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Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association


  • 08 Dec 2014 10:23 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Mrs. Karen Tarasevich, Superintendent of West Warwick Public Schools, participated in President Obama's Connected ED program at the White House today.  You can view the agenda for the entire day at the White House website.  You can also watch President Obama's speech in which Superintendent Tarasevich and the West Warwick Public Schools was mentioned:


    President Obama mentions Mrs. Tarasevich & WWPS at 12:10 mark

    We are so proud of Mrs. Tarasevich, and the entire West Warwick community!

  • 17 Oct 2014 10:51 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Carol Blanchette has been appointed Superintendent of the Jamestown Schools, taking over for Marcia Lukon, who announced her retirement in June after seven years at the post.

    Carol, the Vice-President of RISSA, has been the Assistant Superintendent in the CHARIHO school system since 2008.  She was the unanimous top choice of the search committee. 

  • 27 Aug 2014 11:12 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)


    Barry Ricci, Superintendent in Chariho, Selected as 2015 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year


    Barry Ricci, Superintendent of the Chariho Regional Schools, is the 2014-15Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year. His selection by the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association (RISSA) was announced at its General Membership Meeting on August 20. The ovation accorded to Mr. Ricci by his colleagues was an indication of the high esteem in which he 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 Barry by Dr. Michael Barnes, Foster Gloucester Superintendent, and winner of the 2013-14 award. In addition to his fellow administrators, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, the event’s guest speaker, Dr. Todd Flaherty, Crowley Award winner of 2014, and Katherine Sipala, Superintendent of the Narragansett Schools and RISSA President, were in attendance.

    Mr. Ricci has served as the Superintendent in Chariho since 2005 and previously served the district as Assistant Superintendent from 2001to 2005.  In addition, Mr. Ricci has been recognized as a Milken Foundation National Educator, Rhode Island Music Educator’s Association’s “School Administrator Award”, as Principal of Western Coventry Elementary School, was awarded the US Department of Education National School of Excellence, Rhode Island Principal of the Year and National Distinguished Principal in 1996.

    Under Mr. Ricci’s leadership, the district has taken a global approach to closing achievement gaps. This effort has focused on the entire at-risk population regardless of subgroup, such as socio-economic status, or limited English proficiency. This effort has produced substantial improvement in academic achievement for all groups.  As further evidence of his leadership, the district is now providing foreign language instruction beginning in kindergarten and has embarked on a 1:1 MacBook Air initiative at the High School.

    Mr. Ricci has been an active member of RISSA serving multiple terms on the Executive Committee, Special Awards Committee, Legislative Committee, and has been a leader in professional development through the Enhanced Leadership Development Network. He is also active in statewide committees and policy development. He currently serves on the state ESEA Committee, a special committee on graduation testing requirements, and the Career and Technical Education Accountability Measures Committee.

    Mr. Ricci received his bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College and master’s degree in Elementary Education from Providence College.

    Mr. Ricci will be honored by the American Association of School Administrators at the National Conference on Education to be held in San Diego in February 2015 

  • 19 Aug 2014 1:20 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Ana Reilly was appointed Superintendent of the Portsmouth Schools in July.  She comes to the position after serving as Superintendent in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.  Ms. Riley worked 16 years in that city's school district as a chemistry, biology, and physics teacher at Durfee High School and as principal at the elementary and middle school levels.

    She has been recognized in Dartmouth for her focus on improving student achievement, working with district stakeholders to develop a strategic improvement plan guided by core values and multiple measures of student data. 

  • 28 May 2014 1:31 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)



    The selection of the RISSA Superintendent of the Year shall be made by the RISSA Special Awards Committee subject to the policy revised by the RISSA Executive Committee on May 3, 2012.

    AASA Criteria
    All applicants must be active members of AASA and will be measured against the following criteria:

    Leadership for Learning – creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students in his or her school system.

    • Communication – strength in both personal and organizational communication.
    • Professionalism – constant improvement of administrative knowledge and skills, while providing professional development opportunities and motivation to others on the education team.
    • Community Involvement – active participation in local community activities and an understanding of regional, national and international issues.
    • RISSA Involvement – active involvement in RISSA activities and demonstrated commitment to the goals of the organization

    RISSA Criteria/Procedures

    • Three consecutive years as a full-time superintendent in Rhode Island (current year is included)

    ·         Actively involved in RISSA activities

    ·         Any active or retired member of RISSA may nominate one of the eligible candidates.

    ·        Nominations are due by: June 9, 2014

    ·        All superintendents nominated will be asked to submit a resume with a declaration of their wish to be considered.  If there are more than 5 nominees, the Special Awards Committee will use the resumes to select the finalists who will then be required to complete a minimum of three questions prior to the meeting of the selection Committee in July.  If a superintendent was nominated and submitted responses in 2014, he/she may opt to leave answers as previously submitted, update them or submit new responses.

    ·        Any member of the Special Awards Committee nominated will be replaced for this process.



    ·         Michael Barnes(SOY 2014)

    ·         Sue Lusi

    ·         Georgia Fortunato

    ·         Bernie DiLullo

    ·         Fran Gallo

    ·         Rosemarie Kraeger  (SOY 2006)

    ·         Steve Lindberg

    ·         Victor Mercurio

    ·         Bob O’Brien (SOY 2010)

    ·         Donna Ottaviano (SOY 2012)

    ·         Frank Pallotta (SOY 2013)

    ·         Bill Rearick

    ·         Barry Ricci

    ·         Roy Seitsinger

    ·         Kathy Sipala (SOY 2011)

    ·         Kristen Stringfellow

    ·         Phil Thornton

    ·         Vonna Donoyan

    ·         Phil Auger



    NOTE: AASA considers a person who has previously been selected to still be eligible.

  • 28 May 2014 1:14 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Mario Andrade will be the next superintendent of the Bristol Warren Regional School District.

    The school committee chose Dr. Andrade to succeed outgoing chief Melinda Thies, who submitted her resignation letter earlier this month. Mr. Andrade, a career educator who grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and had been assistant superintendent since 2009, starts on July 1.

    “I’m very excited,” Mr. Andrade said. “I think there’s a lot to be said for someone within the school district (being named superintendent). You know the strengths and weaknesses.”

    The school committee chose Mr. Andrade after an internal search, and he said that he has definite ideas about what the district should focus on over the three-year life of his contract.

    One of the most important areas includes focusing more on science, math, engineering and technology at the high school and middle school levels. He also wants to augment and strengthen the high school’s guidance department.

    Another area would be the continual goal of improving student achievement. And finally, “obviously the last one is our financial situation, to make sure we are fiscally responsible.”

    “Being in the district and seeing the effects of the funding formula over the past three years, I think it’s important to work together. I think Melinda has done a great job bringing (various sides) together … it’s something we are going to have to continue to focus on.”

    Over the course of his career Mr. Andrade taught in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, most notably in Central Falls, where he was a special education. Later, he was also assistant principal at Rogers High School in East Providence, and in Central Falls. Along the way, he earned a doctorate in education.

    The good thing about teaching special education, he said, is that he had a chance to have a large impact on a small group of 10 or 15 students. Though he misses the classroom, he learned after becoming an administrator “that I was able to make more of a difference for a greater number of students.”


  • 14 May 2014 10:47 AM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    RISSA awarded two $1,000 scholarships at the Annual Meeting luncheon on May 9. The winners of the Rising Star awards were Ni Din of Mt. Pleasant High School in Providence, and Paige Pajarillo of Chariho. Providence Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi and Chariho Superintendent Barry Ricci presented the awards and lauded the outstanding recipients.

    The $1,000 Crowley Award Scholarship will be awarded by this year’s recipient, Dr. Todd Flaherty to Adedeyo Monteiro, also from Mt. Pleasant High School and a participant in the Rhode Island College Crusade.

  • 08 May 2014 12:03 PM | Judy Spremulli (Administrator)

    Todd Flaherty Ed.D., President and CEO of the College Crusade of Rhode Island, is the 2014 recipient of RISSA's Paul W. Crowley Award.  Todd received the award at a State House Ceremony in March. 


    Dr. Flaherty has a long history of being a passionate advocate for public education. He joined The College Crusade of Rhode Island as President & CEO in August 2009. Under his leadership, The College Crusade received a 2011 Business Excellence award from the Providence Business News and a 2012 Innovation Award from the College Board. He has also recently served as Senior Policy Advisor for the National High School Center and Deputy in Residence for the Council of Chief State School Officers, both based in Washington, D.C. In these positions he collaborated with other national policymaking organizations and state education agencies on secondary school redesign, addressing policy development and comprehensive implementation strategies. Between 1995 and 2007, Dr. Flaherty was RI Deputy Commissioner of Education, where he played a vital role in developing and implementing the state’s systemic school reform initiatives, with a special focus on urban districts.

    Todd has served as president of the RI Superintendents Association and Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Coventry Public Schools and remains one of the most respected leaders of public schools in our State.


    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. Flaherty.

  • 04 Sep 2013 2:09 PM | Deleted user
    Colleen Jermain, currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Providence Public Schools, has been selected to be the next Newport superintendent. She will take over when the current superintendent, Dr. John Ambrogi, retires in December. Colleen is a Newport native and served as the Assistant Superintendent in Portsmouth prior to going to Providence. She was also the President of the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association from 2009-2011.
  • 20 Aug 2013 2:08 PM | Deleted user
    Dr. Michael Barnes, Superintendent of the Foster-Glocester Regional Schools, is the 2014 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year. His selection by the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association (RISSA) was announced at its General Membership Meeting on August 14. The standing ovation accorded to Dr. Barnes by his colleagues was an indication of the high esteem in which he is held. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in school district leadership, his dedication to the education of all children, his commitment to the community, and his service to RISSA. The award was presented to Mike by Dr. Frank Pallotta, Burriville Superintendent, and winner of the 2013 award. In addition to his fellow administrators, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, and the event’s guest speaker, Heather Abbott, the courageous survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, were in attendance.

    Dr. Barnes has served as the Superintendent in Foster-Glocester since 2008 and previously served the district as Assistant Superintendent from 2005 to 2008. Prior to his administrative leadership, Mike was member of the Ponaganset Middle/High School faculty beginning in 1988 in the technology department, where he later served as Department Chair. He also served at the Rhode Island Department of Education as a Fellow working in the areas of high school reform and School Accountability for Learning and Teaching (SALT). In addition, Dr. Barnes has been recognized as a Milken National Educator, Technology Teacher of the Year, and traveled to Japan and China on study tours of their educational systems. Dr. Barnes leadership in Foster-Glocester has brought stability and focus to the district. He plays an active role in educational policy development and implementation in Rhode Island.

    Dr. Barnes received his bachelors and masters degrees from Rhode Island College and his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in Curriculum and Instruction. He has been a member of RISSA since 2005 and serves as its President-Elect and Chairman of the Legislative Committee with concentrations in educational leadership and gifted and talented education

    Dr. Barnes will be honored by the American Association of School Administrators at the National Conference on Education to be held in Nashville in February 2014. He lives in Lincoln with his wife and two children who attend the Lincoln Public Schools.

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Mailing Address:  PO Box 7791, Warwick, RI  02887

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