As a native Newporter, year-round resident of the Third (and Fifth) Ward, Rogers High School graduate, father of two children in Newport Public Schools, full-time educator and seasonal employee in Newport, I am fortunate to have a broad perspective of Newport living. This city is ingrained in my soul and close to my heart.
My deep love of Newport is the catalyst for this letter. I am concerned for our future. Our city needs leaders who will emphasize the importance of quality education, a strong year-round economy and social equity. It is critical that our next representatives work fiercely to develop all three.
Rogers High School plays a critical role in providing our children with a quality education, but it also gives our residents a sense of community. Rogers is more than a building where students attend school – it’s a pillar of our year-round population. It’s a place where residents gather to root for our children during sporting events. It’s a place that sends those same students into Newport to make contributions through experiential opportunities and give back through community service. It’s no secret that we are in dire need of a new high school. To let Rogers crumble or close would be catastrophic for any hopes of a strong economy and an equitable education for ALL of our city’s children. What would winters be like without a high school in Newport? I believe our city would be empty. We would lose the soul of our city – our year-round residents – and thus the foundation of our year-round economy.
As a full-time Newport resident and father, Paul Marshall has a vested interest in Newport’s future. He is in touch with the urgent need for a new high school. He is witness to the transformation Newport’s economy experiences as it shifts from a bustling tourist town to the quiet, frigid coastal town that many of us look forward to at the end of the summer season. As a graduate of Rogers High School, he understands the complicated dynamic of Newport’s community. We come from all races, creeds and economic backgrounds. He has experienced this diverse population thriving together in the microcosm of our community that is Rogers.
As someone who works full-time in Newport harbor in the summer and spends countless more hours fishing our waters, I have seen undeniable evidence that the environment around us is changing. Paul’s expertise in the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on shoreline economies is an invaluable resource in planning for inevitable changes that will undoubtedly affect Newport in the future.
Paul Marshall will be an asset to our community. I implore Newport voters to realize his full potential by electing him to represent the Third Ward on the Newport City Council.