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Wachusett Echo

The Student News Site of Wachusett Regional High School

Wachusett Echo

The Student News Site of Wachusett Regional High School

Wachusett Echo

A peaceful transfer of power

Pratt assumes role of Interim Principal
James Ryan
Mr. Pratt moves into a new office.

With the beginning of a new school year has come important administrative changes at the Regional. Pratt majored in history and secondary education. He considered law school but deferred for three years, and taught for 17 years before serving as an assistant principal for four years at Wachusett Regional High School. Pratt assumed responsibility as principal on August 28th.

“It was almost good that the transition was so fast because I didn’t have time to think. Instead, I was just thrown right into it,” Pratt said. 

Students and staff found out about the rapid transition only a few days before school started. 

“It was a shock to me when Mr. Beando left but it was no surprise that Mr Pratt took over,” said teacher Bill LaBaire. 

Since the transition, Pratt has acclimated to his new position, noting that his new role “includes more time with all of the staff and the students, opposed to just the 2024 class and history and language departments, which was my specialty. Now I am more involved with all students, teachers, and staff,” said Pratt. 

Vice Principal Victoria DeSimone said she is confident in Pratt’s skills and is excited to see where his vision takes the Regional.

I have worked with Mr Pratt for 10 years and knew of his aspirations to become a principal. He is a great leader, is good communicator and collaborator, and is full of energy and ideas. I look forward to supporting him in his new role as principal,” said DeSimone.

Pratt says his vision includes working on restorative justice and validating conversations. 

“My biggest philosophy is to make connections with the kids so they’ll work harder. Teachers should work to build relationships for success. Support makes kids work harder. I want to build an inclusive class where more students move forward,” said Pratt. 

Senior Maya Nicorolo spoke to his suitability for the role. 

“Mr. Pratt always makes me feel comfortable,” said Nicrolo. 

LaBaire agreed with this sentiment. 

“He is very fond of his Wachusett family. He backs up his family, whether that is his staff or his students.”

Some of Pratt’s new policies have already been implemented, including the “Disconnect to Reconnect” phone policy.

“I now am given the opportunity to initiate my ideas, such as Disconnect to Reconnect. I know people are laughing about the theme, but at least they are talking about it. I really want to reduce distractions and increase instruction,” said Pratt.

DeSimone said she shares his excitement about the new policy, saying “Disconnect to reconnect is the best school-wide message since COVID, and we have received much positive feedback from students, staff, and parents.The new electronics policy has helped to improve bathroom safety, to increase students engagement in classes, and to support positive mental health.”

Students share in this enthusiasm for Pratt’s new role.

“He was made for this position,” senior John Richard said. 

As a long time employee at Wachusett, Pratt knows the school very well and likewise his staff and students know him as well.

When asked about Pratt, Vice Principal DeSimone mentioned his love for Seinfeld and joked, “Actually, on a personal note, some of his mannerisms remind me of George Costanza– in a good way of course! Mike has a great sense of humor and we will miss him in the upper school office suite.” 

According to Pratt, despite a busy work schedule he has hobbies to help him decompress.

“I destress by painting those paint by numbers during the winter. Over the summer, I read Reconnect for school, and I’m reading Red Notice now. I love reading mindless mysteries,” said Pratt.

Even though many are happy to see Pratt in his new position, there was a short period at the beginning of the school year, the Regional was without a senior class Vice Principal. While searching for an interim Vice Principal, Pratt worked alongside a team of advisors including teachers Christina Ansell, Samantha Cornwell, Jillian Russo, and Jordan Young. 

DeSimone said about her preferences for an interim, “the last two Assistant Principals in that office space have been Miami Dolphins fans. I personally think it’s time for a Vikings or Patriots fan.”

On Monday September 25th, math teacher and Patriots fan Matthew Lane assumed the Interim Vice Principal role left vacant by Michael Pratt.

Pratt says he looks forward to the experiences and challenges that will come with this school year.

 “I am very excited to deliver a vision and direction for the entire school.”

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About the Contributors
Julia Kirton
Julia Kirton, Writer
Julia is a 10th grade student who is an editor for the Echo. She also plays field hockey for the high school, and loves working for the Echo.
Ella Hogan
Ella Hogan, Writer
Ella is a junior and this is her second year writing for the Echo and first year as Editor of Editorials and Features. In her free time, Ella enjoys listening to music, hang out with friends, playing with her dogs and, of course, writing.
Allison Deskins
Allison Deskins, Editor-In-Chief
Allison is a senior and has been working with the Echo for four years. She enjoys reading, listening to Taylor Swift, and editing for the Echo.

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