HUDSON – After serving for several years as principal of Hudson High School, Dr. Brian Reagan is hoping to return to Hudson Public Schools as its superintendent.
Reagan was interviewed by the School Committee on March 20. He is one of five finalists in the running to become superintendent after Marco Rodrigues announced his retirement later this year.
As part of the process, candidates spent time in the district before being interviewed by the School Committee. During his interview, Reagan said it was interesting learning what has changed over the past five years.
“What I saw I was not surprised by,” Reagan said. “It was a continuation of what I left when I left, which are folks that are extremely committed to their work here in this community. Teachers and support staff and administrators, you name it across the board – folks that really care about kids and want to do right by them.”
That, he said, is the hallmark of what he experienced while working for Hudson Public Schools.
“It’s really wonderful to see that that hasn’t changed at all,” Reagan said.
The three words he used to describe him as an administrator are collaborative, honesty and empathy.
Reagan, who is a parent in the district, received his bachelor’s in music education from Boston University. He went on to receive his masters of education from University of Massachusetts Boston, and his doctor of education degree from Northeastern University.
He worked as the assistant principal of Bedford High School and principal of Shrewsbury High School before becoming the Hudson principal in 2011. He stayed in this role until 2018 when he became the assistant superintendent for curriculum and staff development in Wilmington Public Schools.
Reagan has served as Waltham Public Schools superintendent since 2020.
He said there were several things he was proud of when he left Hudson High School.
“I feel like I left the building in a better place than when I found it seven years before, but that wasn’t my accomplishment,” said Reagan. “That was because of the relationships that were developed over time and my approach to working with the team that we were able to accomplish those things together.”
Brian Reagan talks budget process
While working in smaller districts like Hudson and Shrewsbury, Reagan said the budget would begin to be built as early as October. After having early conversations with the School Committee, he said he likes to have a kickoff meeting with the people who are budget managers to set the stage.
From there, he would hold a series of budget workshops with the School Committee that would run parallel with his work with the leadership team.
“We did that, I think, really well this fall,” Reagan said.
This would occur during the winter as school leaders work to develop the initial budget request so that it won’t come as a surprise when the budget comes to the School Committee from the superintendent’s office, Reagan said.
“The no surprises mode is obviously the best way to go,” Reagan said.
The public presentations of the budget would then begin.
“I want to be as transparent as possible and upfront and answer those questions as they come in so that they don’t bubble up, and you can squelch any rumors or any rumors that might be out there,” Reagan said.
He said there were two themes in regards to struggles the Hudson district is facing.
One concern is the budget as federal dollars and COVID-19 relief funds are disappearing, creating a “funding cliff,” as Reagan described it, which has been shared by other superintendents. He said the concern is for fiscal year 2025 and beyond.
The other theme is in regards to building a positive and strong district climate and culture. He said this includes strengthening relationships.
Reagan said he looks forward to a challenge like that.
“That, to me, is all about relationship building and making connections with people,” Reagan said. “That’s at the foundation of my leadership style.”
He said his leadership style is grounded in collaboration.
“I do not really want to be the one that’s out front unless I have to be. I am much more comfortable being part of a team,” Reagan said.
He said his approach is doing more listening than talking and being either with or right behind the crowd to push them along.
“If I need to be in front, leading that moment, then that’s where I’ll go. I’m comfortable doing that,” Reagan said. “But, I like letting the others showcase the work they have done as well and feel very good being a part of that process.”
To watch the full interview and to provide feedback to the School Committee, visit https://www.hudson.k12.ma.us/important_information/superintendent_search.
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