Burrillville’s Sollitto named Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year

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BURRILLVILLE – Burrillville School Department Supt. Michael Sollitto has been named the 2024 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year by the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in school district leadership, dedication to the education of all children, commitment to the community and service to RISSA. It was announced at the organization’s general membership meeting on Tuesday, August 8.

“The selection and recognition of Dr. Sollitto by his colleagues is an indication of the high regard in which he is held,” noted a release on the honor from RISSA.

The award was presented by Jeannine Nota-Masse, superintendent of the Cranston Public Schools and the 2022 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year.

In addition to his fellow educational leaders and Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, Sollitto’s wife, Jennifer; son, Nicholas; daughter in law, Kayla; grandson, Mason; daughter, Christina; and son, Michael Jr. were in attendance.

Sollitto has served as superintendent in Burrillville since 2018. He previously served as assistant superintendent of schools in Scituate, from
2016-2018. Prior to that, from 2008 to 2016, he was principal of Scituate High School. Sollitto began his career in Providence as a social studies teacher, and then assistant principal and principal, at Mt. Pleasant high school. He also served as adjunct professor at Concordia
University from 2014 until 2020, and has served as an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University from 2014 to the present.

Sollitto has been an active member of the RI Interscholastic League board for many years and was recognized as the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Administrator of the Year in 2021.

During his tenure, Burrillville has greatly expanded district career pathway programs, including the creation of a Career and Technical Education advisory board composed of educators, students, business professionals, and community partners. In the 2022-2023 school year, Burrillville entered into a collaborative partnership with the Eleanor Slater Hospital Zambarano unit. This partnership provides experiential learning opportunities for CTE students across several areas including Biomedical Science, Environmental Science, Construction Management and Graphic Communications. Currently, Burrillville High School offers nine CTE Pathways approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education.

“Dr. Sollitto has demonstrated a focus on teaching and learning that includes the creation of enrichment opportunities for all students,” stated a release this week from RISSA Executive Director Thomas DiPaola. “Mike’s work as an educational leader is grounded in collaboration with school and local community members in Burrillville and throughout the state of Rhode Island.”

The development of summer programs for students has included music camp, art camp, robotics and STEM activities, guitar ensemble, math and reading tutoring, book club, math camp, writing ramp-up, kindergarten readiness, conscious discipline, PSAT/SAT preparation, and a
bedtime stories program.

Sollitto has been an active member of the RI School Superintendents Association for seven years. He has been the RISSA representative to the RIIL board for the past six years.

The superintendent earned his bachelor’s degree at Rhode Island College, a master’s of education at RIC, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Johnson & Wales University.

Sollitto, who lives with his wife in North Providence, will be recognized by the American Association of School Administrators at its National Conference on Education to be held in San Diego February 15-17.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Burrillville is blessed to have Mike Sollitto as the leader of Burrillville schools. I was fortunate to work with him when he was the principal at Scituate High Schools. He is an exceptional educator who works well with all facets of education. I am pleased that I have granddaughters attending Burrillville Middle School. This is a richly deserved honor.

  2. Burrillville has been fortunate to have Dr. Sollitto for the past 5 years. This is not only due to the accomplishments listed in the article above, but because he has brought a commonsense approach to the Town’s annual budget process, particularly in a time when the State has been cutting educational aid to Burrillville for consecutive years due to the poorly constructed funding formula in place. The school budget makes up the bulk of our annual overall Town budget. As a member of the Town Council, I cannot express how much more effective we all are at passing a budget and working hard to control local taxes when we have a superintendent who is grounded in financial reality and not in fantasy, as we had in the past. Congratulations to Dr. Sollitto on this wonderful accomplishment! We hope to have him here in Burrillville for years to come.

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