Tough timing on that Wellesley High house naming announcement

2012 Wellesley High School signNew Wellesley High School Principal had some tough timing for his announcement Thursday mid-afternoon regarding the naming of the new houses at the school that are designed to better align administrators with the growing student population. His email about the house naming popped into inboxes just as the E. coli was hitting the fan as the result of the town’s warning to boil water after a positive bacteria finding in one of its reservoirs.

Dear Wellesley High School Community,

I wanted to quickly write to announce the three House names that were recently approved by our School Committee in a unanimous vote.

Bradford House – Gamaliel Bradford was the Wellesley Historian for whom the 1938 Rice Street Wellesley High School was named. The Housemaster for Bradford House will be Lynne Novogroski who is entering her 45th year as an educator in the Wellesley Public Schools.

Phillips House – Alice L. Phillips was the principal of the first Junior High School in 1911. The former Phillips Junior High School was named in her honor. The Housemaster for Phillips House is Andrew “Drew” Kelton who is a graduate of the Alice L. Phillips School.

Perrin House – Marshall Perrin was the first Superintendent of Schools from 1893 to 1909. The former Perrin Elementary School was named in his recognition. The Housemaster for Perrin House is Marc Bender who is joining us after a distinguished 8-year career as an Assistant Principal at Holliston High School.

In an effort to create names for the new House system at Wellesley High School, the Housemasters and I were mindful of the important legacy we will be establishing for the future. We felt it was most appropriate to connect the names of these Houses to the history of our community and school district. We began by researching the history of schools in Wellesley through various online and print sources, and communicating directly with local historian Joshua Dorin. We narrowed our options to the names of former schools and educators, and surveyed the community for input. After reviewing responses from approximately 470 participants, we brought forth the above names for the Superintendent’s and School Committee’s consideration.

Each of our new Houses represents a Wellesley school at the elementary, middle, and high school levels that is no longer in existence. We are also pleased that one of the three Houses is named after a prominent female educator.

Many thanks to all of the members of our community who participated in the House naming process, which will now become a new chapter in the rich history of Wellesley High School.

Sincerely, Jamie Chisum

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