Village Principal Gets Philosophical As Summer Starts
This is the latest in our series of the summer plans of Marblehead teachers and faculty.
Like many of his students, Village School Principal Michael Hanna is already thinking about that final bell on Tuesday, when summer vacation begins. What's the first thing he'll do?
"Sit and stare blankly," he jokes. "Then take my wife out to dinner."
Hanna led the Village School through major renovations this year, his first year as principal. He's been in Marblehead for nearly a decade, working as director of curriculum development and as a French and social studies teacher.
But it was philosophy, not education, that brought Hanna to the area from his hometown of Seattle.
"I was a grad student in philosophy at Boston College, and then I met my wife here."
He caught the "teaching bug," he said, when as a cash-strapped student he began tutoring inner-city kids. "I discovered I love teaching."
But he still dabbles in philosophy and said his favorite deep thinker is Plato. "All of philosophy comes down to him."
In fact, philosophy may have helped Hanna navigate his first year as a principal.
"Humans really are very complicated creatures. And leading such a large group of grown ups and kids toward real growth and improvement is quite a task," he said.
Hanna will spend the summer preparing for next year at the Village "trying to address all the lessons we learned from this year." He'll also do some Ph.D. course work at Lesley College this summer.
Families ties will also take him on the road.
"I'll be spending a week in Seattle with my twin brother who just had his first baby -- well, his wife did. I also hope to take a portion of a week with my family on Deer Island, New Brunswick, where my wife's family has had a house for almost 30 years."
Hanna is looking forward to reading a lot this summer as well, including two light beach reads, Teaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher's Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap and Organizing Schools For Improvement: Lessons from Chicago.