Burrillville school board renews superintendent contract


BURRILLVILLE – The Burrillville School Committee unanimously renewed the contract of Supt. Michael Sollitto this week, signing the on school leader for an additional two years .

The extension was announced during the board’s virtual meeting on Tuesday, July 14.

Sollitto came to Burrillville in 2018, taking over the job from retiring Supt. Frank Pallotta, who had led the district for nine years. Previously, Sollitto served as the assistant superintendent for the Scituate School Department and principal at Scituate High School.

He has a master’s in education from Rhode Island College and is an adjunct professor for Grand Canyon University and Concordia University. He also has a doctorate in education from Johnson and Wales University.

Sollitto was hired with a salary of $145,000.

His time in Burrillville has come with its share of challenges.

As a member of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s Principal Committee on Athletics, the superintendent faced the delicate task of communicating with local parents while representing Burrillville on the state level, following allegations of racism against some of the district’s students in 2019.

And in recent months, the job has come with unprecedented obstacles from the COVID-19 pandemic, including rapid implementation of a system for distance learning, followed by creation of a new plan to reopen schools safely this fall.

But there have also been many victories during Sollitto’s short reign.

When NRI NOW first interviewed the superintendent before he took over the district in July of 2018, he said one of his top goals was to work on improving Burrillville’s career and technical education fields.

In the time since, the high school received approval from the Rhode Island Department of Education for four CTE programs, including coursework in teacher education, graphic design, criminal justice and and biomedical science.

Other initiatives like Hello Week and Thankful Thursdays have been put in place to improve the climate at Burrillville schools.

And in January, the superintendent received the go-ahead from the Burrillville Town Council for a five-year $7 million plan to improve facilities.

School Committee Chairman Mark Brizard said the vote was made unanimously in executive session.

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