HHS’s New Principal Wants to Build on ‘Great Foundation’ at the School

A lab at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Incoming Principal Glenn Burns says he likes what he sees at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)
Haverhill High School’s new principal wants to build on existing programs at the school and give teachers what they need to succeed.

In his first address before the Haverhill School Committee last Thursday night, Glenn Burns outlined what will be his approach to guiding the school of 1,800 students.

“Listen to them and see what they need and really focus on outing the best tools in their hands to meet the needs of our kids. That’s what I see as my priority and my job there,” he said,

Studying Haverhill High School over the past two weeks, Burns singled out two existing programs he wants to grow. Project Lead the Way, which he described as “the most popular STEM curriculum in the country,” and career technical education are pathways he seeks to leverage. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity—the staff there has been really poised and there is a great foundation there.”

Haverhill High School Principal Glenn Burns. (Courtesy photograph.)

Burns will be meeting staff, the public and students this Wednesday at the high school. Staff meetings take place between noon and 2 p.m., a meet and greet with the public runs from 3-5 p.m. and student time takes place during Freshman orientation, from 6-7:30 p.m.

School Committee members also alerted Burns to their priorities. Member Scott W. Wood Jr., for example, discussed the need to reach students who don’t want to be at the high school.

“A lot of the kids we need to get are the kids that don’t make it into Whittier Regional Vo-Tech School, and they go to Haverhill High School—not because they want to, but unfortunately because they have to—because they didn’t get into those schools,” Wood explained.

Wood said there is a need to keep those pupils engaged until graduation. “You go up there and talk to some of the kids, or some of the kids that have dropped out in the past, a lot of it was because that was the route they wanted to go and they didn’t see their path there.”

School Committee Vice Chairman Paul A. Magliocchetti said he doesn’t want the high school to lose sight of liberal arts, while the focus shifts to high tech. He said the two work hand-in-hand.

“Everything you read about when these colleges and these businesses look for these science and engineering types, one thing they always look for are the ones that can convey the data—they can convey the knowledge, they can make the presentations,” he said.

Member Richard Rosa also spoke of the needs to obtain grants, while member Gail M. Sullivan asked for continued professional development for teachers.