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  • November 02, 2017 11:22 AM | Sherry Arlia Puhacz (Administrator)

    Rhode Island College's Middle Level Education program is offering an off-campus, Certificate of Graduate Study course sequence for certified elementary and secondary teachers. This is a fast-track rout  (four courses, from January-December 2018) that follows a cohort model and includes practicum hours in each course. Because the cohort takes place off campus, the classes are easy to get to and are offered at a discount. Admission to the program is required for participation in the cohort. The deadline for applications is December 15, 2017 to allow for a January 13, 2018 start. Please see the cohort website for additional information and for the link to the application:

    Brittany Richer

    MLED and ASTL Program Coordinator, Rhode Island College

    Grade 6 ELA Teacher, Jamestown-Lawn School

    Co-Director, Rhode Island Writing Project

  • October 08, 2017 11:32 PM | Sherry Arlia Puhacz (Administrator)

    October is National Principals Month and to celebrate we have received a Proclamation from Governor Gina Raimondo.  A copy of the Proclamation will be emailed to all members and the original will be posted in the RIASP Office.  Thank you Governor. 

  • January 10, 2017 12:47 PM | Sherry Arlia Puhacz (Administrator)

    North Kingstown HS will be hosting a screening of the movie Screenagers, a film about growing up in a digital age on January 12th at 6:30 PM in the North Kingstown HS Auditorium located at 150 Fairway Drive, N. Kingstown, RI.  

    The movie is 68 minutes long and there will be a brief discussion afterwards.  Please find a direct link for families/schools to view the trailer and to purchase tickets.  Please share this with your school community, all are welcomed to attend.  I have attached a promotional flyer.  

    The trailer:  Screenagers

    Purchase tickets here: Tickets

    Please see the attached poster.

    We hope you can join us!-- 

    Mrs. Sweet

    Assistant Principal for Student Services


    Find us on facebook:  NKHS Guidance and Student Services

    Google Site:

  • April 01, 2016 12:13 PM | Sherry Arlia Puhacz (Administrator)



    The National Association of School Principals and the American Federation of Administrators have declared the week of April 11-15th to recognize and honor the contributions of assistant principals to the success of students across all schools in the United States.

    Assistant Principals in Rhode Island serve in multiple roles. Their contributions have expanded from disciplinarian to ones that include staff development, instructional leadership and curriculum development. They also are responsible for a myriad of other duties such as activity supervision, scheduling and building operations.  As such, they are an invaluable support to principals and staff.

    Most importantly the knowledge and skills they have acquired to deal with a host of student issues place them in the important role of helping all students to meet with success in the school setting. It is important that the schools and communities join in recognizing the importance of each assistant principal in Rhode Island.

    RIASP Thanks All Assistant Principals 

  • March 08, 2016 10:13 AM | Anonymous
    Smithfield High School’s Daniel Kelley is president-elect of NASSP

    The Rhode Island Association of School Principals (RIASP) is pleased to announce that Smithfield High School Principal Daniel Kelley has been elected President of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

    Kelley has served since 2006 as principal of Smithfield. With a B.S. in Education from Bowling Green State University, an M.Ed. from Providence College, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership and Management from Northeastern University, Kelley has superb academic credentials and preparation.  He also served as a Sixth Grade Teacher and Special Services Teacher before transitioning to a leadership role as Assistant Principal of Cranston High School East in 2003.

    An advocate for engagement and technological leadership, Kelley co-chaired the Phoenix site of the nationwide edCampLeader this past July. His peers elected him in 2013 to a four-year term on the NASSP Board of Directors for Region 1, which encompasses New England. During his term, Kelley chaired the NASSP Finance Committee and met with federal legislators to advocate for key provisions in what is now the Every Student Succeeds Act. Prior to his service on the NASSP Board, Kelley was named the 2012 Rhode Island High School Principal of the Year by RIASP.  He was also recognized by the Rhode Island Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association as School Administrator of the Year in 2009.

    “This is a great opportunity for me both personally and professionally.  I am looking forward to the challenge,” Kelley said. “As I shared with the NASSP membership before my election, my commitment is to collaboration, advocacy, and technological innovation.  I will work hard to ensure NASSP becomes a recognized thought leader and source for educational best practices throughout the country and across the globe.”

    Kelley was elected during the association’s Annual Business Meeting held at the NASSP Conference Ignite ’16 in Orlando, FL, February 25-27. Kelley will assume his post of president-elect on July 1, 2016, serving under NASSP President Jayne Ellspermann of Florida. He will then succeed to the NASSP presidency on July 1, 2017.  The Rhode Island Association of School Principals congratulates our colleague on this outstanding accomplishment.

  • February 29, 2016 11:39 AM | Anonymous
    Catching up with Joseph Porrazzo, RIASP's 2016 Assistant Principal of the Year

    Each month, RIASP profiles a leader making a difference in his or her school community. This month, we connect with Joseph Porrazzo, principal of Ponaganset Middle School in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District. Joe is Rhode Island's 2016 Assistant Principal of the Year.

    1.     How long have you worked in education, and how long have you been a principal?

    I have been working as an educator for close to 24 years, fifteen years as a Health teacher, three years as a House Leader at Woonsocket Middle School and I’m in my sixth as an Assistant Principal of Ponaganset Middle School.

    2.     What's your definition of excellence in school leadership?

    My definition of excellence in school leadership consist of central office administrators, building administrators, professional staff and community members all having an emotional attachment to collaboratively working toward a common mission and vision.

    3.     What is the best advice you ever received in regards to school leadership?

    The best advice I have received regarding school leadership came from Bridget Morisseau, Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Smithfield, RI. She advised me to lead through building respectful trusting relationships.  Regardless of how difficult it may be, a positive relationship will help achieve the ultimate goal of doing what is best for children. I was observing her while she was the Principal of William Winsor Elementary and I was enrolled in the graduate program at Providence College.   

    4.     Who do you consider your mentor or mentors? Describe the impact they had on you.

    During my transition from the classroom, my mentors were the entire leadership team of the Woonsocket Middle School.  Most prominently, they were the two house leaders I developed with professionally, Sandra Gasbarro and Jesse Butash.  Emerging from the classroom together to become instructional leaders created a relationship where I thoroughly knew their professional standards and values.  This knowledge gave me faith that their input on difficult decisions was coming from a mindset similar to mine under many circumstances and could be trusted.  As an acting administrator my mentor would be Ms. Patricia Marcotte, Principal of Ponaganset Middle School.  Ms. Marcotte has yet to make a decision that didn’t have middle level learners as her first priority.  I admire and respect her leadership.

    5.     What are the characteristics you look for when hiring a new teacher?

    An individual who is passionate about being a lifelong learner dedicated to student achievement.

    6.     What book would you recommend all principals read?
    Good to Great by Jim Collins

  • February 18, 2016 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    Colleen Mercurio, principal of Cedar Hill Elementary School in Warwick, recently qualified and was chosen by the Highlander Institute to attend the 7th Annual ASU GSV Summit in San Diego from April 18-20, 2016. As the only principal from Rhode Island chosen to attend this conference, she and the two district administrators are expected "to drive successful innovation in RI, energize students for the future, and improve educational outcomes" following this technology conference.

    The ASU GSV Summit brings together over 2,500 leaders from across the education ecosystem for three days of high level discussions on the future of education, with the goal of pursuing scaling and innovation to drive better outcomes for all students.  For the second year, the Leading Educator Program will take place as part of the ASU GSV Summit, with two days of curated content specifically developed for superintendents, principals, and district innovation leaders.

  • February 17, 2016 3:19 PM | Anonymous
    Joseph Porrazzo, Assistant Principal at Ponaganset Middle School, is the 2016 Rhode Island Assistant Principal of the Year. His selection by the Rhode Island Association of School Principals was announced on February 17, 2016 at a ceremony at the middle school. The award recognizes assistant principals who have exhibited outstanding success in leadership, curriculum and personalization.

    “Joseph has made great strides at his middle school and is an excellent example of the role an assistant principal plays in education,” said Don Rebello, RIASP’s president. “He has dedicated himself to encouraging a personalized learning environment and is a model of collaborative leadership.”

    The principal of Ponaganset Middle School, Patricia Marcotte, echoed these sentiments in her letter of recommendation for the award.

    Mr. Porrazzo acts on the belief that all students can learn and advocates for their best interests,” wrote Principal Marcotte. “He has been instrumental in leading our PBIS and RTI initiatives as he focuses on the positive outcomes and successes of the students. He personalizes the learning environment through teaching and learning and emphasizes the importance of each aspect equally.”

    Porrazzo has been the assistant principal at Ponaganset Middle School for the past six years, where he has led a collaborative culture, including a collaborative effort that integrates reading and writing across the curriculum, including the unified arts. Three years ago, Ponaganset Middle School was recognized as one of 12 schools “Leading the Way” in RI. Subsequently, Ponaganset Middle School was recognized by the RI Department of Education for improvements of their NECAP scores in reading and mathematics.  

  • January 20, 2016 12:30 PM | Sherry Arlia Puhacz (Administrator)


    For Immediate Release

    North Providence High School To Be Featured on National Stage for High Performance and Progressive Practice

    NPHS leaders will present at School Showcase in Orlando

    Contact: Jay Midwood,, 401-828-0077

    Reston, VA; January 19, 2016 North Providence High School is one of only 18 high-performing middle level and high schools selected to present at the Ignite ‘16 School Showcase as part of National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Annual Conference February 25-27, 2016 in Orlando, FL. NASSP and the Center for Secondary School Redesign (CSSR) annually host this national showcase that convenes school leaders, teachers, and students from the nation’s top middle and high schools to discuss effective practices, programs, and strategies with colleagues from across the country.

    Session Title: Student Success through Personalization and Proficiency-Based Learning.

    This presentation will tell the story of a high school’s innovative personalized learning structure and senior project have enabled the school to develop a powerful school culture and enhanced achievement for all students. North Providence High School is an “urban ring” school of 1000 students that has utilized “Breaking Ranks” research and best practices to create a highly personalized, rigorous, and relevant learning environment. With an increasingly high-poverty, diverse demographic, North Providence has increased its graduation rate, college acceptance rate, and has achieved “Commended” status under the No Child Left Behind accountability system. The objectives of the session will enable participants to:

    ï         Create unique structures that ensure personalization for all students

    ï         Establish a proficiency-based diploma system

    ï         Develop a senior project aligned to a nationally certified model 

    Participants include Joseph Goho (Principal), Christen Magill (Assistant Principal), Kathleen Lisi (Senior Project Coordinator), Madonna Thompson (Teacher), Rita Cellucci (Teacher), Dr. Michael Sollitto (parent)

           Nicholas and Christina Sollitto (video interview by NPHS graduates)

    Principal Joseph B. Goho, serving his 18th year at NPHS, stated that “The opportunity for North Providence to be recognized and invited as one of a select group of schools from across the country to this prestigious showcase of innovation is a reflection of the hard work of our students, teachers, administrators, parents, superintendent, central office staff, school committee members, and our entire community, all of whom form a strong partnership focusing on educational excellence for all students.”

    “The Ignite ’16 School Showcase uniquely connects principals, teacher leaders, and students with exemplary colleagues across the nation to discuss effective practices,” said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti. “That connectedness is essential to school leadership in the 21st century, and we know the Showcase will expand the professional learning communities of many of the educators in attendance.”

    Schools are chosen to present on the basis of their outstanding reputations for quality and innovative practices with challenging populations.  At the Showcase, they will share stories of implementing those practices, many of which are aligned with NASSP’s Breaking Ranks framework for school improvement.

    “The schools presenting at this year’s Showcase are truly inspirational,” said CSSR President Joe DiMartino.  “As they share their stories of implementing the Breaking Ranks framework, participants will become energized about the possibilities.  They will bring back with them accounts of success that will provide a vision for transformation of their own schools.” 

    The schools selected for the 2016 Showcase are:

    Carl Wunsche Sr. High School | Spring, TX

    Douglas Taylor School | Chicago, IL

    East Leyden High School | Franklin Park, IL

    Frank H. Peterson Academy of Technology| Jacksonville, FL

    Hall-Dale Middle High School | Farmingdale, ME

    Hastings Middle School | Hastings, NE

    Joplin High School | Joplin, MO

    Lexington High School | Lexington, NE

    Maplewood Richmond Heights High School | Maplewood, MO

    Mater Academy Charter Middle High School | Hialeah Gardens, FL

    North Providence High School | North Providence, RI

    Pottsgrove High School | Pottstown, PA

    Raymond High School | Raymond, NH

    Ravenswood Middle School | Ravenswood, WV

    Revere High School | Revere, MA

    Santa Fe Indian School | Santa Fe, NM

    Science Leadership Academy | Philadelphia, PA

    Timberview Middle School | Ft. Worth, TX

    For more information about the Ignite ’16 Conference and the School Showcase, visit

    About NASSP

    The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 36 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor Society,National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.

    About CSSR

    Founded in 2005 by Joe DiMartino, The Center for Secondary School Redesign, Inc. (CSSR) has become a leading provider of ground breaking technical assistance to support both policy change and change leadership at the district and school level leading to a richer secondary school experience for all youth.  CSSR provides education leaders with the tools and strategies to create schools that have collaborative leadership, are professional learning communities that personalize the school culture, and have student-centered instruction, assessment, and curriculum.   CSSR has been designated by NASSP as the primary technical assistance provider of Breaking Ranks II™ and Breaking Ranks in the Middle™.  Learn more about the CSSR Student-Driven Learning Ecosystem by visiting For more information about CSSR, located in West Warwick, RI, visit or call 401-828-0077.

    Congratulations from RIASP!!  

  • January 14, 2016 10:08 AM | Anonymous
    Catching up with Terrell Bell Leadership Award Recipient Edna P. Coia

    Each month, RIASP profiles a principal making a difference in his or her community. This month, we connect with Dr. Edna P. Coia, principal of Pawtucket's Elizabeth Baldwin School, who recently traveled to Washington D.C. to receive the Terrell Bell Leadership Award. She is one of just seven school leaders nationwide to be recognized for her school's work.

    Q:  How long have you worked in education, and how long have you been a principal?  

    I have worked as a classroom teacher from 1981 to 1988 and worked as school administrator from 1988 to present.

    Q: What's your definition of excellence in school leadership? 

    Excellence in school leadership is recognizing the talents of all the people around you, using the talents to their fullest and sharing the responsibility with all stakeholders. This way, they have the investment in the outcome, thus they also feel respected and valued.

    Q: What is the best advice you ever received in regards to school leadership?

    School leadership should be shared. No one can succeed without the people around the leader sharing their expertise, for a leader is not the expert -- the experts are the members  of the organization doing their parts and what is expected of them.

    Q: Who do you consider your mentor or mentors? Describe the impact they had on you? 

    My long experience as an educator enables me to see the good and the bad leaders. My very best mentors are the bad leaders for I only do the opposite of what they are doing.

    Q: What are the characteristics you look for when hiring a new teacher?

    I always include a question about Common Sense when I do interviews for teacher applicants. I am also looking for a teacher who is willing to walk another mile when it comes to service. Attitude towards work is very important.

    Q:  What book would you recommend all principals read? 

    Mindset by Carol Dweck

    *Do you know of a colleague who should be profiled in Five Quick Questions? Email nominations to

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UPDATED: October 8, 2017

© 2015 Rhode Island Association of School Principals

Rhode Island Association of School Principals is a 501(c) 6 Non-Profit Organization



401-272-9811 ext. 2 

Donald Rebello, Executive Director 

Sherry Arlia-Puhacz, Adm. Asst. 

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