The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) will honor Providence Schools Supt. Dr. Susan Lusi with the 2015 Rhode Island State Merit Award for her innovative work in education.
In addition, Rhode Island Kids Count will receive the Robert J. McKenna Award for Program Achievement, when the regional organization holds its 13th annual New England Higher Education Excellence Awards ceremony at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel on Friday, March 13, 2015.
More than 400 people are expected to attend this event, including leaders of education, business and government from across the six New England states.
“Our Rhode Island awardees symbolize how deeply NEBHE and the New England higher education community value those who work with the young people who represent our future success,” said NEBHE President and CEO Michael K. Thomas.
Each year, NEBHE presents Regional Excellence Awards to individuals and organizations that have shown exceptional leadership on behalf of higher education and the advancement of educational opportunity, and State Merit Awards to honor the innovative work of organizations, institutions or individuals in each New England state.
Rhode Island Kids Count is a statewide children’s policy organization dedicated to improving the health, education, economic well-being and safety of Rhode Island’s children. The agency collects and disseminates data and advocates for and facilitates the development of responsive policies and programs. An independent organization, backed by the best research and data available, Rhode Island Kids Count brings together people from across the community, including religious leaders and child advocates, doctors and educators, parents and volunteers, state agency directors and nonprofit leaders to address the problems facing the state’s children and families.
Dr. Lusi was named acting superintendent of Providence Schools in July 2011 and was officially named superintendent a year later.
She previously served as superintendent of schools in Portsmouth, R.I., as well as chief of staff for the Providence Public Schools and assistant commissioner at the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Prior to these appointments, Lusi worked as director of policy for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and as visiting assistant professor at Brown University and also for the Coalition of Essential Schools.
She has also consulted for numerous state and national organizations including the Rhode Island Department of Education, The LAB at Brown University, Education Resource Strategies, The Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Learning First Alliance.
Lusi is a member of the National Advisory Board for the Alliance for Excellent Education, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) Board of Directors; the Providence Plan Board of Directors; and the Providence Children & Youth Cabinet District Chair. She was also a fellow in the Broad Foundation’s Urban Superintendents Academy.
She is the author of The Role of State Departments of Education in Complex School Reform (Teachers College Press, 1997) and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s in social studies from Brown University, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate in public policy from Harvard University.