Malden High School has seen many changes this past year, perhaps the largest of which being when former principal Dana Brown stepped down from his position. On Monday, September 26th, Malden High School opened its doors to students and families to meet the new principal, Edward Lombardi, in this year’s “Ask the Principal” night.

Before opening the floor to questions, Lombardi connected with his audience by explaining his origins as a Malden native. He talked about his childhood, attending MHS, his previous jobs and related it all to his current teaching philosophy. Lombardi started out as a TV news reporter but, after deciding his vocation lied in education, he began his teaching experience working at Lawrence High School.

MHS principal Edward Lombardi answering a question. Photo by Rebeca Pereira.
MHS principal Edward Lombardi answering a question. Photo by Rebeca Pereira.

Lawrence High is a much smaller school with a less substantial staff meaning that many decisions fell to him as the principal. There, he learned to implement an outlook which he has carried over with him to MHS: to make decisions intelligently, and not for the sake of making decisions. But, naturally, changes entail adjustments.

Lombardi was pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of MHS’s extensive staff and is eager to be able to meet most, if not all, MHS students very soon. Then, Lombardi spent as much time as possible with the floor open to the parents, as he claimed that “[he] needs to know what [parents] concerns and issues are, so that [we] as a school can react in the right way and keep [parents] involved as well as helping [students] succeed.”

The night began with a question very important to many students which regarded MHS wi-fi. Lombardi approached the topic by talking about the importance of a student’s voice in their school. During the 2015-2016 school year, many students joined on Twitter to bring awareness to the poor internet connection at MHS, a change mayor Gary Christenson was willing to help achieve.

Lombardi states “Wi-Fi is one of those things where you know it’s working if you don’t hear about it” and the fact that he “[hasn’t] really heard any complaints about it” indicates progress. The principal then addressed some questions parents had about the structure of MHS in relation to scheduling, the house system, guidance and adjustment counselors, and a new approach to homework.

Lombardi acknowledges that 9th grade transitions are hard for every student and parent. Getting adjusted to the schedule and to fluctuating quantities of homework can be a very hard on some students, which is why it’s so important to consider seeing guidance and adjustment counselors. The amount of homework given to students is very difficult to control because it’s ultimately up to each individual teacher, but Lombardi offers two solutions to minimize students’ stress.

Lombardi talked about the ability of teams of teachers at each grade level to be able to coordinate homework for each night as well as updating online resources like Google Classroom as soon as possible for students to be able to manage their time in the least stressful manner.

Lombardi was also quick to address the spring budget cuts and the major influx of students by reassuring worried parents that many situations are being sorted out and others would simply require that the district adjust. Although many aspects have been changed, Lombardi informed parents that “[MHS] already has a lot of good things going for it, such as a lot of great partnerships, great staff, great classes and great students.”

Parents were informed about the collaboration between Bunker Hill Community College and MHS, which has only gotten stronger as former principal Brown now works at BHCC. Right now, Lombardi’s goal is to “learn as much as [he] can in [his] first year” about MHS saying that “the more [he gets] into the process, the more he [grows] to love MHS.”

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