Derek Morrison
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

WARE — Ware Junior Senior High School will welcome a new principal, Derek Morrison, on July 1.

Superintendent Michael Lovato recently announced Morrison’s selection to replace former Principal Eugene Rich, who officially resigned from his position in July 2023. Since then, Scott Slattery has served as interim principal at the school. The application for a new high school principal was first posted on Feb. 12.

Currently serving as principal of Greenfield High School, Morrison has more than 20 years of school experience, he told Reminder Publishing.

Morrison began his career in Chicopee as the Middle School Alternative School coordinator, where he helped develop the middle school program. After three years, he became the Chicopee Academy Alternative School principal, serving in that capacity for five years before moving to Chicopee Comprehensive High School, where he was principal for 11 years, he said.

After briefly working at 1st Sgt. Kevin A. Dupont Middle School during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, he shifted to Greenfield High School in order to resume working with high school level students, Morrison explained.

When asked about his goals in taking over the high school principal position, Morrison highlighted the importance of connecting with the community.

“It’s super important to get a pulse for me,” he said, emphasizing that he was looking forward to “observe and learn the culture” as well as speak with students and staff about their desired needs. In following this process, Morrison explained that he would be able to decipher where his skills are able to best fit. He also stated that academic instruction and special education were some of his own focuses.
Morrison stated that he first became familiar with the Ware district when he applied for the previous superintendent opening, immediately feeling a connection. Then, in later applying for the principal position, Morrison said he “felt heard and supported” by Ware staff and Lovato.

Embracing this connection and reciprocating it with fellow staff, students and families was one of his main approaches to this position, he said.

“I’m a strong collaborative leader,” Morrison said, explaining that he has “the ability to bring people together.”

When he starts on July 1, Morrison will implement an “open door, phone, email” policy and encourage the community to contact him to talk, share concerns or ask questions. “Please don’t be strangers,” Morrison emphasized. “Feel free to reach out.”

lmason@thereminder.com | + posts