Illustration by Carolina Cuevas.

Every night, on weekdays and on Sundays, students look forward to receiving a nightly check-in email from Principal Chris Mastrangelo, just as much as Mastrangelo “looks forward to writing them.” 

Ever since Malden High School closed back in March of 2020, students, as well as teachers, were “confused and scared and nervous” about the changes that everyone had to adapt to from the Google Meets, to the constant gazing at the screen, to the lack of connection everyone felt while doing school remotely. Mastrangelo acknowledges that “there have been times this year and last year that we all felt alone.” 

At school, Mastrangelo enjoyed the little conversations he had with the students in the cafeteria or in the hallways. The simplest moments at school, such as the little conversations with the students, brought happiness to Mastrangelo. Due to the pandemic, “[he] lost that,” adding that “students [also lost] the everyday interactions with each other and the teachers.” 

Initially, no one knew when students and teachers would be getting back to school. Mastrangelo explained that last year Malden High students “had a long weekend because there was a Professional Development Day [on] March 13th, and then we never came back. It was a scary time and still is.” It was “important for [him] to start sending something that would connect [him] with the students.” As much as Mastrangelo was doing it for students, “[he] was [also] doing it for himself.”

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