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        for public education...

Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association


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  • 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.
  • 17 Aug 2013 2:06 PM | Deleted user
    *October 4 (AM) - General Membership/Special Event with the National Superintendent of the
    Year, Dr. Mark Edwards

    November 14 (dinner/evening) - General Membership / Panel on Human Capital/ BEP

    January 9 (AM) - General Membership / Legal Institute

    March 13 (AM) - General Membership / Regular Meeting

    May 9 - Annual Meeting

    Dec, Feb & April (dates & topics to be announced) - Central Office / District Leadership
    Series Sessions

    *Each district can send a team of 4 to the October 4 meeting. The theme involves technology
    integration, therefore, a team might include technology directors and curriculum specialists in
    addition to district leaders. The fee will be $100 per team.
  • 17 Aug 2013 12:30 PM | Deleted user
    The Rhode Island School Superintendents Association is a unique entity that supports the efforts of district leaders to bring quality public education to all students. Members of RISSA are part of a professional organization with a critical role in supporting the children and educational community in our state. Below is a list of major activities:


    RISSA Officers meet monthly with the Commissioner and appropriate staff
    Executive Board meets monthly to discuss pertinent issues
    Maintains its website
    Regular e-mails from the Executive Director on critical issues
    AASA communications
    Professional Development

    Professional Development Committee polls members to determine needs
    Major presentations at the Fall and Annual Meetings
    Central Office Development activities series
    Annual Legal Conference in January

    Legislative Committee develops annual goals
    Executive Director attends and testifies on bills at the State House and serves on
    legislative committees
    Executive Director attends Board of Education Meetings
    RISSA supports management rights and adequate funding for education

    RISSA recognizes community leaders through the Paul Crowley Award
    Gives over $5000 in scholarships to deserving graduates
    Recognizes our members at the summer and end-of-year ceremonies
    Works closely with the RI Association of Schools Committees (RIASC), RI Association
    of School Principals(RIASP), RI Association of School Business Officials (RIASBO),
    and RI School Technology Educators (RISTE)
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