As Nashoba said farewell to Dr. Graham last June, the school also prepared to welcome a new principal for the following school year. After a tedious process that included numerous applications and a “Meet the Candidates” event in the spring of last year, the field was narrowed down to one candidate. I sat down with our new principal, Mr. Di Domenico, to talk about the changes he has made so far to Nashoba, his plans for the future, and his views on the late start schedule.
In an interview with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in August, DiDomenico outlined his diverse career. Starting out with jobs in the fields of journalism, theater, and marketing, he finally settled down in teaching and administration. He has since held principal jobs in Worcester and the Northboro-Southboro district, holding the assistant principal position at Algonquin Regional High School for 12 years.
When asked about why he has been attracted to teaching and administration, he replied: “When you get right down to it, it is about the people…the verb “to administer” means to serve. As a principal, it’s kind of an oxymoron as you are both leading and serving. It’s all about relationships with the staff, the students, and the parents.”
Coming into the district, Di Domenico mentions how special it is “that students are coming from homes that value education and students here are very accomplished, in both the classroom and beyond the classroom.”
Since officially taking the job this past summer, Di Domenico has enacted some changes to help Nashoba run more efficiently. In addition to bringing on a new assistant principal focused on academics, Mrs. Pratt, the school has “relocated the assistant principals’ offices to an ‘assistant principals’ suite’…administrators should be where students are, where teachers are, not in [their offices] all the time.”
On working through Nashoba’s space, Di Domenico said that he has succeeded in paving the way for “new learning centers such as LC3 in the Media Center. We are still working through space issues…I also had to find a space for our student resource officer.”
To help the school run smoothly, he has revised the process of upperclassmen lockers and parking passes. In addition, he sees room for improvement concerning student government, specifically the relationship between student council and elected class officers. “That’s something I look forward to working on with the advisors and student representatives.”
In the future, Di Domenico has goals in strengthening after school activities. “I look at our athletic programs under Ms. Rich, and how they’ve flourished, and I look at our extracurriculars. Some are flourishing, but I think there’s a lot of untapped potential there…I want to increase the number and the vibrancy of those programs.”
In the past two years, one large change that past principal Dr. Graham enacted was the late-start schedule. On his views with this system, Di Domenico said that this system was created with the goal of more professional development for teachers, which is “a great goal…I want to make sure that we are taking that time and we all want to make sure that we are using that time effectively. That’s something I’m going to look at over the year, and we’ll be hearing back from teachers about what they’ve done and I’ll be reporting to the School Committee as well.”
As Mr. Di Domenico moves into his fourth week of the school year, he looks forward to get to know both students and staff and help lead Nashoba through a great school year.