By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – Sara Pragluski Walsh, Ed.D., feels fortunate to wake up every morning and to go to work in a field that she truly loves. Walsh is the new principal of Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) and has been learning all about T-Hawk nation since she officially started July 1.
Walsh previously worked as the principal of Springfield High School of Science and Technology and realizes that different districts have different challenges. She hopes that she can bring in a fresh perspective and solutions to issues needing attention.
Her personal objective to learn the Algonquin way is keeping her busy. An advantage was the extensive interviewing process, which gave her many insights to the community as she met with students, parents, educators, staff and administrators.
Communication and taking the extra steps to build relationships is important to Walsh. She has been known to run with the girls’ cross country team, recently participated in Northborough’s Applefest 5K, and is anxious to experience upcoming Southborough events.
Her priorities include the well-being of the students, to look at systematic concerns, and to continue good practices with consistency. Areas needing improvements will give her the opportunity to think out of the box and to create moments for team building.
“ARHS has been very welcoming and the community has been very supportive,” she said. “As a parent, you let me have your child for the day. There’s nothing more valuable to share with me.”
Having worked in an urban environment where some issues are more predominant than at ARHS, Walsh doesn’t deny that there is a group of students making poor choices and who need to obtain the appropriate supports. Her goal is to ensure that everyone feels safe.
Technology use will continue to expand at ARHS. Currently, the CANVAS learning management system pilot is schoolwide and being used by all students. Parents and students will have access to iPASS, which Walsh said will assist with efficiency in communicating with parents and be a better utilization of resources. Progress reports and report cards will be able to be accessed with iPASS, and the information can be translated to meet the language preferences of families.
Walsh intends to sustain the positive celebrations and events held at the school such as freshmen orientation and the annual college fair, which recently showcased over 100 colleges.
“The pride and culture of T-Hawk nation is not for one single thing or event,” she said. “There’s a lot of traditions that will continue.”
Walsh is not only dedicated to education. She is a three-time Ironman Hawaii qualifier, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike route, and a 26.2-mile run.
She is also a mother of two young children, and being able to spend more time with them is another perk of the new position as her commute to work is now only 10 minutes.
“My whole life changed for the better,” she said. “I can’t be more appreciative.”