To the Editor: 

As we approach local elections in South Kingstown, many of us feel destabilized and uncertain about which way to turn in School Committee elections. 

Whether we wish to support teachers but worry about procedural missteps since getting behind the most current members of the school committee, or fret about how much financial stress our district can bear with a shrinking school-aged population, or reckon with a pretty disturbing educational equity gap between AP-soaked middle class households and parents who struggle to find rent in times of financial excision…we ALL know we stand at a juncture of crucial importance. 

For this reason, I wish to appeal to my fellow South Kingstown voters. We have the option of ticking the box next to several good names on the slate for open School Committee Seats. I admire so many. But in this short appeal I suggest one name who unites us all, across a broad spectrum. That name is Bob Hicks. 

This is a moment for those who hear the call of public service in its most valorous, thankless forms. Dr. Hick’s entire life – not his professional career but his life – has been devoted to the cause of educational quality delivered with an eye toward actual, structural justice. Whether it be his time in the Peace Corps or his devotion to children with disabilities; whether we cite his honor as a Washington County Coalition “Champion for Children” or his work as a CARES mentor; whether we trust his years as Superintendent of multiple districts or feel gratitude for his canny work in the financial weeds to save, not merely crucial programs in Physical Education, but also what may well be one of the single best Performing Arts teams in the entire Northeast Region – or United States -  Bob Hicks heeds the call of true service, to go Heal the World. 

As I write this at the close of Yom Kippur, a solemn moment of reckoning that is not in my own tradition but one from which I have gratefully learned, I urge my fellow voters in South Kingstown to trust in and support the School Committee candidacy of one who hears the call of genuine public service. 

In both the public eye and through quiet, anonymous labor behind the scenes – in assisting Jonnycake Center patrons with taxes or promoting open space for us all  -  Bob Hicks can be found doing good with full-throttle devotion to what people need. 

The full range of people. Not merely one slice. 

Bob Hicks’ record of voluntarism beyond the bounds of personal interest is something we voters can trust. Please consider Bob Hicks. 

Cheryl Foster 

South Kingstown

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