EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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New Hampshire

December 2, 2012

Great expectations

New Pelham Memorial principalwants community to get involved

PELHAM – Stephen Secor has a big week ahead.

The new principal at Pelham Memorial, the town’s 540-student middle school, will be talking about expectations for pupils during a series of assemblies.

Those aren’t just his expectations, however. Students have had a say, too, through their eighth-grade leadership team and homeroom representatives for sixth- and seventh-graders.

“We’ve agreed on those expectations,” Secor said.

He emphasized this won’t just be a discussion this week about responsibilities that come with expectations, but also about rewards.

Secor, who turned 37 last week, is a Londonderry resident, a married father with three children ages 3 to 7.

He served five years as assistant principal at Hollis-Brookline Middle School before taking the Pelham job last month.

Secor is a month into the job and obviously enjoying it.

“Things are going well,” he said last week.

Secor isn’t a lifetime educator, though he may be one the rest of his life.

He came to teaching from the business world, where he had worked as a certified public accountant. That was, he said, “Before making the best decision of my life.”

The University of New Hampshire graduate, who has a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, worked as a math teacher in Arizona and New Hampshire before becoming an administrator.

In what promises to be an ambitious first year, Secor is asking his faculty team at Pelham Memorial to look at their current practices and compare them with the research about the best practices in education today.

Secor also has made a very public appeal for parent involvement with the school.

He has asked them on the school website to start a Parent-Teacher-Student Association.

“I did it because I was accustomed to having a very active PTSA,” Secor said. “In Hollis, we encouraged volunteerism and we did it through the PTSA.”

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