When students return to Revere High School (RHS) on Aug. 29, they’ll find an entirely new leadership team at the school – with the friendly smile of former Principal Lourenco Garcia moved over to the Central Office, and former RHS dean John Perella stepping in as the new RHS Principal for the coming year.
Also changing will be the deputy principal position, as Jonathan Mitchell has left for the principal job at Ipswich High. Replacing him will be Garfield Middle Principal Samantha Meier – a former Revere High teacher and coach.
Perella is a Revere native who taught history at RHS and was an assistant principal/dean for some time. About seven years ago, he left Revere to become the principal of Medford High. Now, he’s coming back home, said Supt. Dianne Kelly.
“I think he looked at this as another chance at getting back to his roots,” said Kelly on Monday, after making the announcement late Friday.
RHS is a little bigger than Medford now. They have about 1,500 students, and we have about 2,000. I think it’s a next step in his career as well. It does represent a big administrative change at the high school in one year. However, having John on board and Samantha Meier back in the building has given us a sense of history at the high school and they understand what the teachers are doing and it’s not been done through the lens of a whole new leadership team with different ideas.”
Kelly said they will continue with the model brought in eight years ago when Garcia took the principal’s job at RHS – moving to a block schedule and the innovative student-centered learning model where students take charge of their education.
“John is going to want to continue what’s happening at the high school and then with time put his leadership imprint on it,” said Kelly. “We’re not looking for someone to come in and overhaul what’s happening at the high school We are looking to further student-centered learning so students have a voice and choice and family and community are involved. We’re happy we’re in a good place because we have a team identified and can start the planning process.”
Stepping in for Meier as the new Garfield Middle principal will be Steve Pachinsky, who was the assistant principal and previously served in leadership at Revere High.
It will be a major change for the district’s centerpiece school – Revere High – but Kelly said they have the benefit of still having Garcia in the building at the Central Office to help out.
“We’ll be meeting in the coming month to help the team come together and begin a foundation,” she said. “It’s lucky we have Dr. Garcia still here because he can help with the transition as well.”