By Isobel Congdon, contributing writer
The year 2020 has surely brought many new challenges. Nantucket has had to say goodbye to spring athletic seasons, the spring musical, many cherished traditions such as Prom and Senior Ball. NHS also said goodbye to the school year early, as well as principal Dr. John Buckey. Dr. Buckey is moving on to become the Marblehead Superintendent of Schools, and, starting July 1st, Mandy Vasil will take the position of principal at Nantucket High School.
Vasil worked as principal of Narragansett Regional High School in Central Massachusetts. In an interview with her on May 28th, Vasil expressed that she “fell in love with the island” after a day trip on her honeymoon, and was excited to hear that the position of principal was open. Vasil was a teacher for 15 years before she became a principal. When asked about her teaching philosophies Vasil replied with, “I believe all students deserve the best that any teacher can give them,” and that she believes it is “important to get to know who your students are and base your teaching on what the needs are of the group.” Vasil hopes to help both the students and teachers at NHS as principal. “I think as a principal, as an administrator, it’s really important that you make good decisions to help teachers do the right things, and help them have the right resources to help students be able to make good choices, and help them to learn and form the goals that’s going to help them be successful in the future.”
Principal Vasil not only hopes to help educate students in high school, but to do more to help students when they are out of high school and college. “What I believe as an educator is that the sole purpose of education is to help students be successful in what they do after high school.” One way Vasil plans to help students to prepare for life after school is to bring in more vocational shops and programming. “With the given situation that we are in now with the pandemic, I think health care services might be something that would be great to bring into programming. Another program that might be really beneficial might be an electrical shop.” By establishing more programs that offer different career paths, she hopes students will be more prepared for their future. “Programs like that that might be future pathways for students, that maybe aren’t available or readily available.” By making these programs more available to all students, she hopes to establish success for all students in their lives after school.
Vasil is very excited for her new position on Nantucket. She expressed that she is most excited for “learning new people and getting to know new people,” and that it is always “exciting to start someplace new, but it’s also a little nerve racking.” She is very excited to reach the island, and hopefully start school back in the fall, and be a part of the Nantucket High School.