Monomoy Regional High School Principal Bill Burkhead has been selected for national recognition as the state’s Principal of the Year by the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association.
This recognition is co-sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and recognizes outstanding middle school and high school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to their profession. Mr. Burkhead will be honored by his peers at the MSSAA Summer Institute in Hyannis this July.
Mr. Burkhead, a graduate of Springfield College, began his career as a high school physical education, health teacher, and head football coach. He later earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State. He has worked in administration as an assistant principal and as the Athletic Director for Plymouth North High School and two years as principal of Normandin Middle School in New Bedford prior to joining Monomoy as the first principal of the district’s new regional high school.
Under Mr. Burkhead’s leadership, Monomoy Regional High School, located in Harwich and serving students from Harwich and Chatham, has received much attention for its focus on a supportive culture within the building that is bolstering improved academic outcomes for its students. This started with a shared belief that Monomoy Regional High School would be a “home away from home” where every person would be treated respectfully, pushed to achieve high expectations, and loved. The school’s motto quickly became “You are important,” and the school’s actions, celebrations, successes, and decisions revolve around this central concept.
Monomoy Regional High School has become a school where you feel a unique and palpable culture within minutes of walking into the building. Those fortunate to visit the building while classes are in session and have the opportunity to walk the halls, talk to the students, staff, parents and community members are left feeling the vibe, the enthusiasm, and love of learning. Mr. Burkhead and others attribute this culture of pride, high expectations and enthusiasm for the school’s increased graduation rate, continual improvement and high growth on ELA and Math MCAS exams, doubling of the number of students who take AP courses, increased number of students attending 4-year colleges, and decreased number of families that “school choice” out of district.
“I am honored, humbled and blessed to be chosen as the 2018 Massachusetts High School Principal of the Year,” said Mr. Burkhead. “I look at this honor as validation of Monomoy Regional High School’s growth and accomplishments. It seems like only yesterday when two rival high schools, Chatham & Harwich, came together under one roof. We set a goal then of establishing a positive, trusting, and thriving school culture, where we treat each child like they were our own. We have accomplished that and so much more in our first three-plus years as a school family.”
When not with his Monomoy family, Mr. Burkhead enjoys time with his non-work family in Plymouth, Massachusetts.