten the votes to become Tulsa's superintendent of schools.

In a statement, Gist said it was a difficult decision, but she welcomed the opportunity to lead an urban school district.

She also noted that Tulsa is where her family lives.

"I know that Rhode Islanders can certainly recognize the attraction we have to our hometowns, and it would be a special honor for me to lead the district where I attended public school throughout my childhood," Gist wrote.