EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) -- Rhode Island's Education Commissioner was officially back on the job Monday, two months after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor.
Deborah Gist's first public appearance since returning to the role of the state's education chief took place in East Greenwich, where she participated in a roundtable discussion about Rhode Island's child welfare practices.
"It's been absolutely amazing. I'm just so grateful for everyone's support," Gist told Eyewitness News.
Gist underwent surgery in September to remove a tumor that was discovered after she suffered a concussion during a trip to Atlanta over the summer.
She says she is determined to achieve her goal of making Rhode Island's public schools the best in the nation.
"Carrying through on the plan we have in place and just picking back up where I was before keeping that work going forward."
Commissioner Gist insists her team did not miss a beat in her absence.
"We had very very specific goals broken down all the way to the level of being project-based by quarter and by agency, so there was absolute clarity on what needed to be done and how to make sure we were on track."
David Abbott, who filled in as Acting Education Commissioner during Gist's recovery, returned to his role as Deputy Commissioner as of Monday.