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RI Superintendent of the Year


James Erinakes, Superintendent of Exeter- West Greenwich Schools, Selected as 2021 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year


James Erinakes, Superintendent of the Exeter-West Greenwich Public Schools, has been selected as the 2021 Rhode Island Superintendent of the Year. His selection by the Rhode Island School Superintendents' Association (RISSA) was announced at its General Membership Meeting on August 18, 2019. The selection and recognition of Mr. Erinakes by his colleagues is an indication of the high esteem in which he is held. 


The award recognizes outstanding achievement in school district leadership, dedication to the education of all children, commitment to the community, and service to RISSA.  The award was presented to Jim by Kathy Crowley, Superintendent of the East Providence Schools and the 2020 Superintendent of the Year.


Mr. Erinakes has served as the Superintendent in Exeter-West Greenwich since 2012. He previously served as Assistant Superintendent for Special Services in Coventry from 2007-2012.  He served as assistant principal at the Knotty Oak Middle School for the Coventry Public Schools from 2003-2007. Prior to that he was a high school math department chair and math teacher at both high school and middle school levels. He has also served as adjunct faculty at CCRI and Johnson & Wales University.


During his tenure as Superintendent, Exeter- West Greenwich has demonstrated a focus on teaching and learning.  This has been evidenced with implementation of full-day kindergarten, a district wide technology upgrade, transition to standards-based grading, and a commitment to access and equity for all children.   


Exeter-West Greenwich also has a very extensive pre-K program which has been expanded during his tenure. Jim’s work as a leader is testimony to the engagement of all members of the school community in the towns served by the regional district.


Mr. Erinakes has been an active member of the RI School Superintendents Association for 8 years.  He has been a member of several subcommittees including work groups with RIDE and DCYF.  He is Vice President of RISSA and has served as secretary of the organization and on the executive committee.


Mr. Erinakes earned his Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Rhode Island, has earned three Masters’ degrees: in Math from Providence College, Education Administration at Rhode Island College and in Special Education from Providence College.


Jim resides in Coventry and has one child, Kaden, who lets everyone know that he is his dad’s “Assistant Superintendent.”


Mr. Erinakes will be recognized by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) at its National Conference on Education to be held in New Orleans February 18-21, 2021.


Contact Information:

Dr. Thomas DiPaola

Executive Director

Rhode Island School Administrators Association