Central Falls High School

Elisabeth Harrison

Central Falls Superintendent of Schools Fran Gallo plans to retire at the end of the school year.

The school board says its members officially accepted her letter of resignation on Tuesday night.

"The Board accepted Dr. Gallo’s decision with deep regret and equally deep appreciation for her eight years of service to the children and families of Central Falls," the board said in a written release announcing that Gallo will step down on June 30th.

Central Falls High School biology teacher David Upegui has been awarded the Evolution Education Award from the National Association of Biology teachers. Upegui got an unexpected visit Tuesday from Governor Lincoln to congratulate him on winning the award.

The Rhode Island Department of Education says the award recognizes innovative teaching in biology. RIDE officials credit Upegui for initiating a new curriculum that makes evolution the first course in Life Sciences.

The school official who oversaw a state-ordered turnaround at Central Falls High School will be one of the key figures in Democrat Jorge Elorza's transition team, as Elorza prepares to take over as mayor of  Providence in January.

Victor Capellan has been named one of three co-directors for Elorza's team. Capellan served as the "transformation officer" and deputy superintendent for the Central Falls School District during the overhaul of Central Falls High School.

Elisabeth Harrison

Award-winning actor Viola Davis made a stop at Bryant University on Friday during the annual Women’s Summit.

The theme of this year’s conference: “being the CEO of your own life.”

Davis says part of what has made her successful as an actor is her experience growing up in Central Falls.

"Every experience growing up in a dysfunctional family with alcoholism, with poverty, with being the geek always into theater and the Rhode Island State Drama Festival, that has been the wellspring of me as an actor," Davis said.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

For several years we’ve been following the struggling Central Falls School district.

The high school grabbed national headlines when it fired all of its teachers back in 2010.

The fired teachers were later rehired by the district, but the firings left Central Falls High School in an uproar.

Three years later, Rhode Island Public Radio's Education reporter Elisabeth Harrison found signs of progress at the school, but scars from the mass firings remain.

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