Commons area in Shrewsbury High named after retiring assistant principal

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By Joan Goodchild

Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – In an emotional portion of the Shrewsbury School Committee meeting June 8, officials voted to name the commons area at the front of Shrewsbury High School (SHS) after retiring Assistant Principal Ken Largess.

Largess, who has worked in the Shrewsbury school district since 1972, was recently honored along with seven other educators who are retiring this year. Standing before the committee, he said he has had mixed emotions in recent weeks when thinking about his departure from the job he has held for 31 years.
“It's funny when it hits me,” he said to committee members. “I was with my juniors earlier today, and I was fine. But I’m not fine at other times.”

Largess said that over the years, he has considered himself fortunate to have been allowed to do things his way, much of which he credited to two principals he has worked with at SHS, Daniel Gutekanst and Brian Regan.

“It's not easy working with me,” Largess said. “You have to accept that I take up a lot of space and I get a lot of attention.”

Largess also said after having been through the recent era of education reform, he thinks schools deserve more credit for the success students are seeing in classrooms and beyond.

“Our students, hopefully, are not just well trained, but well educated,” he said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Sawyer then read aloud a motion to name the commons area in the high school after Largess, noting he has had a “deep and lasting impact on SHS.”

Sawyer called the commons area “'she hub” of the school, where Largess most frequently interacts with his students.”

Largess wiped tears away and received heartfelt applause from those in attendance.

“My mother is at home, watching tonight,” Largess said. “I know she is very proud. Thank you.”