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Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association

The Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association (RISSA) Presents Crowley Award to Veteran Legislator and Education Leader Hanna M. Gallo

14 Feb 2020 3:51 PM | Tom DiPaola (Administrator)

The Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association (RISSA)

13th annual Paul W. Crowley Award is awarded to Senator Hanna M. Gallo, who

represents District 27, which includes portions of Cranston and West Warwick, in the

Rhode Island Senate.

First elected in 1998, Senator Gallo has served as Chairwoman of the Senate

Committee on Education since 2009, and previously served as that committee’s vice

chairwoman. She is also a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce.

The award presentation will take place in the State Room at the Rhode Island State

House in Providence on Wednesday March 4, 2020, at 3 p.m.


The PAUL CROWLEY AWARD is given each year by the Rhode Island School

Superintendents’ Association to a Rhode Island citizen or organization who, in his or her

professional and personal capacity, has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to

improving the quality of education for the children of Rhode Island, as did the Honorable

Paul Crowley throughout his career as a state representative from Newport. A $1,000

scholarship in Rep. Crowley’s name will also be awarded to a deserving senior planning

a career in education and graduating from a Rhode Island public high school.

Senator Gallo co-chaired the Joint Legislative Committee to Establish a Permanent

Education Foundation Aid Formula, which she helped to establish through her

sponsorship of the Education Equity and Property Tax Relief Act. The Commission

made recommendations to establish a fair, student-based funding formula for state aid

to education in Rhode Island. Senator Gallo subsequently championed the education

formula, winning enactment of this landmark legislation into law. It has been fully

funded each year since.

Senator Gallo has been instrumental in numerous education initiatives, including

sweeping education reforms enacted in 2019 that put in place curricula aligned with

high standards and improved accountability and governance. She led the charge for

funding of full-day kindergarten statewide, enacted in 2015. Senator Gallo has also

been an advocate for pre-school experience children and continues in that regard. She

was an early supporter of the state’s successful application for a federal Race to the

Top grant and sponsored formal Resolutions which won General Assembly approval to

declare the Legislature’s support for the state’s effort. She joined the Governor,

President of the Senate and Speaker of the House in traveling to Washington, D.C. to

show the unified and strong state support for the effort.


“Representative Crowley’s tireless commitment to public education is well known in

Rhode Island, and it is an incredible honor to receive this award in his name,” said

Senator Gallo. “It has been my distinct privilege to serve Rhode Island schools, and

especially our educators and students. RISSA has been and continues to be a

valuable partner in this work, and I’m grateful to the RI Superintendents for this


Sen. Gallo has been instrumental in passage of numerous laws to improve education in

Rhode Island, from ensuring quality afterschool care is available for elementary and

secondary students to providing more accurate tracking of high school graduation rates,

and from the creation of a new “bachelor’s degree in three” program at state institutions

of higher learning to ensuring that teachers receive the best training at the college level.

Senator Gallo previously served as Co-Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Permanent

Commission on Civic Education. Through this commission, she established an annual

Civic Education Day and hosted a Civic Education Summit. An essay contest for

elementary and secondary schoolchildren was created to foster civic understanding and

engagement. Various ad hoc committees were established to promote civic education,

including a Joint Youth/Legislative Advisory Council.

Senator Gallo was the primary sponsor of the law requiring development of a civics

education curriculum to be used in Rhode Island schools.

A Graduate of Saint Mary’s Visitation High School, Senator Gallo began her post-

secondary education at the Community College of Rhode Island, earning degrees in

1976and 1981. CCRI honored Senator Gallo in 2011 at its Society of Knights

Outstanding Alumni Awards, which recognizes alumni who have attained personal and

professional success, volunteer service to the college community, and brought honor

upon themselves and the CCRI.

Senator Gallo earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communicative disorders from

the University of Rhode Island in 1995, and a Master of Science degree in speech

language from the URI in 1997.

She is currently a speech language pathologist for the Cranston School Department.

Senator Gallo resides in Cranston with her husband, Russell. They have two children,

Julie and Laura.

The Paul W. Crowley Award will be presented by RISSA President Karen Tarasevich,

Superintendent of the West Warwick Public Schools, and Thomas

DiPaola, Ph.D., RISSA Executive Director.


2480 Post Road, Warwick, RI  02886

Mailing Address:  PO Box 7791, Warwick, RI  02887

(p) 401.272.9811, Press 3
(f) 401.272.9834
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