District hires new assistant principal for BHS

Allison Scanlon is focused on helping students

By Josh Bickford
Posted 10/13/20

Twenty years ago she walked the halls of Barrington High School as a student.

Now she walks the halls as an assistant principal.

The school district recently hired Allison Scanlon, a longtime …

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District hires new assistant principal for BHS

Allison Scanlon is focused on helping students

Posted

Twenty years ago she walked the halls of Barrington High School as a student.

Now she walks the halls as an assistant principal.

The school district recently hired Allison Scanlon, a longtime Barrington resident and Class of 2000 BHS graduate, as the new assistant principal. Ms. Scanlon joins fellow assistant principal Ed Daft and principal Joe Hurley at the high school.

"This is certainly an exciting opportunity to come home and give back to the BHS community that gave so much to me," Ms. Scanlon wrote in an introductory letter to BHS families.

Ms. Scanlon said she is excited to get to know the Barrington High School students and hopes to play in role in "positioning students for future success."

Ms. Scanlon was among a large group of applicants interested in the position, said Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore. A screening committee identified Ms. Scanlon as one of the top candidates, and Mr. Messore said she stood out during the process.

"She seemed very confident and assured, personable. She was really passionate about education. I think that's most important," Mr. Messore said. "She spoke quite a bit about how her goal is to help students, support students."

Mr. Messore said Ms. Scanlon shared her intentions to work with a diverse group of students and try to meet their individual needs. The new assistant principal will draw on a wealth of experience — for the last nine years she has worked at Atlantis Charter School in Fall River, which serves a diverse student body. She said she worked with students from varying socio-economic backgrounds … "All sorts of learners, all sorts of students," she added.

Ms. Scanlon said there is a diverse group of students at Barrington High School also, despite what some stereotypes may lead people to believe. 

"I didn't fully understand Barrington until I left," she said during a recent interview.

Ms. Scanlon said her time in town has helped her understand that there are many families who struggle financially — families where parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, who make sacrifices that are not readily apparent at first glance. Ms. Scanlon said there are also students who deal with challenging home lives, regardless of their financial situations.

"You understand that not everyone is the same. There is a lot of socio-economic diversity," she said. "I think Barrington is diverse in different ways."

Family of educators

Ms. Scanlon said she comes from a family of educators.

Her mother was a teacher, vice principal and principal in Providence; her sister and brother-in-law are both teachers; and her husband works for Wheeler School in their IT department.

Ms. Scanlon said she also had an interest in social work, which likely stemmed from her Senior Project at Barrington High School years ago. She said she focused her project on social work. She later majored in sociology at the University of Maine and received her masters in education from Simmons College.

Ms. Scanlon said she worked in Seekonk's public schools, helping students overcome their challenges.

"I really enjoyed working with those students," she said. "It's really important that all students feel safe and comfortable in school."

Ms. Scanlon said she is bringing that same approach to her work at Barrington High School. She said she wants to get to know the students, sharing a smile (a difficult task with a face covering) and understanding what they're going through. She said she wants to make real connections.

For her first year, Ms. Scanlon will work closely with the freshmen and juniors at Barrington High School.

"I am deeply committed to working closely with teachers, parents and community members to ensure that all students achieve their full potential and are prepared to take on their next phase in life, when that time arrives," she wrote in her introduction letter.

Mr. Messore said he is confident Ms. Scanlon will make an immediate positive impact at the high school. He said there is an assumption that assistant principals are only focused on disciplining students, but that is not accurate. More often, assistant principals are focused on helping students.

Mr. Messore said Ms. Scanlon enjoys working with students and is passionate about her role in the school community.

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