Charting the course 
        for public education...

Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association


  • 03 Sep 2015 11:03 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)


    Georgia Fortunato, Superintendent in Lincoln,

    Selected as 2016

    Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year



    Georgia Fortunato, Superintendent of the Lincoln Public Schools, is the 2015-16Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year. Her selection by the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association (RISSA) was announced at its General Membership Meeting on August 19. The ovation accorded to Ms. Fortunato by hercolleagues was an indication of the high esteem in which she is held.  The award recognizes outstanding achievement in school district leadership, dedication to the education of all children, commitment to the community, and service to RISSA.  The award was presented to Georgia by Barry Ricci, Chariho Regional School District Superintendent, and winner of the 2014-15 award. In addition to herfellow administrators, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner, the event’s guest speaker, Dr. Tom DiPaola, RISSA Crowley Award winner of 2014, and Carol Blanchette, Superintendent of the Jamestown Schools and RISSA President-Elect, her Lincoln administration team members, and her daughter Katina were in attendance.

    Ms. Fortunato has served as the Superintendent in Lincoln since 2007 and previously served the district as special education teacher, Transition Coordinator, and Director of Student Services. She is the Chair of the Northern Collaborate Board of Superintendents, a member of the RIC Alumni Board of Directors, the New England Association of Schools and College’s Advisory committee, and a guest lecturer at CCRI, Providence College, and RIC.

    Under her leadership, the district has taken a global approach to closing achievement gaps. She has directed incredible infrastructure efforts for her district with a $2.2 million technology initiative, 2.3 million facility upgrade, and $1.5 million security initiative. As Superintendent, Lincoln has won a $935,000 Teaching American History grant, $400,000 World of Work grant, and a $100,000 Champlin Foundation grant to establish a broadcast studio. Her nominators for the award describe her as “an organized, innovative and effective leader, contributing valuable input on behalf of public education both locally and nationally while maintaining a clear educational vision upholding the most rigorous standards and expectations”.

    Georgia has been an active member of RISSA serving multiple terms on the Executive Committee, Special Awards Committee, and Legislative Committee. She is also active in statewide committees and policy development.

    Ms. Fortunato received her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rhode Island College. She is a graduate of Classical High School.

    Ms. Fortunato will be honored by the American Association of School Administrators at the National Conference on Education to be held in Phoenix in February 2016.  








  • 12 May 2015 10:24 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

     Retiree Ennis Bisbano, the Retired Superintendent of Bristol Public Schools Ennis Bisbano ’55, M.Ed. ’61 received the Charles B. Willard Achievement Award for bringing honor to RIC through distinguished professional achievement.  RIC President Nancy Carrioulo and Alumni Association President Bill Fazioli presented Ennis with the Award.  Upon receiving the award, Ennis acknowledged his family and thanked the Rhode Island College community for granting him this honor in the twilight of his life.

  • 07 May 2015 2:16 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Below is a link to the Data Team Minutes

  • 07 May 2015 2:14 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Commissioner Purcell recently presented at a RISSA meeting.  Below is the link to his presentation.

  • 07 May 2015 2:10 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)


    At CVS Health, our company purpose is helping people on their path to better health and the CVS Health Charity Classic really brings that purpose to life through the ongoing support the tournament provides to organizations that are helping children and families. Organizations such as the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association stress the importance of having AED units in public schools in order to ensure support for students, teachers and staff that may experience a heart-related emergency. Recognizing this need, the CVS Health Charity Classic is offering all public high schools in the state the opportunity to receive AED units for their schools.


    Each school is asked to complete an application form, confirm the number of units they are requesting and agree to a training date in order to receive their AED Units. The training will provide a demonstration on proper use of the units and give local fire chiefs the opportunity to connect with local schools. Fire chiefs will be on hand to support the demonstration and also to provide key tips to ensure safety.


    A link to the application is below. You will receive your AED units at your training. Please complete the application and submit as quickly as possible.


    CVS Health Charity Classic AED Program Application


    If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call.


    Faith Weiner

    Director, CVS Health Charity Classic


  • 07 May 2015 2:08 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Kathy Sipala did a great job on Channel 12 speaking about the value of State Assessments and the PARCC opt-out situation. The link is below:

  • 06 May 2015 11:40 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Congratulations to retiree and RISSA member Ennis Bisbano, former Superintendent of Bristol/Warren, for the honor of being selected the 2015 George Willard Achievement Award recipient by the Rhode Island College Alumni Association. 

  • 06 May 2015 11:36 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Victor Capellan and Jeannine Notta-Masse on their appointments as Superintendent of Central Falls and Cranston.

    Victor has served as Assistant Superintendent of Central Falls and comes to the position after a stint at Mass Insight.

    Jeannine has been the Assistant Superintendent of Cranston and is an active RISSA member, serving on the Strategic Planning and Safety Committees.

    We are very pleased that these two excellent professionals are on the job. 

  • 30 Mar 2015 10:46 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Below is the link to an OpEd written by Superintendent Barry Ricci on How to Make RI Schools the Best:

  • 04 Feb 2015 1:53 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    The Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association eighth annual Paul W. Crowley Award is awarded to Tom DiPaola Ph.D. Director of the Education Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson & Wales University. The presentation will take place in the State Room of the Rhode Island State House at 3:00 pm on March 4, 2015.

    The PAUL CROWLEY AWARD is given each year by the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association to a Rhode Island citizen who, in his or her professional and personal capacity, has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving the quality of education for the children of Rhode Island as did Representative Paul Crowley throughout his career as a state representative from Newport. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving senior planning a career in education and graduating from a Rhode Island public high school to be selected by Dr. DiPaola.

    Dr. DiPaola has a long history of being a passionate advocate for public education. He has been a leader in special education, education reform, and best practices through his work at the RI Department of Education, the Westerly Public Schools, and Johnson and Wales University.

    Tom served as the Director of Special Education in Central Falls (1977-84), Pawtucket (1984-91) and Providence (1991-92. He was the Director of the Rhode Island Technical Assistance Project from 1991-2000 and assisted the late Representatives Sherlock and Crowley which resulted in reforming the special education process by focusing on early reading difficulties, common among many of the children who were entering the ‘system”.

    Dr. DiPaola has served as an active member of the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association, Superintendent of the Westerly Public Schools, and State Director of Special Populations  at the Rhode Island Department of Education and remains one of the most respected leaders of public schools in our State. He is married to Nadine Champlin DiPaola.  He is also the parent of two children – son Chris who is the owner and operator of WBLQ radio in Westerly RI and daughter Jaime who is a military veteran specialist in student academic services at JWU.

    Speakers at the presentation included Governor Raimondo, House and Senate Legislative leaders, and Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist. The award will be presented by the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association President Kathleen Sipala, Superintendent of the Narragansett Schools.


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Mailing Address:  PO Box 7791, Warwick, RI  02887

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