To help residents understand some of educational benefits to students and the cost benefits to taxpayers of a unified high school, Newport This Week held a public forum on Monday night to help educate the public on a future model.

The first forum, “The Future of Our Island High Schools,” was moderated by Neil Steinberg, President and CEO of the RI Foundation at the CCRI Newport Auditorium.

Panelists included Christine Johnson, Asst. Dir. of the Mass. Assoc. of Regional Schools (MARS); Christine Lopes-Metcalfe, Chief Exec. Officer, School Building Authority (RIDE); Tim Duffy Exec. Dir. of RI Assoc. of School Committees; Rep. Marvin Abney, Chairman House Committee on Finance; and Sen. Lou DiPalma, Member, Senate Committee on Education

A second forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 6:30 -8 p.m. at CCRI Auditorium.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).