Pawtucket School Department Superintendent
Pawtucket Superintendent – Patricia Royal, Ed. S.
Patricia Royal is an accomplished instructional leader who who provides a strategic vision with a global focus on student achievement. Mrs. Royal is considered a “champion for students” for leading multiple schools to significant academic achievement. One of her strengths is her innate ability to build trusting, respectful, and meaningful relationships with individuals from all walks of life. Warren Bennis’s submission states, “Leadership is a capacity to translate vision into reality.” She is relentlessly determined to close the achievement gap and allow all students to reach their full potential. Mrs. Royal’s vision, values, and beliefs align with the district to strengthen the organization, promote harmony, ensure safety for all, increase academic achievement, and allow all voices to be heard throughout the educational process. She knows her purpose is directly connected to the success and development of students, teachers, staff, and leaders throughout the school organization, preparing generations as future leaders and change agents in their community.
Mrs. Royal works in partnership with all stakeholders to establish and sustain a culture of high expectations, accountability, and mutual respect for all whereas every student is valued and empowered to excel regardless of their background, “Every student, Every day”. Upon graduation, all students will be college, military and career ready and equipped with the profound knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in post-secondary settings and/ or the workforce.
Mrs. Royal believes that all students can be successful in their academic endeavors. High—quality teaching is the most powerful tool for students to achieve high scholastic standings. What happens in the classroom matters the most considering teachers have the greatest impact on student growth and achievement. With appropriately aligned curriculum, motivation, and reinforcement, students can learn and be prepared to compete in a technologically advancing society. Mrs. Royal believes it is imperative to foster meaningful relationships with all stakeholders, using positivity and strong communication skills to create a work environment that is enjoyable and effective. She believes to be an effective leader, she must always treat people with respect and courtesy, be fair and honest, and value the ideas and opinions of others. Mrs. Royal holds herself and others to high standards and high expectations including leaders, teachers, staff and students.
Mrs. Royal earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Bethune-Cookman University. She honed her passion for impacting students’ lives to ensure they can compete locally and globally to achieve their dreams. Mrs. Royal is the first African American female Superintendent in the state of Rhode Island. In addition, Mrs. Royal earned her Master’s and Educational Specialist degrees from Nova Southeastern University. As a lifelong learner, she seeks to attain her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration at Arkansas State University.
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
Home School Liaison
401.729.6300 ext. 315
Assistant Superintendent’s Team
401.729.6300 ext. 314
Join the Superintendent's Parent or Student Advisory Committee
Open to Current 5th-12th Graders
Executive Leadership Team
Lee Rabbitt is a dedicated educational leader committed to improving educational outcomes for all students. With over 35 years of experience, she has overseen every aspect of school departments. She has worked for school districts as well as the RI Department of Education. Her passion and dedication to the staff, students and community is evident every day.
Mrs. Rabbitt earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Juniata College. She earned her Master’s Degree at Lesley University and completed the Educational Leadership program at Bridgewater State University.
She has served on many local, state and national committees for education as well as being a long standing member of many organizations such as RISSA, ASCD and RIASP. This includes the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) National Forum on Education Statistics, for whom she has served as chair as well as co-written several publications. Mrs. Rabbit is a lifelong learner who empowers all in the education community to strive for excellence.
Lisa came to Pawtucket in 2006 as the Goff principal after having taught English at Coventry High School and having served as an Assistant Principal at Ponaganset High School. Lisa earned her undergraduate degree at Rhode Island College and her Master’s degree at Providence College. Through her years in education, Lisa has found the best success is employing a student-centered approach to all things. Simply put, if it is in the best interest of children, it cannot be wrong. She believes that building relationships with the students, the staff, the parents, and members of the community is the foundation upon which all things are built. Ms. Benedetti-Ramzi believes in the importance of providing a high quality education for all students and is dedicated to ensuring that happens in Pawtucket.
Dr. Lahna Tate
Chief of Assessment, Accountability & Research
Dr. Lahna Tate is a multifaceted person with an educational range from kindergarten to the college level. As an educator, Dr. Tate has been a teacher of both regular and special education students, a reading coach, a behavior specialist, a school administrator, an administrative coach, and a college professor of special education, leadership, curriculum, and assessment. Within these roles, Dr. Tate has developed educational policies, created curriculum resources at both the elementary and college levels, and generated a plethora of assessments aligned with state standards and standards-based teaching.
Dr. Tate has a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership, a Master’s in Special Education (Learning Disabilities), and a Bachelor’s in Special Education (Intellectual Disabilities) with a minor in Elementary Education. Dr. Tate values education and is a strong believer of doing what is best for students.
Chief of Human Resource & Talent
As the Chief of Human Resources & Talent, Mrs. Lofton oversees the district's human capital efforts, ensuring the district is attracting and retaining quality talent and creating opportunities for growth and professional development for all staff. Her primary focus is staffing and infrastructure that directs all aspects of Human Resources and Talent Management, including Talent Recruitment, Strategic School Support, Operations and Services, New Teacher Support, Labor Relations and Educator Effectiveness.
Mrs. Lofton is a creative and versatile education professional with over 30 years of diverse experience in education, performance management and systems change. Throughout her career, Mrs. Lofton has served in various roles at both the school and district level. Those roles include Principal, Elementary Transformation Officer, Director of K-12 Literacy, and Director of Instructional Support. Mrs. Lofton believes all children can learn and our job is to help them reach their full potential. Mrs. Lofton is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Program Development with an emphasis on Turnaround Leadership at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
Hersh Cristino, BSc, M.Ed.
Chief Information & Innovation Officer
Hersh has been working for the Pawtucket School Department in Pawtucket, RI for the past twenty-six years. He holds certificates in Secondary Science, Biology, and School Administration. He began as a middle school science teacher, and later became a Teacher Technology Coordinator for the district implementing curriculum initiatives throughout the district. In 2012 he became the Chief of Information and Innovation Officer for the Pawtucket School Department and City of Pawtucket. Hersh’s goal is to lead a team that supports the use of instructional technology as a tool for instruction and learning across the district.
A K-12 public school graduate, Mr. Voccio is a firm believer in public education. Upon graduation from college, he cut his financial teeth with a Fortune 50 company in the automotive industry. Holding positions of increased responsibility, he worked in a variety of accounting areas within the organization including cost and general accounting, annual financial planning, budgeting, production variances for the manufacturing plant, KPI’s and budget variances for the distribution center operations. Believing the skills and experience obtained in the private sector were transferable to the public sector, he began working for a local college and eventually a public-school district with emphasis on monitoring spending and budgeting while supporting areas such as athletics, operations, physical plant and school buildings.
His mantra is if done correctly, students only travel the educational journey once and that experience should be a positive one positioning them for growth and success in life. Mr. Voccio brings a vision and a desire to mold the Pawtucket School System into a world class educational organization that operates efficiently, effectively and with speed while providing a high degree of internal/external customer service that presents students with the educational and extra-curricular activities needed to succeed globally.