Mitchell Strives for a Better Ipswich

Laura Levesque and Lindsay Crumley, Journalism

When a man leaves who has been apart of the culture and everything that Ipswich High embodies it’s hard to say goodbye, but it’s even harder to move forward. Jonathan Mitchell didn’t come into a position where it was easy to succeed. He had no idea what this little community had to offer. Thoughts were circulating through the town:Who is he? What will he do? These were just a few questions going through everyone’s mind.

The transition wasn’t easy for anyone. For Mitchell, it was a major leap from the urban school setting Revere had to offer, which has over two thousand students. Compared to our mighty six hundred, the transition was monumental for the new principal. In order to prepare for this change, Mr. Mitchell met with beloved former Principal, David Dalton. They met for about two weeks in the summer to discuss anything and everything about Ipswich.

Mr. Mitchell stated that Mr. Dalton was wonderful and spent a lot of time helping him prepare for what it’s like to be a Principal at Ipswich High School, “I have big shoes to fill in Dave Dalton. I’m looking forward to learning some things from him.”

Mr. Mitchell resides in Hamilton, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. He grew up in Westfield, Massachusetts and attended Boston College. He originally studied Political Science in college and even planned on attending law school, but when he took a Shakespeare class, it drastically swayed his life. It encouraged in him a love for English that he never realized before, so the major change came naturally to him.

He was an English teacher at Revere high school for eight years before becoming the deputy principal where he oversaw day to day operations at the school. This job was important to him because he felt as though he could truly connect with the students.

So what brought Mr. Mitchell to Ipswich? He always wanted to be more connected to the students, and he thought a smaller school would accomplish that. With over two thousand students that speak 40 different languages in Revere, it was hard to have a strong feeling of community there, “A smaller school is more intimate. It’s more close knit. It’s a place where you can build relationships.”

Mr. Mitchell plans to be more interactive with not only the whole school, but the entire community itself. He plans to meet with students, teachers, and parents to look at test scores and any other area that he and the staff feel is important to improve. Another main issue he wants to work on is increasing the attendance record for students or at least make it more consistent. He also said that when it comes to changes, he wants to observe and see how the school works before making those bigger changes.

How are students feeling so far about our new principal? We spoke with Eva Capobianco, a senior at Ipswich High school about her opinion on the new principal, “So far, I think he’s really great. He’s super nice and easy to talk to. He has a lot of hopes for our community and he is very passionate about what he does.”She also expressed a hope that Mr. Mitchell would continue to make our school a warm and welcoming community where students are happy to come to everyday. Eva who has a special connection to Mr. Mitchell, as he used to be good friends with her dad, stated, “I want people to know that he’s super easy going. He’s funny and kind. He loves what he does. He has a a lot of great ideas and has a dream for what IHS can be. He wants to become a lasting part of the IHS community.”

After speaking with Mr. Michell we are confident in saying that his dream for IHS and its future is a promising one and for seniors it’s disappointing that we will not be able to fully see what he does.

Losing Dalton was definitely a big loss for our school and entire community. For seniors, it was especially hard having him for the past three years, and not having him for our final one, but having Mr. Mitchell has taken all that fear away. We are all so grateful to have him here at Ipswich High School. We hope he feels welcomed and we wish him the best of luck with his future career at Ipswich and wherever life may take him.