North Kingstown’s Auger named R.I.’s top school superintendent

NORTH KINGSTOWN — North Kingstown Superintendent of Schools Philip Auger was chosen Thursday as the 2019 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year by the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association.

The award, which according to a RISSA press release recognizes “outstanding achievement in school district leadership, dedication to the education of all children, commitment to the community and service to RISSA, was presented to Auger by the 2018 honoree, West Warwick Superintendent of Schools Karen Tarasevich, during RISSA’s general membership meeting Thursday morning.

“I’m just tickled pink that they would choose me as 2019 Superintendent of the Year. That means a lot,” Auger said in an interview Thursday.

Auger has seen schools in North Kingstown thrive under his leadership. In 2013, two years after Auger became superintendent – he served as the assistant superintendent in the district from 2009-2011 – Stony Lane Elementary School earned Blue Ribbon status from the U.S. Department of Education. Last year, Fishing Cove Elementary School received the same honor.

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Additionally, North Kingstown High School, during Auger’s tenure, was recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its “rigorous curriculum and major achievements” to the school’s academic offerings, the press release states, including adding four career and technical programs.

Auger also feels that him being recognized as the state’s top superintendent means North Kingstown’s educational programs are on the “right path.”

“[RISSA] sees us as a strong district and a lot of good things have happened over the last eight years,” Auger said. “That really means a lot to me and I think it should mean a lot to the people who work in this district and the parents who have kids in this district.”

Auger also lauded RISSA, saying the organization frequently advocates for education at the Statehouse and he has learned a lot from an organization that “did a lot” for him.

James Bessette is a PBN staff writer. Email him at