Heading into her third year on staff, Makenna is excited to take the reins as Editor in Chief of The Lancer Spirit. In her spare time, Makenna can be found playing competitive travel softball for the NH Prospects organization. She also is a part of NHS, the Green Council, and Senior Gators.
Principal Jason Parent to become new Assistant Superintendent of District
March 8, 2023
In an era of ever-changing faces, structures, and standards at Londonderry High School, there has been one steady constant. You can usually find him in the main lobby, bidding every student good morning. You could also find him bouncing between classrooms, checking in on the everyday academics. You are guaranteed to find his name in his monthly newsletters. For the past 15 years, Principal Jason Parent has been the familiar and welcoming face of LHS. Now, he takes his leadership to the next level as Assistant Superintendent for grades 6-12.
“It’s a big change,” Parent said. “I’m nervous, no doubt. This high school is all I’ve known for 20 years. It’s very dear to me and something I’ve made a huge part of my life.”
Parent’s new role came about following the influx of activity at the District Office and the need for more hands on deck. Superintendent Dan Black says that Parent’s name was mentioned with a “unanimous recommendation” during the preliminary search meeting.
“Mr. Parent is very dedicated to Londonderry and will be willing to put in the time and effort on whatever task that comes his way to make a stronger school system,” Black said.
The scenery isn’t the only thing changing for Parent—his day-to-day activities will be changing heavily as well. He will now be dealing with the “oversight of curriculum” across the entire Londonderry School District. This entails assistance in academic programs for teachers, instructional practices, and overall student achievement.
“Now, I’ll be in six different schools working with principals, teachers, and curriculum coordinators,” Parent said. “I’ll get to interact with students and be a part of classroom walkthroughs for all of the schools in our district, rather than just the high school.”
Parent notes that staying connected to and with the high school was “important.” His long-term home at LHS was backed by the “fantastic” students and teaching staff that kept him going. The society cultivated at LHS is what Parent believes makes the school one of the best public high schools in New Hampshire.
“[The success stems from] our academic excellence, the co-curriculars our students are involved in, and how we treat one another,” Parent said. “It all comes together and I’m so proud of those efforts because it means people are willing to participate and be involved in that.”
At the District Office, Black agrees that Parent will continue his efforts to make the school district a better place, much like he has LHS. He notes that Parent was a strong candidate in “understanding our current needs in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.”
“We have clear areas we want to improve on in curriculum, instruction, and assessment and Mr. Parent will be the right person to lead those efforts in coordination with myself, our administrators, and staff,” Black said.
Parent will be seeing a change when it comes to the vertical height of the students he sees everyday; students will soon be able to find him in the elementary and middle schools as well, providing leadership and guidance at the younger level.
“It’s all going to be new to me, so I have some training and research to do in order to be more familiar,” Parent said. “That part does make me a little more nervous, but I’m reassured because we have an outstanding staff in our school district and I get to meet some incredible teachers at all of these schools.”
With Parent accepting this new position, the search is now on for a new principal to fill his shoes at LHS. A committee of teachers, parents, students, and administrators is being assembled for the interview process of potential new principals. Parent is “sure” that “talented and impressive” candidates will be coming through.
“This is a fantastic high school that people want to be a part of,” Parent said. “I’m just happy knowing that the school’s next leader will have the skill set to continue this legacy of excellence.”
The move is “bittersweet” for Parent, who reflects on how the student body has affected him after all these years at the high school. His message to every freshman class is to “make this place special,” and he believes that we “flourish because of our students.”
“Every year we have students who are just amazing,” Parent said. “We have stars here and they get involved and get engaged. We have a great teaching staff that provide wonderful support, and a great administrative team, but it really is the students that drive our school. I’m most proud of what they’ve accomplished over two decades.”
Black highlights that Parent’s years of experience is going to allow the education system in Londonderry to “flourish” under his leadership.
“There is a lot of work we have to do as a school system when it comes to aligning our curriculum,” Black said. “We need his energy, enthusiasm, and leadership in all these areas.”
Although he won’t be a consistent face in the hallway come next fall, Parent is “happy” that he is still “involved and connected” with LHS. One word to describe his emotions for the high school as a whole, he notes, is “proud.”
“[I am proud] of their efforts, of all they achieved while contributing to our positive school culture and environment, and being one piece of the puzzle of our high school being,” Parent said. “I’ve always said that one of the major responsibilities of principals is to establish the culture of a school. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to carry that out easily thanks to a great student body and staff.”