Glenn Burns assumes the role of Haverhill High School principal after his former colleague Margaret Marotta hired him from Salem. (WHAV News file photograph)
With the start of the 2018-2019 school year three weeks away, Haverhill High School has a new principal: Glenn Burns.
Coming to Haverhill from Salem’s Collins Middle School, Burns was tapped by Superintendent Margaret Marotta to replace HHS principal Beth Kitsos, who was recently promoted to chief academic officer.
Burns is Marotta’s first major hire since her appointment to the city’s top education post on July 1. Marotta also came from Salem, leaving her position as assistant superintendent to replace James F. Scully in Haverhill.
While the ink on his contract dries, Marotta tells WHAV she chose to look outside the district and hire Burns because of his background as a redesign coach. The training he’s received from the STEM-centric nonprofit Project Lead the Way and his experience advocating for technology grants was also a key selling point.
“I feel like the high school is just ready for some change,” the superintendent told WHAV. “I know there’s some great people there and great work to build on, but I felt like we needed somebody who’s done this before and is ready to hit the ground running.”
The married father of a 2-year-old daughter, Burns is a graduate of Bridgewater State University with a degree in political science and government. He received his master’s degree from Providence College in 2011 and served as a social studies teacher and vice principal in Fall River before taking over as principal at Collins in 2014.
Marotta hopes the pair can work together to prioritize inclusion in the coming school year.
“There are many great things about the high school and it’s a great place for some kids to learn, but I’m not sure it’s able to meet the needs of all learners right now,” she said. “We need to be looking at all of our students in Haverhill and making sure that everybody has access to a high quality education.”
Burns met several local leaders at an Aug. 6 city education forum and tells WHAV he’s excited to see how loyal Haverhill residents and school employees are to the brown and gold.
“What got me really excited to come to Haverhill is everybody’s excitement about the high school. The high school in most communities is the flagship and what people are proud of. It’s exciting for me to see that people have so much Hillie pride,” Burns said. He plans to set up meet and greet sessions with faculty and families in the coming weeks, the new head Hillie told WHAV.
Haverhill students in grades 1-12 report to class on Tues., Aug. 28, with kindergarten starting after Labor Day on Wednesday, Sept. 5.