In April, Dr. Mary Canole, a graduate of JWU’s first doctoral class, was also the first person honored with JWU’s Dean’s Chair Award for education programs. The award recognizes an individual in the community who has made significant contributions to JWU’s growth, development or quality of the school’s programs. “Dr. Canole has contributed in all these areas,” said Professor Denise DeMagistris. Seeing the Need for Educator Support While superintendent of schools for Newport, R.I., Mary realized there was a need for professional support and guidance for those in such positions in the education field. “You don’t really know what the job of superintendent is until you’re actually sitting in the seat. It’s essential to have some kind of ongoing support,” said Canole. Launching a Superintendent Development Program Over time, she solicited seed money as a grant from The Wallace Foundation and brought JWU on as a partner. In 2006, she launched Advanced Leadership Development for Superintendents (ALDS), with 10 superintendents participating. By 2007, there were 22. “Clearly there was a need for superintendents to come together,” says Canole. Building Bridges in the Education Community “Dr. Canole’s contributions are exemplary,” DeMagistris said. She assisted with strategic planning and made presentations in doctoral classes. She also built a collaborative relationship between educators and the Rhode Island Department of Education that fosters professional development for new school superintendents. What’s more, with JWU providing space and help from instructors, the university also benefits from the program, she says. The superintendents bring information to the table that plays a part in shaping the curriculum for our doctoral program — ensuring that we continue to produce leaders in the education field.