Meet Dan Richards, new Assistant Principal for grades 11 and 12. Assistant principals often
get a bad reputation. But Mr. Richards proves there is a fun side, too.
Mr. Richards has his graduate degrees from Salem State (Education Administration Leadership) and Cambridge College (Negotiation and Conflict Resolution). He has worked in numerous middle and high schools across the Metro-West and North Shore. In these other districts, he has worked as an assistant principal, a teacher, a dean, and an acting assistant superintendent.
He says, “I’ve circled back to assistant principal because during that career path, I was removed further and further away from students and teachers, and that’s why I got into education in the first place. I climbed the ladder and circled back. I’ve liked all of those positions, but this is where it made most sense.”
Although he is from the North Shore, Mr. Richards is loving Marblehead. He says, “In Marblehead, I’m finding the students very open, not scared to have a conversation. The teachers are very professional collaboratively, and very dedicated to the students. The parents have been welcoming and open as well.” In addition, he loves the culture of the football games and town spirit.
I asked him what his main goals are in his first year at Marblehead. He states, “In any new position, there are several things you have to focus on. First off, building relationships with faculty, that’s a priority. That takes time, but is very important. Lower down on the list, I need to figure out the operational things, getting to know how things run here.” So, getting adjusted and working with new people. To better know the students, he has been attending football games and asking questions.
He says he really wants to involve himself in the traditions and cultures we have in Marblehead.
I brought up how assistant principals are often seen only as discipline positions. He says, “My goal is to kind of break that mindset because it’s more than that [discipline]. It’s happening naturally, and I love that. That’s the best part of the job. Greeting people, being at the football games, any sporting events, plays.” He says the best way students can help break that barrier is by stopping by his office and greeting him in the morning at his daily post outside. Already students are welcoming to him, and he encourages that to continue. He really loves the daily interactions with students and faculty.
“My de-stresser is students. Just randomly talking to students; that’s why I’ve come back to this job. It gets you away from that paperwork, the duty things I have to do.”
Finally, I asked if he had any fun facts for us, and he did not disappoint. Mr. Richards used to live in Lake Placid, and he got involved with winter sports there, specifically “skeleton racing.” Just as dangerous as it sounds, this is face-down, head-first sledding.
He explains, “I was on the USA Bobsled Skeleton Federation, which selects people to qualify for the Olympics.” He said that he wasn’t actually in the Olympics, but he was still involved in the sport at a very high level.
I certainly had fun getting to know Mr. Richards, so make sure to stop by his office and say
hello. And a thank you to him for the interview!