WARE — Derek Morrison, the new principal at Ware Junior Senior High School was officially introduced by Superintendent of Schools Michael Lovato at the June 5 meeting of the School Committee.

Morrison, who comes to the position after more than two years as principal at Greenfield High School began his Ware transition on June 3, nearly a month earlier than his expected July 1 start.

Lovato noted that Morrison is already getting to getting know people and went on a field trip with students.

“Mr. Morrison does come in with a wealth of experience as a high school principal, so we have high hopes for [him] and we’re excited to have him as part of the team,” he said.

Morrison said so far, the transition has been fast paced and beginning early has distinct advantages.

“A lot of new faces, end of the year but I find this time extremely valuable in our field,” he said. “As typically like a July 1 start, I would come into work and everybody would be gone for the summer for the most part. This is a nice way for me to get in, meet the students, meet the staff and feel the flow of the school.”

Morrison said he has an opportunity to dive into the process, acknowledging the field trip he took with the eighth grade to the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford.

“I didn’t know a soul, but I had a blast with the kids,” he said. “I’m looking forward to really kind of moving things forward.”

Morrison encouraged committee members to come by the building and he looks forward to working with them.

“One of the things I’m looking to do this summer is to get to know the town a little bit better,” he said. “[I want to] get to see what’s out there, where my students are coming from.”

Lovato encouraged Morrison to look at what he’s taking charge of and to embrace the challenges ahead.

“You look at the kids that stand on our stage for graduation and there’s just so much hope for these kids and so much natural leaders, it’s just a wonderful place to be,” Lovato said. “I’d say 80% of out kids are going to graduate no matter what we do, it’s really the challenge of the [other] twenty percent, how do we get those kids to graduate, how do we get those kids involved?”

Lovato indicated that Scott Slattery, who served as interim principal before Morrison was hired would be staying on as an assistant principal and he hoped Assistant Principal Michael Fazio would remain as well.

“To me that’s an all-star team,” he said. “My challenge to the three gentlemen that will be leading the high school is, no excuse. There’s not a kid out there that doesn’t deserve the opportunity to graduate and every kid should be pushed.”

Lovato offered his support and invited Morrison and his team to be create and raise the bar.

“We’ll walk the fire together,” he said.

In other business, the committee voted to approve a one-time only sick-leave buyback option for three retiring paraprofessionals. Future similar actions would have to be added to the next contract.

A report from Director of Buildings and Grounds William Alderman identified forthcoming and summer projects including new fire curtain installation in the middle school stage area, a rebuild for the JV baseball field pitching mound, repair of a sinkhole in the Stanley M. Koziol Elementary School Parking lot and custodial staff preparation for school building summer cleaning.

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