Sean Bevan returns to ARHS in the role of principal

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Algonquin Regional High School Sean Bevan
ARHS Principal Sean Bevan
Photo/submitted

Northborough – Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) Principal Sean Bevan was no stranger to the school when he accepted the position, which began in July. He taught English for seven years at ARHS before moving to an administrator role at Westwood High School, the previous nine years as principal. He feels privileged to be a part of the school again, but returning during a pandemic has been challenging.

“Coming on board to a new building is hard in any circumstance,” said Bevan. “It’s extra hard during a pandemic.”

He is proud of how hard educators worked over the summer to make sure this year was successful and healthy. Identifying challenges from hallway traffic patterns, protocols and bell schedules took a lot of effort and collaboration. 

Data will be reviewed regularly to ensure the high school learning model is working well and the approach will be refined as needed.

Bevan’s familiarity with the school helped with his transition. He said he didn’t have the typical steep learning curve of a new principal. He knew many current staff members from his teaching days, and had an understanding of the school’s culture and traditions. 

He maintained contact with the ARHS community over the years through friendships, social media and news. He also subscribed to the school newspaper The Harbinger, which he previously advised. 

“I enjoyed working here when I was here,” said Bevan. “When the position opened, I couldn’t pass on an opportunity to come back.” 

 

Challenges during the pandemic 

This school year has been challenging with much focus and energy on COVID-19 safety and health protocols. 

Something that Bevan misses is the ability to interact with staff and students as he would in a typical year. There are considerable barriers. It’s difficult to get to know students when they are only in school twice a week and are wearing masks. He hasn’t been able to meet with all the faculty in one space as meetings are being held via Zoom. 

“What I enjoy about being a principal is to get to know kids, interact and be around the building,” he said. “My ability to do all those things has been impacted. I am looking forward to getting back to normal. My style of leadership is being hampered a bit.”

He continues to enjoy the favorite part of the day—the first 15-20 minutes, usually outside of the school entrance greeting students and staff.  

“I have always done that as a principal,” he said. “It’s important that leaders be visible and approachable.”

 

Extracurricular activities plus review of school’s mascot 

Bevan recognizes that the social element of school is important as part of the school experience. Although modified, there are some extracurricular activities being held and the fall athletic season was a success. The winter sports season is underway, but will be more challenging because those sports are held indoors. There is a lot of effort and close monitoring to ensure safety. 

Bevan is also facilitating the review of the school’s mascot, the tomahawk. He said it needs to be done well and transparently with a great deal of sensitivity. 

He looks forward to when school is more ordinary.

“I am really excited to be back …and look forward to a healthy and strong end of the year,” he said. 

 

 

 

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