Academic Year End Brings Leadership Changes to Paul Cuffee School

Dear Members of the Paul Cuffee School Community,

The Paul Cuffee School Board of Trustees met earlier today and accepted with regret the resignation of Michael C. Obel-Omia from his position as Head of School. At the same meeting the Board approved the appointment of Wendy Randle, currently Principal of the Lower School, as Interim Head of School. A search process, which will include and engage all members of the school community, for our next Head will be undertaken during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Michael joined the Paul Cuffee School in July 2010 as our second Head, and has dedicated himself to the education and well-being of our students. His energy, enthusiasm, and commitment have positively impacted both Paul Cuffee and the broader Providence and Rhode Island educational communities. During his tenure as Head, the School has grown across all dimensions, including the opening of the Upper School and significant increases in lottery applications each year. In a challenging time of fiscal uncertainty and intense scrutiny of public education in general and charter schools in particular, the School successfully obtained renewal of its charter in 2012 and continued to achieve success and national recognition with regard to academic achievement and program, including improvement in NECAP scores to their highest levels in School history. Under Michael’s leadership, community recognition and appreciation of the School has deepened and broadened, and successful efforts in fund- and friend-raising will benefit Cuffee students, faculty, and staff for many years to come. Among these accomplishments, the Annual Fund exceeding its goal two out of the last three years and the successful grant application to the Environmental Protection Agency for $400,000 in funds to remediate the parking area adjacent to the Lower School and build the beautiful new turf field stand out.

The comprehensive strategic planning process begun this past year will continue, as will the many partnerships and collaborative opportunities for students and faculty Michael has helped develop. I know that all members of the community will join me in thanking Michael for his service to Paul Cuffee School and wish him the best in his future professional endeavors.

On behalf of the community, I also wish to express my gratitude to Mrs. Randle for her willingness to serve as Interim Head of School. A key task for Mrs. Randle will be to maintain the momentum gained under Michael’s leadership and ensure our continued focus on the mission of the School and, above all, on what is best for our students. I am fully confident that working together and with common purpose, we can achieve ever greater heights in the months and years ahead.


Russell C. Carey
President, Paul Cuffee School Board of Trustees


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%