MHS News: Meet Assistant Principal Bryan Corrigan

Bryan Corrigan 2

This post was written by summer intern Michael O’Neill.

Newly promoted assistant principal Bryan Corrigan will be a familiar face to many Melrose High School students: For the past four years he has been Director of Social Studies for grades 6-12.

Assistant Principal Corrigan looks forward to working with Melrose High School’s staff to give students the best education possible. “I believe that good teaching is everything for a school,” he says, “and I feel that in my role as an administrator I can support a lot of teachers—not just in curriculum instruction but also making sure they have what they need to do their job on a daily basis.”

While he has long-term goals in mind for the high school, Assistant Principal Corrigan says the first priority will be to keep up what last year’s administration started. “We’ve done a tremendous amount of work over the past four years,” he says. “Goal number one is to just continue that work.” He hopes to continue strengthening Melrose High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) programs, supporting students at all levels, and increasing social and emotional learning within the schools. Further down the road, he wants to explore competency-based education, which he says will provide students “a little bit more flexibility” and “a ton of opportunity to explore what they’re interested in” by letting each student move at their own pace.

Assistant Principal Corrigan concedes he will miss teaching classes directly, but he is glad he will still be able to interact with students daily. He will be supporting the 10th and 12th grades as the assistant principal assigned to those grades, helping out with everything from prom and graduation to student discipline. He will be spending time with members of the 9th grade as well: “Each grade has class advisors that I hope to work really closely with,” he says.

On a personal level, one of Assistant Principal Corrigan’s challenges this year will be juggling his new role with the upcoming birth of his child. Additionally, while he admits that “there are things you just can’t anticipate” at any new job, he’s confident he and the other school administrators will be able to handle whatever comes their way: “It’s a good staff with a diverse skill set.”

Assistant Principal Corrigan is optimistic about the future of Melrose Public Schools. “I really feel like the school district is on a great track,” he says. He’s excited for the students to be back in school and see the new construction, and to help contribute to the Melrose community. “I enjoy working here and I enjoy working in Melrose,” he says. “This district’s in a great place and there’s potential to be even greater.”

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Melrose’s Second Wind Sculpture Is Up!

Wind Sculpture 2 2016

Thanks to a partnership between Melrose Arts and the Melrose Messina Fund for the Arts, we have a new wind sculpture on the Main Street side of Ell Pond. The new sculpture is by Lyman Whitaker, who also made the sculpture at Cedar Park. In addition to the grant from the Messina Fund, the sculpture was funded with private donations and a grant from Eastern Bank.

First Day of School Photos!

Today is the first day of school for most Melrose students. Here’s a look at them as they head off to their new classrooms!

Send in your first day of school photos and we’ll post them here as well.

Caitlin, Brendan, and Emily are ready for the first day of school
Caitlin, Brendan, and Emily are ready for the first day of school
Kiley and Brady on their way to the first day back at the Horace Mann School
Kiley and Brady on their way to the first day back at the Horace Mann School
Maddie heads out for her first day of Kindergarten!
Maddie heads out for her first day of Kindergarten!
Look out, world! Here comes the Garland Street-Ravine Road Crew!
Look out, world! Here comes the Garland Street-Ravine Road Crew!
Ryan, Joey, and Gabe head out to middle school
Ryan, Joey, and Gabe head out to middle school
Kaiyu is looking forward to the first day of kindergarten
Kaiyu is looking forward to the first day of kindergarten
Sean says goodbye to Jetta as he heads out to school
Sean says goodbye to Jetta as he heads out to school

MHS News: Meet Interim Principal Jason Merrill

Jason Merrill

This post was written by summer intern Michael O’Neill.

Jason Merrill is the new interim principal of Melrose High School, but he’s not new to the school.

Principal Merrill, a Melrose resident, graduated from Melrose High in 1996 and has been the assistant principal there for the past three years. “This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” he said. “Being an alumnus and also a resident and a Melrose public schools parent, I’m very invested in this high school’s success and in the Melrose public schools as a whole.”

Principal Merrill began his career as an educator in Saugus. “As I started to teach and get involved in coaching, an opportunity arose to move forward into administration and it just seemed like such a natural fit.” He stayed in the Saugus school system for 13 years, but when the assistant principal position opened up at Melrose High School, he didn’t hesitate: “When I saw the opportunity to come back to Melrose, I thought it would be great.”

His priority as principal is to create an environment in which every student and staff member knows he is working for them. “First and foremost,” Principal Merrill said, “I want everyone in the building to feel welcomed and to know that I care about them as individuals and people, whether they’re staff or students.” He also wants to ensure students and faculty “feel their time is respected” and aims “to motivate them to be their best.” As part of that process, the school will revise its mission statement and learning expectations. “I want to give students a voice in what we do here,” Principal Merrill said. “What [revising the mission statement] will do is really give our staff and students and everyone that’s here in our school community an opportunity to decide what’s important to us.”

The new school year will bring some significant physical changes to the school, including a new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) lab, guidance office, administrative offices, and a complete renovation of the library into a state-of-the-art Learning Commons.

Principal Merrill is comfortable with his new role. “I’ve had some of the responsibilities of a principal before, so I understand what that looks like,” he said, adding that his three years as assistant principal at MHS will be key. “What’s important is knowing the pulse of the building, knowing the students and what’s going on, and I feel like I have a pretty good sense of that.”

He’s also surrounded by familiar faces, as a number of administrative openings have been filled by his colleagues. Former assistant principal Stephen Forgarty is the new Athletic Director, former director of social studies Bryan Corrigan and former special education administrator Cari Berman have moved into the two vacant assistant principal slots, and former MHS principal Marianne Farrell is now the business manager for the Melrose Public Schools. As Principal Merrill put it, “We get a little bit of change while keeping consistency, and I think consistency is very important to people. It’s difficult in any organization if there’s constant change in leadership.” Principal Merrill also mentioned his good working relationship with Farrell as a major benefit.

As he takes on his new duties, Principal Merrill is ready to help lead the school he once attended: “I really like having to ability to have an effect on a lot of people—adults and kids, teachers and students—and having the the ability to not only lead them but also help them grow as leaders within the school.”

Back to School on August 30!

Tuesday, August 30, is the first day of school for students in grades K-12 in the Melrose Public Schools. The first day of school for students at the Franklin Early Childhood Center is September 6.

The Melrose Schools website has detailed information about the first day of school.

Send your first day of school photos to mayorsoffice@cityofmelrose.org or Tweet them to @CityofMelrose and we will retweet them and post them on the blog!

First Look at the MHS Learning Commons

Learning Commons Opening 1

Today was the first day back at school for teachers and staff, and Melrose High School Principal Jason Merrill welcomed them to the the newly renovated Learning Commons for the first time. This project encompassed not only a complete renovation and technology upgrade for the old library but also the addition of new classrooms, a maker space, and a new Administrative Suite that brings the administrators closer together, rather than being scattered around the school as they were previously. We showed you a sneak preview two weeks ago, and now the project is complete.

Principal Jason Merrill welcomed the staff to the new Learning Commons
Principal Jason Merrill welcomed the staff to the new Learning Commons
Special education teacher Tim Morris, the senior member of the Melrose High School faculty, was given the honor of officially opening the Learning Commons.
Special education teacher Tim Morris, the senior member of the Melrose High School faculty, was given the honor of officially opening the Learning Commons.

Summer Interns Learn New Skills

Interns 2016

Summer intern Ryan Donahue contributed to this story.

Every summer, Melrose teenagers have the opportunity to learn job skills and earn community service hours by serving as interns in City Hall.

This summer marked the 12th year of the internship program, which started with a small group of students and has expanded to over 40 interns in recent years. Valerie O’Loughlin, a graduating senior and a former intern herself, served as this year’s intern coordinator.

During the six-week program, students worked on a variety of projects, including helping preserve historical records for the Veterans’ office, writing posts for this blog, and more mundane tasks such as filing and organizing.

Why would a teenager spend two days a week at City Hall rather than on the beach? “Being an intern is a good opportunity, and I enjoy helping other people out,” said intern Zack Shea, who wrote a profile of the Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market and learned some interesting facts along the way—such as the fact that they have a bike repair booth there on some weeks.

“I had a great first experience with the internship and enjoyed learning more about government,” said Claire Albuja, who also wrote a number of blog posts and particularly enjoyed researching the history of City Hall at the library.

Second-year intern Faith Waaramaa spent part of her time doing filing and organizing in the Treasurer’s Department. “I enjoyed both years of my internship,” she said, “and I highly recommend it as a way of earning your community service hours.”

Faith Waaramaa helped out in the Treasurer's Department
Faith Waaramaa helped out in the Treasurer's Department
Alex Serrao assisted the Human Resources and Legal departments
Alex Serrao assisted the Human Resources and Legal departments