Tom Flanagan is the Chief Academic Officer of Providence Public Schools. His responsibility is to ensure that every student has the foundation for success in college and career. In this role, Tom leads curriculum and instruction, special education, language acquisition, multiple pathways, and career technical education. He believes in promoting student voice, choice, and advocacy to empower students as creative thinkers, problem solvers, and collaborators. Tom is committed to involving students, teachers, and principals in district decisions about academics.
Tom moved to Providence in July 2016 from Washington, DC, where he was the Deputy Chief of Specialized Instruction for DC Public Schools. In this endeavor, he successfully raised graduation rates for students receiving special education services, implemented an equity-focused budgeting system, developed job-embedded professional development systems, and improved student achievement each year on the state assessment. He was also a principal coach through the Mary Jane Patterson Fellowship where he helped to prepare emerging school leaders.
Prior to these positions, Tom was a history and special education teacher, a special education coordinator, and a principal and assistant principal in Washington, DC. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon where he learned how to live happily in a very rainy place. He also has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Trinity University and a second master’s degree in Special Education from the Catholic University of America.
Tom is married to a fellow educator, Amy, and has an 8 year-old daughter, Bianca, and 4 year-old identical twins, Camilla and Simone. In his free time, Tom coaches Bianca’s all girls hockey team, the RI Sting. He can also be found in the garden and sampling all the excellent food Providence has to offer.