When this extraordinary college yr involves a detailed, it should additionally mark the tip of a unprecedented 13 years at Guilford Excessive College (GHS) led by Principal Richard “Rick” Misenti, who will retire. And speak about defining moments: His remaining months as a principal, and his remaining farewell to the GHS Class of 2020, can be eternally checked out by means of the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This senior class, and the adversity that has confronted them, has demonstrated much more resoundingly their resilience and the energy in character that may carry them by means of life after GHS,” says Rick. “They’re well-prepared educationally, they’ve sturdy values, and so they’ll be capable of navigate any activity that they take from right here on in. And their resiliency with distance studying, with lacking out on actions…the best way they’ve dealt with it should take them far of their life after Guilford Excessive College.”
Whereas they gained’t march onto the City Inexperienced for graduation, he hopes his message deliberate for the Class of 2020 commencement workout routines, which “we’re attempting to make as particular as attainable,” will come by means of in the course of the safe-distance ceremony.
“I wished a lot to face earlier than our neighborhood and say goodbye and say thanks,” he says. “This might have been my 30th commencement ceremony, and the message I’ll by some means attempt to convey to the senior class is that almost all of those seniors started 13 years in the past with me. Most of them had been in kindergarten 13 years in the past and I used to be starting my first yr right here as principal. So we’ve got matriculated by means of the training system and these years collectively. And little did we all know after 13 years our ending would come like this. I’ll say goodbye to the senior class; I can not consider a larger class to exit with. And I might say goodbye to this neighborhood, and I might thanks for making the final 13 years of my profession so particular. Thanks for spending hours nurturing and guiding our kids. It is a particular city—I’ve been blessed to have the ability to function their principal.”
Distinctive Experiences and Help
Trying again over his 13 years at the highschool, three distinctive experiences shortly come to thoughts, in addition to three particular areas of assist that assist level to the success of GHS, Rick says.
“The primary is being awarded a Nationwide Blue Ribbon College, the second was involving our neighborhood and our college and our youngsters within the design and the construct to the transfer right into a brand-new college constructing, and the third is bringing the Worldwide Baccalaureate program to that prime college,” says Rick. “These are three issues that come to my thoughts shortly, and whereas I want I might say it was all due to me, it’s as a result of in any profitable highschool throughout the nation, there are three widespread threads that run by means of and thru that prime college or that faculty system.”
Rick says they contain a mixture of inspiring educators, motivated college students, and distinctive neighborhood/household partnerships.
“The primary thread is our academics, and I really consider the academics in the highschool are one of the best on the planet,” says Rick. “The second is a powerful pupil physique. They not solely signify our faculty and neighborhood contained in the classroom, they signify our neighborhood and its values. They attain out to individuals who have extra wants than any of us. They’re there for folks. They’re delicate, honest and giving of oneself. You don’t see that on a regular basis in younger folks.”
The third thread is a “great partnership” with households and neighborhood, he says, pointing to new highschool facility in addition to assist applications together with Guilford Youth Mentoring, Guilford Basis, and Guilford Fund for Training. Throughout his administration, the City of Guilford accepted a $92 million price range and constructed the brand new highschool, which opened in 2015.
“We’re not sitting in a model new constructing except there’s a sturdy partnership with neighborhood and its instructional system,” says Rick.
Rick says the partnership that’s in place between the varsity neighborhood and the neighborhood at giant additionally has an important deal to do with the success of GHS.
“Whenever you take a look at our mentoring program, they’ve 6,000-plus hours a yr that they mentor with Guilford’s youngsters,” says Rick. “I take a look at Guilford Basis and the Guilford Fund for Training—two great organizations which have pumped in additional than cash, they’ve pumped in assets for educating and studying. The place do you discover that in a neighborhood? That’s what makes it so particular. It’s not the cash; it’s the people who find themselves concerned, who give of their time and skills for academics and for younger folks. That’s what makes this city so particular.”
Past that, Guilford Public Faculties supplies exemplary assist for college kids throughout all ages and levels, he provides.
“I’ve to take my hat off to the Guilford Public Faculties system and provides credit score to the elementary and center faculties as nicely,” says Rick. “They put together our college students, and when our [GHS] academics get them, our academics take them to an entire different degree. However it’s a fantastic college system, Okay by means of 12, with distinctive management not simply within the buildings however within the district workplace.”
Rick says the management of Superintendent Dr. Paul Freeman and the Board of Training is one of the best mixture he’s skilled in his profession.
“I’ve a been a highschool principal for 30 years. I’ve seen the whole lot. I’ll inform you that, from the Board of Training to the superintendent to the principals of all the faculties and the academics, you may’t discover it higher anyplace,” says Rick.
Serving to to Form GHS
Throughout his GHS years, he’s particularly proud to have performed some small position in shaping GHS into this system that’s at present. He’s additionally grateful he might assist, in some small approach, with transitioning to the brand new highschool facility.
“I had a small half, however I had an element in it, and it was so rewarding. The way in which we designed and moved into the varsity was phenomenal,” says Rick.
He’s additionally exceptionally pleased with serving to to convey the Worldwide Baccalaureate Diploma program to the varsity.
“I knew about this system as a result of my son graduated from the Worldwide Baccalaureate program in Florida. So I knew the constructive issues about it, and I introduced it to the highschool. I bear in mind the primary assembly, asking if everybody wished to get on board, and so they did, “ he says.
The Worldwide Baccalaureate program challenges juniors and seniors throughout a two-year program of examine selling interdisciplinary studying approaches, vital pondering, world consciousness, and private growth.
One of the crucial current milestone moments for Rick arrived in 2019, when GHS was the one Connecticut highschool acknowledged by the U.S. Division of Training’s Nationwide Blue Ribbon Faculties Program. Being a nationwide blue ribbon college places GHS among the many elite in tutorial efficiency amongst excessive faculties throughout the nation.
A Life in Training
A Connecticut native, Rick was a stand-out baseball participant at Xavier Excessive College in Middletown and is a member of the Middletown Sports activities Corridor of Fame. He performed faculty ball in Florida, and following commencement, started his educating profession in that state. He returned to Connecticut to take the helm at GHS following a 31-year profession as a trainer, coach, and administrator within the Pinellas County, Florida college system.
As soon as he completes his position as GHS principal, Rick is wanting ahead to spending extra time together with his two grandsons, Leo, 5, and Peter, 3.
“They’re my delight and pleasure, and I plan on spending plenty of time simply being there in the event that they want me, serving to out with college with them, or if my son and daughter-in-law want me for something. I look ahead to doing that,” says Rick.
Rick’s son, Kyle, an legal professional, and his daughter-in-law, Victoria, met whereas attending Yale College and reside in Connecticut. Rick will stay in Connecticut as nicely, and can come again to go to Guilford and the many individuals he’s met and befriended by means of the years.
“I’ll always remember the city of Guilford. I’ll always remember the folks in it. The First Selectman [Matt Hoey] and I went to highschool collectively, we performed on the identical baseball workforce collectively,” he says. “Type folks like him, the nice chief that he’s… simply the fantastic folks right here, I’ll always remember. They had been type to me; they had been beneficiant with their kindness. They had been so beneficiant with their time and expertise for younger folks.”
As for the footwear he’s leaving for the following GHS principal to fill, Rick humbly asserts he simply an “quaint” highschool principal who lucked right into a improbable alternative to hitch GHS 13 years in the past.
“The 30 years I’ve been a highschool principal, I didn’t faux to be something however a highschool principal,” he says. “Going to occasions, whether or not it’s athletic occasions, whether or not it’s curriculum occasions, honor society conferences, artwork reveals; whether or not it’s attending the Poets Guild after they come into our faculty—I simply assume principals are purported to be doing that. They’re purported to be touring to the opposite facet of the state to observe their groups take part, whether or not it’s athletics or it’s debate. I’m simply an quaint principal who simply occurred to come back alongside on the proper time at this highschool.”