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RISD Board Recommends Sarah McGaughey to the Council as its next Director

The Rhode Island School for the Deaf (RISD) Board of Trustees has recommended Sarah McGaughey for consideration as the next Director of the Rhode Island School for the Deaf. This recommendation was delivered to Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green and the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education, which makes the final determination on the Director role.

The Board has recommended that Sarah begin her role July 1, 2023 which would overlap with Director Nancy Maguire Heath as the role transitions over to Sarah.  Next, the Commissioner will meet with Sarah, and then the Council will consider whether to appoint her as the next Director. We anticipate being able to share our next update after the next Council meeting scheduled for May 23rd. 

The search for the next Rhode Island School for the Deaf Director began in January 2023, with the school community and focus groups developing a leader profile to evaluate applicants. The search committee, composed of teachers, staff, parents, community members, and alumni interviewed the candidates and selected two finalists. The search process concluded with finalists visiting the RISD campus for two days. The visits culminated in finalist interviews with the Board of Trustees. 

Innivee Strategies, Inc. wishes to thank the Rhode Island School for the Deaf community for participating in the search process, especially those who provided support as staff and volunteers. We also wish to thank the Rhode Island School for the Deaf for entrusting our company with facilitating the Director search process. We look forward to the future of Rhode Island School for the Deaf under Sarah McGaughey’s leadership!

About the Finalists

Sarah McGaughey

Sarah McGaughey is currently the Elementary Principal at Marie Philip School at The Learning Center for the Deaf. After graduating from Gallaudet with a specialist (PsyS) and graduate (MA) degrees in School Psychology, and a special education teaching license from Bridgewater State University, Sarah has been actively involved in Deaf Education for the past twenty years as a Principal, Assistant Principal, School Psychologist, Early Childhood Specialist, and Elementary Teacher. Sarah’s focus has been on developing the whole child through social-emotional learning, teacher-caregiver connections, and identity building. Sarah is committed to disseminating knowledge to support educators. She has worked with education leaders in the fields of Deaf education and school leadership both nationally and internationally. She partnered with colleagues to work closely with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) in providing leadership development training as part of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant. Sarah has also co-authored two chapters in a professional book for pre-and in-service educators to support their knowledge and expertise in the area of reading and writing.


About Rhode Island School for the Deaf

Rhode Island School for the Deaf (RISD or RISDeaf) is a school for deaf students established in 1876. RISD serves deaf and hard-of-hearing students in grades preschool through high school. RISD believes strongly in students becoming bilingual in ASL and English. To learn more about RISD, please visit their website at

About Innivee Strategies, Inc.

Innivee Strategies, Inc. is an organizational and leadership development company. We believe that communities are only as strong as the organizations that serve them. We consult with organizations and leaders to create and achieve goals, manage change, obtain and utilize data, cultivate community buy-in, and nurture and retain inspiring and transformative leaders.