PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green was notably absent from Monday night’s 2022 State of Education because she tested positive for COVID-19, according to her senior advisor.

Infante-Green was prepared to recognize the state’s accomplishments over the past year at the annual event, which took place at the brand new East Providence High School.

Due to her illness, her senior advisor Victor Capellan delivered her “state of education” address instead.

“She wanted me to make sure that I reiterated that this pandemic is not over and we all must continue to take care of ourselves and each other,” Capellan said.

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Though delivered by Capellan, Infante-Green’s address focused primarily on moving forward.

“We are on our way to something better, we know that going back to 2019 is not the goal. The goal is for us to move forward,” Capellan said. “The goal for us is to innovate, to learn from some of the hard lessons from the pandemic.”

Capellan said one way to do that is to continue rebuilding and revamping students’ learning spaces. He said the demolition and construction of the new East Providence High School was made possible by a $250 bond approved by voters in 2018.

“The building that we are in today is a testament of what can be possible,” he said.

The R.I. Department of Education and Gov. Dan McKee are drumming up support for another $250 million bond to help other cities and towns transform their school buildings.

“We are moving beyond the ‘warm, safe and dry’ to really innovate spaces that our students can thrive in and our educators can really work their magic,’ Capellan said.