Fitzpatrick Receives Best School Superintendent Award

Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Executive Director Thomas Scott and Director of Professional Development and Government Services Paul Andrews have announced that Michael F. Fitzpatrick (Ed.D. 1981), Superintendent-Director of the Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District, was named the Dr. Christos Daoulas Award recipient for 2008.  The award is presented each year to one superintendent who personifies the best qualities of dedicated school leadership and has contributed significantly to the association.

The 2008 award presentation was made during the M.A.S.S. Executive Institute by Dr. Lynne Celli Sarasin, deputy superintendent of Lexington Public Schools, and colleague of Dr. Fitzpatrick on the M.A.S.S. Professional Development Committee.

"There is no one who works harder or who would advocate for our interests more than Michael. He has made our work his life's work," Sarasin said during the presentation.

As superintendent of Blackstone Valley Tech since 1994, Fitzpatrick has shaped a school system which serves as a model for innovative, collaborative approaches and viable, vibrant methods of teaching and learning. Under his leadership, Valley Tech has been named a High Schools That Work Pacesetter Site, a Commonwealth Compass School, a Vanguard Model School, and a
Massachusetts Green School. It was one of only six school systems nationwide to receive the 2004 National School Change Award for significant and meaningful change and was named a Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships' Business Leader for Energy Efficiency for its renewable energy initiatives and the energy-efficient design of the school's most recent expansion and
renovation project.

Fitzpatrick's dedication to education has earned him many other honors and recognitions, including Educator of the Year, Municipal Employee of the Year, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) President's Technology Award, and the AASA Leadership for Learning Award.

Other recent recognitions include a feature on Valley Tech in a January 2008 segment of Chronicle television news magazine and in the February 2008 edition of District Administration magazine, which described the system as the new face of career and technical education. Standardized test scores for Valley Tech students have consistently ranked at the top of all career and technical systems in the state and the school reports that 100% of its graduates have successfully passed MCAS since that assessment system became a statewide graduation requirement in 2003.

In addition to serving on the M.A.S.S. Professional Development Committee, including serving as chair of the committee for the past year, Fitzpatrick was recently elected M.A.S.S. Vice President. He serves on the AASA Governing Board, representing Massachusetts school leaders within the national association and on the State Review Panel which determines effective interventions for underperforming schools.

Dr. Christos Daoulas, for whom the award is names, was a civic leader and longtime member of M.A.S.S. who served as superintendent of schools in Dracut from 1962 until 2000. His focus was on quality education and maximum achievement of all students. M.A.S.S. presents the award in his name each year to a school leader who has demonstrated a similar commitment to quality education and student achievement.