Mary Canole Bio
Dr. Mary Canole retired from the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
(RIDE) in June of 2008 after serving as the Director of the Office of Progressive Support and Intervention.
This office was formed to support and monitor schools and districts categorized as “In Need of
Improvement” by both NCLB and Rhode Island Law for School Accountability. Previously, Mary served as
the Superintendent of Newport Public Schools in Rhode Island for four years and was successful in
moving the Newport district out of the “In Need of Improvement” status. Before becoming
Superintendent, Mary spent four years as the Director of Instruction and Grants for Newport Schools
and seven years as the Director/Principal of the Newport Area Career and Technical Center. Mary taught
at both the middle school and high school levels in other urban and suburban schools in Rhode Island. In
all, Mary spent thirty-two years in public education.
Mary Canole received her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University in
1999. Her dissertation was titled “District Strategic Planning – Is there evidence of Strategic Thinking and
Acting?” In addition, she holds a Masters of Education Administration from Rhode Island College, a
Masters of Science from University of Rhode Island, and a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University.
Mary is a 1998 Milken award recipient.
Since leaving RIDE, Mary continues some of her former SEA leadership initiatives related to the newly
adopted Rhode Island Leadership Standards. She led a Rhode Island superintendents’ network called the
Advanced Leadership Development Seminar (ALDS) for six years and now serves as a consultant to the
Council of Chief State School Officers where she facilitated the State Consortium on Education
Leadership. She is now a member of their Education Workforce team and coordinates the Wallace
Foundation Leadership Communication Grant for the Council.
This Wallace Foundation work includes work with six large urban districts specific to the Principal
Pipeline Initiative – Leader and Teacher Evaluation Professional Learning.
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Mary Canole - CCSSO State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness

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