This year, Old Rochester Regional High School has made many changes including the position of vice principal. Former Vice Principal Michael Parker, having taken a position at Old Colony, was recently replaced by James Barrasso. Barrasso, previously from Sturgis Charter School in Hyannis, was thrilled to be given the opportunity to fill the position of vice principal, despite not having been one previously.
Unlike some of the staff at ORR, Barrasso is not a graduate. He has always admired the way the school functions, but moreso, the relationships built between the students and the teachers.
“Everybody I talked to at Old Rochester said what an outstanding district, how outstanding the kids were,” said Barrasso.
As vice principal, Barrasso’s responsibilities includestudent discipline, teacher evaluations, and special education within the high school. Also, if a phone is confiscated, you’ll find it at the end of the day in his office.
“It is a very difficult job that demands a variety of skills, and we felt like he either had great skill or was willing to learn to be successful in all areas,” said Michael Devoll, principal of ORR.
Immediately, Barrasso took note of a few things: the way the teachers work together in teams, the spectacular care and detail that the special education department puts into their work, and the great group of kids who attend the school.
But something that really stood out to him upon entering the building was its cleanliness and the care that the maintenance staff puts into the building everyday.
“I’ve met most of the maintenance staff, and they are outstanding professionals,” said Barrasso. “This building is really a nice place to come to every morning and I think this sends a good message to the kids, that we care enough about you to make sure this building is well-maintained and clean.”
Similar to his previous school, Barrasso notices the passion and care from the teachers for both the social and emotional well being of the students. Something he is still getting used to, though, is the size difference.
“I think the entire building could fit into our cafeteria,” joked Barrasso.
When asked his opinion of the new vice principal, Devoll said, “He is a great listener. He is very thoughtful in his approach to situations. He has an outstanding mindset for a high school and our community.”
To get to know his new students better, Barrasso has been doing things like saying ‘hi’ to kids in the hallway, chatting during lunch, and working his way through greeting every sports team. Once clubs begin, he also plans on introducing himself to the various clubs. One of his goals for the year is possibly working with the Drama Club and ORCTV on various issues and concerns brought to the administrators by the students.
Barrasso, who used to be a history teacher, finds himself impressed with the dedication, sincerity, and respect with which the teachers treat their students. He is looking forward to getting to know how the staff functions as a team and the values of the school. Having played hockey in both college and high school, Barrasso is a huge hockey fan and hopes that the coaches may let him occasionally play with the hockey team. And, he is hoping, maybe even the golf team.
“We are thrilled to add an educator of his caliber to our school,” said Devoll.
By Grace Mastroianni