For New TMHS Principal, Relationships Are The Key To Education
Brenda Theriault-Regan settles into her new job but can't yet settle into her new office.
Brenda Theriault-Regan has long believed that successful education is about building strong, productive relationships.
She is looking to build new relationships and grow existing ones, as she begins her first year as principal of Tewksbury Memorial High School. For Theriault-Regan, it's a dream job at a perfect time.
'You have your 'bucket list' of things to do in life and for me, being an educator or administrator at the high school was definitely one of those things," she said. "What an honor to be a part of the opening of a new school."
As a member of the Space Needs Committee and the High School Building Committee, Theriault-Regan has been involved with the construction of the new Tewksbury High School since the very building and now gets to serve as its first principal.
Ironically, Theriault-Regan had to work the first month of her new job as high school principal in her old office at the John Ryan School, where has worked as assistant principal for the past three years. The new TMHS building won't be ready for occupancy until Aug. 20.
In choosing Theriault-Regan to succeed Dr. Patricia Lally (new assistant superintendant), Superintendant of Schools Dr. John O'Connor picked a true Redman. Theriault-Regan lives in town and graduated from Tewksbury High in 1980. Her husband is a Tewksbury police officer and their children attended Tewksbury Public Schools.
"My connections to this town run very deep," she said. "I'm proud to be committed to the community. I wouldn't have wanted my children to go to any other school than Tewksbury High."
Many of the Tewksbury High students will remember Theriault-Regan as a math teacher or administrator at the Ryan School. Likewise, she is familiar with most of the teachers, administrators and parents she will be working closely with at the high school.
"Relationships matter in education," she said. "I've heard from some past students who told me they were excited to have me coming to the high school. And that excites me."
Still, Theriault-Regan realizes that there will be challenges. Being an administrator for 5th and 6th graders is different in many ways from being an administrator for high school students.
"I believe in discipline with dignity," she said. "I'm not going to run the school like a prison but I will expect a level of discipline."
Theriault-Regan said she isn't coming into the high school with any pre-conceived notions about students or staff. She said she believes in fresh starts and new beginnings.
"Every day, every class is a new opportunity," she said.
Theriault-Regan considers the staff of the new high school its most valuable asset. She said the accomplishments of the students who have come through TMHS in the past several years are amazing, considering the fact that they were working in a sub-par building with limited resources. She's anxious to see what can be accomplished in a brand new building with state-of-the-art equipment.
"This is an excellent staff," she said. "I can't speak highly enough about the level of instruction at Tewksbury High."
Faculty orientation at the new school will take place Wednesday, Aug. 22, with classroom setup time from Aug. 23-25. Student appointments with the guidance department will begin Aug. 22.
Freshman orientation is Monday, Aug. 27 and the first official day of school for everyone is Tuesday Aug. 28.
The grand opening of the new high school public, complete with tours, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8. A parent open house is scheduled for Sept. 13 and the official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place Sept. 27.