Collaboration, technology top priorities for next SHS principal
Todd Bazydlo was one of them. Assistant Principal at SHS for the past six years, his schedule is typically packed, even on off weeks. But in the coming months, he will take on an even heavier workload and level of responsibility. After this academic year is finished, Bazydlo will take the reins as principal of SHS, taking over for the departing Brian Reagan.
Challenge has been part of Bazydlo’s career in education from the start. He cut his teeth briefly working at Brockton High School for a semester while earning a degree in history from Bridgewater State College. He then moved to Taunton High School, where he taught history and was the Community Service and Learning director before taking over as associate housemaster for six years. Taunton, he said, was markedly different and diffi cult at times.
“We had issues with gang recruiting, with drop-out rates. A student was almost murdered one year,” he recalled. “Lots of challenging issues and hard work, but I enjoyed it.”
Bazydlo left Taunton for Shrewsbury in 2005 because he and his wife wanted to move closer to family. Going from an urban setting to more of a rural school environment was a different pace, he said, but with new types of challenges. In Shrewsbury, noted Bazydlo, he is frequently inspired by the level of commitment and support the community offers to its schools.
“People get involved,” he said. “There is a great level of involvement in clubs and activities and support for the school’s mission and the value of the schools.”
Bazydlo, who also has a master’s degree in secondary education administration from Providence College and is now earning a doctorate of education at Northeastern University, described his core value as having high expectations for everyone: both students and staff.
“My success is always based on the relationships I form,” he explained. “It’s through commitment and collaboration that we accomplish the best results.”
Bazydlo already has several immediate tasks on his plate as he begins his new job. He will need to fill the position he is vacating, as well as another assistant principal slot because Ken Largess, a longtime staff member at SHS, is retiring. Finding a replacement will be difficult because Largess, Bazydlo said, is a Shrewsbury institution and dearly loved by all.
Other goals include continued work on improving instruction and finding new ways to aid in teacher collaboration in a schedule that is already jam-packed with commitments for educators.
“Our staff squeezes every second they can from the day and are literally worked to the bone,” he said. “How do we provide staff the time to collaborate and improve instruction? We need to examine more ways that we might effectively work together.”
Another priority will be leveraging technology in school and in the classroom in new ways.
“How can we use technology to develop critical thinking, collaboration and communication?” said Bazydlo. “I’m a [Thomas] Friedman guy. The world is flat and we have to prepare our students for that global environment.”
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