Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick has been superintendent-director of the Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District since 1994, working tirelessly with others to shape a school system which serves as a model for innovative, collaborative reform approaches and viable, vibrant methods of teaching and learning.
Before coming to Valley Tech, Dr. Fitzpatrick was a professor of vocational technical instructional methodologies at several Massachusetts public colleges and Director of the Center for Vocational-Technical Education at Fitchburg State College where he trained vocational technical leadership personnel and organized statewide professional development programs. An Education Professional Development Act graduate fellowship recipient in the Supervision and Administration of Occupational Education, he earned a Doctorate of Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts, was recognized as Outstanding Municipal Employee of the Year by the Massachusetts Municipal Association in 1982, and honored as Outstanding Vocational-Technical Educator by the Massachusetts Department of Education in 1988.
Under his leadership, Valley Tech was designated a 1999, 2007, and 2010 High Schools That Work Pacesetter School, a 2003 Commonwealth Compass School, a 2005 Vanguard Model School, and was one of six school systems nationwide to receive the 2004 National School Change Award for significant and meaningful change. The district was one of only two vocational technical districts nationwide named to the College Board’s 2012 AP District Honor Roll for expanding access to Advanced Placement curriculum and maintaining or improving the percent of students with qualifying scores. Valley Tech also received the USDA’s Healthier US School Challenge Silver Award in 2012 for creating a healthier school environment through improvements to the school lunch program, nutrition, and health education. It earned distinction as a Massachusetts Green School and a Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships’ Business Leader for Energy Efficiency for its renewable energy initiatives and the energy-efficient design of the expansion and renovation project completed in 2005. Other recent recognitions include a feature on Valley Tech in a February 2014 segment of WCVB Channel 5's Chronicle television news magazine, a ranking as a "District of Distinction" in the March 2015 edition of District Administration magazine, and selection as a 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.
Dr. Fitzpatrick was named Educator of the Year 2000 by the Worcester-based Alliance for Education and a Mover and Shaker in the career training field by Training Magazine in 2001. He was one of 25 nationally recognized educational professionals to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s 2001 National Design Studio Workshop, where he had the opportunity to influence new directions for career and technical education at the secondary level across the country. He was a recipient of the American Association of School Administrators’ 2004 President’s Technology Award for vision and leadership in educational technology and the sole recipient in the rural school category of the AASA’s 2004 Leadership for Learning Award for fueling student achievement and learning through innovative integration partnerships. Continuing to champion the cause of quality education, in 2004 he was the lead presenter in a National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education webcast on The Massachusetts Experience: Exit Exams and CTE and was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Second Annual National High School Leadership Summit.
He served as chair of the MASS Professional Development Committee for the 2007-2008 program year and was honored as the 2008 Christos Daoulas Award recipient for his contribution to education and the organization. Additionally, he was appointed by the Massachusetts Board of Education to serve on the State Review Panel to assist with determining effective interventions for under performing schools. He also serves on the AASA Governing Board, is a MASS Past President, and was named Massachusetts Superintendent of the Year 2011 by MASS and AASA. Dr. Fitzpatrick is the incoming Chairman of the New England School Development Council, a member of Governor Charlie Baker's Task Force on Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment, and a Quinsigamond Community College Guardian.