RI High School/Secondary Principal of the Year

Each year RIASP selects a Rhode Island High School Principal of the year who then becomes eligible for consideration as the National High School Principal of the Year.

The NASSP National Principal of the Year award program annually recognizes outstanding school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.  These principals are acknowledged by their peers for the exemplary contributions they have made to the profession.  The program honors school principals who have demonstrated excellence in collaborative leadership; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and personalization.

Anyone may nominate an eligible principal – a superintendent, a principal, a teacher, a parent, a student.


High School Principal of the Year

2005 - Gerald Foley - North Kingstown High School

2006 - Robert Mitchell - Chariho Regional High School

2007 - Colleen Gribbin - St. Mary's Academy Bay View

2008 - Robert Littlefield - Portsmouth High School

2009 - Daniel Warner - Narragansett High School

2010 - Patti DiCenso - Rogers High School

2011 - Dennis Mullen - Pilgrim High School

2012 - Daniel Kelley - Smithfield High School

2013 - Michael Hobin - Coventry High School

2014 - Scott Sutherland - Mount Pleasant High School 

2015 - Alan J. Tenreiro - Cumberland High School

(2016 - Category combined with Middle School and made Secondary title)

2016 - Jason Masterson - McCourt Middle School 

2017 - Christopher Savastano - William E. Tolman High School 

2018 - Joseph Hurley - Barrington High School 

2019 - Kevin McNamara - Lincoln High School 

2020 - Craig MacKenzie - Chariho Regional High School

2021 - Deborah DiBiase - Mt. Hope High School

2022 - Scott Barr - Providence Classical High School

2023 - Robert McCarthy - Central Falls High School

2022 Secondary Principal of the Year

Robert McCarthy - Central Falls High School

About Secondary Principal of the Year Bob McCarthy:  Who moves from an International School in Rome, Italy to take charge of an urban school with an 86% minority population, and where 91% are economically disadvantaged, and where more than half of your students are multilingual learners and expect to be successful? Certainly no one at Central Falls High School when Bob McCarthy arrived in 2018. But in 2023 there was nothing but wholehearted support for our Secondary Principal of the Year from teachers, parents, administrators and students.

In describing the secret to his success as a leader, teacher Allison Murray said, “Although his knowledge and expertise in the field of education is unparalleled, his collaborative leadership style allows all stakeholders to have a say in creating a shared vision for the school. He constantly coaches and encourages others to be school leaders and creates leadership opportunities for staff.”  Other supporters cite his role in creating successful CTE programs and academic and emotional support for those students who are not only new to CFHS but to the country.

The Emory University alum made his mark as a teacher in Pasadena, CA, Cartagena, Columbia and Salem, MA before landing in East Greenwich High School as assistant principal and principal. From there he became principal of South Kingstown High before packing up and moving his family to Rome, Italy where he served for three years as principal of the American Overseas School. He earned his Master’s degree in Teaching at Brown University followed by an M.Ed. at Harvard.


© 2015 Rhode Island Association of School Principals

Rhode Island Association of School Principals is a 501(c) 6 Non-Profit Organization



401-272-9811 ext. 2 

Robert E. Littlefield, Executive Director 

Cheryl Iiams, Adm. Asst. 

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