180823ind nk auger file

North Kingstown Superintendent Dr. Phil Auger addresses graduates of the class of 2018 during June’s commencement at the Ryan Center in Kingston. Auger has been named 2019 Superintendent of the Year by the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association.

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — North Kingstown School Department Superintendent Dr. Phil Auger kept the secret for a couple of weeks, but word got out Aug. 16.

He has been named the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association’s 2019 Superintendent of the Year.

The announcement was made official through a press release, and Auger joined colleagues for a ceremony at Wanumetonomy Golf and Country Club in Middletown as part of the association’s annual meeting.

He called the recognition “a real honor.”

“For me personally, it’s a big deal, not going to lie. But you don’t always get enough thanks in this job and in this business for the good work that is being done, and this is kind of a reflection for the whole community,” said Auger, who has led North Kingstown’s schools since 2011. “I think it’s not just a reflection on me, it’s a reflection on everybody who’s in the district. They’re the ones doing all the hard work. So, I want that to be the message.”

RISSA Executive Director Dr. Thomas P. DiPaola, who issued the announcement about Auger’s honor, specifically noted that North Kingstown has had two schools receive the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School designation from the U.S. Department of Education in the past five years – Stony Lane Elementary School in 2013 and Fishing Cove Elementary School in 2017.

DiPaola also said Auger has expressed pride in the district’s “rich extracurricular community,” which supports programs in athletics and the arts.

“I am truly blessed to live and work in North Kingstown, and very proud to be the superintendent of such caring, committed and professional teachers, support staff and administrators at every level and at every school,” Auger wrote in an email to the community announcing the honor. “Furthermore, I deeply appreciate the support we have received from our elected officials on the [North Kingstown] School Committee and Town Council and the NKSD community as a whole.”

Auger arrived in North Kingstown’s schools in 2009 before becoming superintendent in 2011. His nearly three-decade career in education has included time as a high school English teacher at Bishop Hendricken and an assistant principal at Chariho Regional High School.

Auger received congratulations from several local officials during Monday’s meeting of the Town Council. President Richard Welch opened the proceedings by recognizing Auger’s accomplishments, notably the Blue Ribbon schools.

“We are very fortunate to have the quality of staff that we have in this community for our schools,” he said.

During an interview with The Independent, School Committee Chairman Gregory Blasbalg and Town Manager A. Ralph Mollis also offered congratulations to Auger.

“I think it truly pays the proper tribute to what he’s accomplished here in North Kingstown,” Mollis said. “The fact that this has become such an enviable community to call home is because of our school system. It’s so well-deserved, and like I said, it really pays proper tribute to the job he’s doing, and puts the town of North Kingstown’s school department in the appropriate light.”

Blasbalg said that he was “very happy” that RISSA recommended Auger for the award.

“We congratulate him, and we’re very proud they’ve recognized the achievements of our district, and Phil has been leading the district during that time,” Blasbalg said.

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