San Miguel launches robotics program

Maintaining its commitment of enhancing skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), The San Miguel School of Providence launched a robotics program this year as a component of its technology curriculum.

According to Technology Teacher Ted MacDonald, a robotics curriculum addresses a number of technology standards that San Miguel aims to achieve, including creativity and innovation, communication and collaboration, research, critical thinking, digital citizenship, and technology operations and concepts. By integrating robotics into the curriculum, San Miguel students will be able to develop skills necessary for understanding and interacting with an increasingly technology-driven world.

Thanks to the generosity of St. Sebastian's School in Needham, Massachusetts, and Standish Executive Search LLC, the school was able to purchase its first robotics kits this summer. Currently, the school owns nine kits--eight for student use and one for instruction and demonstration. The students use LEGO building blocks in assembling their robots, four sets of which were donated by Michele Jones, Stacey Wildman, Karen Jordan, and Leslie Higgins. Four of San Miguel's robots have been named in honor of these donors in recognition of their generosity, said MacDonald.

Each class will have the opportunity to complete the introductory robotics unit throughout the school year, beginning with the eighth grade. At the end of their robotics unit, each grade will hold a Robotics Showcase to demonstrate what they have learned. The first Robotics Showcase will take place November 9 at 11:15 a.m. at San Miguel School. All parents, mentors, and friends are welcome to attend.

For more information, call 401.467.9777.  

Board approves new members and leadership

Four new San Miguel Board Members were approved at the final Board meeting of fiscal year 2015 on June 8. San Miguel welcomed Bert Cooper, Paul Mahoney, Jack Walsh, and Jason Pelkey to its Board of Directors effective July 1, 2015. 

The Board also approved its new leadership on June 8. Polly Chatterton Handy was appointed as Chair of the Board, effective July 1. Kate Motte and Paul Mahoney will serve as Vice Chairs, Michael Costello will serve as Treasurer, and Dennis Leamy will continue as Board Secretary.


With a strong non-profit, community development background, Bert Cooper has served as Executive Director at Community Works RI, Senior Project Officer at Green and Healthy Homes Initiative Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Director of Pathways to Opportunity in the office of Mayor Cicilline, and Director of Making Connections Providence’s Family Economic Success programs. Bert’s skillset fits well with San Miguel’s Strategic Imperative of “Partnering with Community.” A Rhode Island transplant via California and Washington state, Bert lives in Edgewood with his wife and two children.

This will be the second Board tenure for Paul Mahoney, Jr., who served as Board Chair from 2005-2008. Since leaving the Board, Paul has continued his involvement as an Adult Mentor and as a member of the Development Committee.  A Partner at the law firm of Locke Lord, Paul focuses on transactional and corporate work, and brings to the Board his legal expertise as well as a long-standing commitment to the San Miguel mission. Paul lives in Providence with his wife Eloise—the art teacher at San Miguel—and their two daughters.

Jack Walsh, a graduate of La Salle Academy and the University of Rhode Island, was introduced to San Miguel shortly after his retirement from a successful career in sales. Jack quickly became one of the school’s most engaged and active volunteers, ambassadors, and donors. Also a supporter of Button Hole, Jack helped to launch our San Miguel Golf Team and continues to help coach the team. Jack has also served as an Adult Mentor to two San Miguel students, has been an active member of the Development Committee, and has led the Golf Tournament Steering Committee as Co-Chair for the past four years. Jack lives in Providence with his wife Betsy.

Jason Pelkey is the Chief Information Officer at the Gilbane Building Company in Providence. Until recently, Jason served on the St. Luke’s School Board of Directors, specifically helping them in the area of technology. Described by colleagues as pragmatic, sensible, and realistic with an eye towards progress, Jason brings to the Board a unique perspective which will help San Miguel develop effective technology strategy. Jason lives in Barrington with his wife and two young children. 

San Miguel welcomes new Executive Director

Mr. Mark Carty, Executive Director

Mr. Mark Carty, Executive Director

The San Miguel School of Providence announces the appointment of Mark Carty as its new Executive Director, a position he assumed effective July 1.

Carty joined the San Miguel leadership team last summer as Associate Executive Director, preparing for the transition under the guidance of the school’s founder and leader of more than 20 years, Brother Lawrence Goyette, FSC.

Brother Lawrence, who stepped down as Executive Director at the end of June, founded San Miguel Providence in 1993 as the first of what has become the model for more than a dozen such schools across the country. This fall, Brother Lawrence will help to open the 13th Miguel School in Concord, California.

“The opportunity to study under the direction of Brother Lawrence has been a blessing,” said Carty. “San Miguel education continues to grow and thrive, and San Miguel Providence continues to serve as a model for how to educate those in need.”

A Providence native and a graduate of La Salle Academy, Carty studied political science at Temple University and Lasallian education at Saint Mary’s College of California. Prior to joining San Miguel School, Carty was a member of the Social Studies Department faculty at La Salle Academy for eight years.

As a Lasallian educator, Carty has participated in numerous formation programs across the county, from studying homelessness in San Francisco, gangs in Chicago, and immigration in El Paso and Juarez. A graduate of the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies, Carty received a comprehensive formation in the historical, pedagogical, and theological foundation of Lasallian education throughout the world. 

As Carty steps into his new role as Executive Director, he looks forward to continuing the work that was begun by Brother Lawrence and those who have been part of the San Miguel community over the past two decades.

“San Miguel School is truly a remarkable place,” said Carty. “Through its design, our community, with continued dedication and support, will nurture and grow the spirit of love that lives at San Miguel. I can say with great comfort that San Miguel feels like home.”