Friday, October 5, 2007
A student's view: the most noticeable new face at CCHS — Principal Peter Badalament
There are countless unknown freshmen wandering the halls of CCHS, but the most noticeable new face this year is that of the principal, Peter Badalament. So far, his only reputation at the school is for being the man responsible for the shiny new furniture in the cafeteria. However, after a chat with the man himself, it's clear to me that Badalament's record will only get better and better.
Badalament suffered a typical high school experience as a student at Brookline High School, not too far from CCHS. In fact, when I asked for his least favorite memory of those years, the first incident to pop up was the one of getting a concussion right here on CC fields, during a lacrosse game his freshman year. Immediately, it was easy to see the high school kid still stuck inside our new principal.
As for similarities between himself and the current student, they are not hard to find. "I was sure I had failed this European History test, but ended up getting a 94%," reflects Badalament, clearly just as delighted about it now as he had been then. He also says he was very involved in student government, as well as soccer and lacrosse. "I think I was very well-rounded!" he chuckles. "I was never part of just one social group, either. Our cafeteria [at Brookline High School] was much like the one here at Concord-Carlisle."
Badalament actually worked at CCHS six years ago in JessicaTruslow's current job as assistant principal. Has the school improved or gotten worse in any way? "The faculty is still outstanding, but there seems to be a much stronger community." Badalament acknowledges that this is partly due to Be the Change, a community-building day held last spring at CCHS. I asked him what he believed to be the toughest challenge facing teenagers today, and his answer was surprisingly spot-on. "Balancing their lives around school, family — everything. Managing time and managing stress is definitely the biggest issue." It's good to know Badalament has such a sharp idea of exactly what keeps students under such high stress.
Badalament has two children, Anna, in kindergarten, and Will, entering third grade, in their hometown of Framingham. I asked the principal if he thought about his kids going into high school, to which he replied, "I'm most nervous about their transition to middle school!" However, Badalament also knows the huge importance of high school, especially in small towns like Concord and Carlisle: "The high school is a reflection of the society, the focal point of all the positives and negatives of the community. CCHS is the common ground for all of that." What about the community within the school? "CCHS has very supportive people. It's a great place to find your niche."
Will Badalament be able to do even more for this already welcoming school? It's common to see him standing in the hall, greeting students on their way to class, as he tries to learn more about our school. The principal says he's just listening for now, figuring out the way this institution functions and what he can specifically do to improve CCHS. I asked if he had a quote or proverb that meant something to him. "I don't have a quote, but I like to do everything in life with tolerance, integrity and caring," states Badalament.
Sounds like CCHS is in good hands.
© 2007 The