Getting To Know Our New Principal, Mr. Hanna


Vedika Vinayak, Writer

As Franklin High School says a goodbye to our former principal, Mr.Peri, many of us are curious about the new chapter of our high school, and the person who will lead it. Starting the fall 2020-2021 school year, we will recieve Mr.Hanna as our new principal. Keep reading if you want to know more about Mr.Hanna, his plans for the school, or how you will be affected by him!

Here is a little background about our incoming principal. Mr.Hanna has two kids, 9, and 12, so he is familiar with the highs and lows of school received  by students. Previously an assistant principal at Hopkinton High School since 2013, Mr.Hanna is experienced in the field of educational leadership; “I think just understanding the logistics of a school, the scheduling, the behind the scenes work that as a teacher you’re not as aware of; also having difficult conversations with parents, students, and teachers… anytime you’re a leader you’re dealing with situations that aren’t simple. So it helped me learn how to effectively lead a school…” he says, in response to how his leadership at HHS has prepared him to take on the role of principal at FHS. Prior to his position Hopkinton, Mr.Hanna was a History teacher and football coach at Natick High School for 13 years. A chance to grow and the pride of Franklin in its students, schools, and teachers motivated him to make the move to Franklin.

Mr.Hanna with his family and dog, Ben.

So, many of you must be wondering, “how will I be impacted by having Mr.Hanna as principal?” Well, by holding the welfare of students at the utmost importance, Mr.Hanna is dedicated to providing a safe place for kids to learn, both emotionally, and physically. “Experiences as a student can usually be better if the teacher is passionate about what they’re teaching,”  Mr.Hanna says, supporting his idea to let teachers write their own courses based on what they’re passionate about. He believes that there are three major elements that help a school thrive and grow: “caring families, students that are excited to learn, and well-informed teachers and excited to teach.” Mr.Hanna himself strives to grow and is open to criticism; he plans to give out surveys regularly that asks how he, the school, and administration is doing. He believes that allowing people to talk and responding to what they say is important in giving people a voice. Resonating with the PANTHER acronym, Mr.Hanna finds that his own morals, such as honesty and kindness, will make him a good leader for the Franklin community. “I really believe in supporting people’s dreams, and I feel like a school needs to protect the dreams of its students, to create the foundation and support so people can go on and do what they like and make the world a better place.” It is also  important for Mr.Hanna to connect with his students, whether it’s through feedback from surveys, going to school events, or simply welcoming them every morning at school. He’d like to spend time talking and learning to people to understand areas that could be improved. After July 1st, Mr.Hanna will be coming out with opportunities to remotely meet with students. Over the next few years, Mr.Hanna hopes to implement an International Student Program. The program was developed and hosted at Hopkinton and was a huge success; it gave students a way to interact with people from across the world and improved the World Languages Department. Mr.Hanna’s focus on safety and connection perfectly aligns with the core values of Franklin High School.

In the wake of the recent budget cuts, close to 100 teachers were given pink slips. Curious if those changes were to carry over into the new school year, I asked Mr.Hanna what he had in plan for those teachers, and the impact of the budget cuts on the school. I learnt that the town is working extremely hard to come up with solutions so those changes do not roll over into the school year, but there are many different uncontrollable factors that affect those decisions; Mr.Hanna knows that the lay-off news is very difficult for those Franklin teachers as well as the students who had good relations with the teachers, and hopes that the town will find a solution. “One thing I’ve learnt about the town of Franklin in the last few months is the care level that they have for their children and schools, so although it might feel really uncomfortable now, my guess is that solutions will be created and things are going to get back to a place where people will continue to be as happy and supportive of the schools as they have been.” He says that more information is needed from the state but the school has come up with multiple plans of action based on what the state’s advice will be. If distance learning is to be continued, administration will evaluate how remote learning needs to be improved, but if we return to school, Although Mr.Hanna is with us in wishing that we go back to “normal,” he believes that “safety is a huge focus.” 

Addressing you all, Mr.Hanna says, “I am really excited to meet you all, and learn from you, and support you, and make your high school experience as great as it can be. I will be coming out with opportunities to meet you in small groups throughout the small groups, after July 1st. Stay safe and have great summer!” Although the future is unclear, one thing is certain: Mr.Hanna will be an exceptional leader of Franklin High School.