Barnes is state's top superintendent

Barnes is state's top superintendent

Barnes credits team in Foster-Glocester

PROVIDENCE - Michael Barnes, superintendent of the Foster-Glocester Regional School District, has been named the 2014 Superintendent of the Year by the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association.

A Lincoln resident who grew up in Cumberland, he is the second honoree from a northern Rhode Island district in as many years. Burrillville Supt. Frank Pallotta presented Barnes with the award during a RISSA membership meeting Aug. 14. Barnes won a standing ovation.

In remarks to The Breeze & Observer, he gave credit to others for what he called a "great honor."

"Quite frankly, it made me appreciate the people I work with," he said. "To me, the reality is, this is the reflection of a team effort, and it reminds me that I really work with some incredible people."

The award really belongs to "a high-quality administrative team, teachers and support staff," he said.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in school district leadership, Barnes' dedication to the education of all children, his commitment to the community, and his service to RISSA. In addition to his fellow administrators, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, and the event's guest speaker, Heather Abbott, survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing, were in attendance.

Barnes has been superintendent in Foster-Glocester since 2008 and previously served the district as assistant superintendent from 2005 to 2008. Prior to his administrative leadership, he was a member of the Ponaganset Middle/High School faculty beginning in 1988 in the technology department, where he later served as department chairman.

He also served at RIDE as a fellow working in the areas of high school reform and School Accountability for Learning and Teaching.

"Barnes leadership in Foster-Glocester has brought stability and focus to the district," RIDE said in a press release. "He plays an active role in educational policy development and implementation in Rhode Island."

Barnes received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Rhode Island College and his doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He has been a member of RISSA since 2005 and serves as its president-elect and chairman of the legislative committee.

He will be honored by the American Association of School Administrators at the National Conference on Education to be held in Nashville in February 2014.