Twenty year education leader, former Principal of the Year tapped to lead BHS

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BURRILLVILLE – An educational leader whose past work has been recognized with both state and national awards began his new role this week as principal of Burrillville High School.

Michael Lazzareschi has been tapped to lead the school, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Michael Whaley, who left the district over the summer after 13 years for a position as assistant superintendent of schools for the West Warwick School District.

Lazzareschi, who was reportedly chosen by an interview committee comprised of a student, parents, teachers, staff and administrators, holds a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College; a master’s degree from Providence College; and enrolled in a joint program by Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island to obtain his doctorate.

An elementary, middle and high school principal for more than 20 years, Lazzareschi was named Rhode Island’s National Elementary School Principal of the Year for his work at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Providence in 2008. He went on to serve as the first principal of Nathan Bishop Middle School when it opened in 2009.

He worked for the Providence School District for many years, serving as both assistant principal and principal for the district, and also had a stint in neighboring Massachusetts leading a high school in New Bedford. Just after his tenure at Flora Curtis Elementary School in 2019, that facility was named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Most recently, Lazzareschi served as principal of Joseph Jenks Middle School in Pawtucket. 

“He brings a wealth of experience and has served as a principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels through his positions in Cranston, Providence and Pawtucket,” noted a press release on the hire.

“I am both proud and thankful to be selected to be principal at Burrillville High School,” Lazzareschi said.

The school leader jumped in just in time for the start of the school year, with his first day in Burrillville on Tuesday, August 30.

“The entire community has been incredibly supportive in assisting me in making a smooth transition and the leadership team at the school level has been invaluable in preparing the school for opening day and ensuring I have the necessary information to get up to speed quickly,” he said. “I look forward to being part of the Burrillville School Department and the Burrillville High School family. I strongly believe that I can add to the great work that takes place each and every day at the school.”

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