You’ve probably seen one of the newest faculty additions to our school, our principal, around the halls or peeping into classrooms. In the morning you can find Mike Berry by the side doors saying an energetic “good morning” to the lethargic students entering the school. In the afternoon, you can find him around the hallways or working in his office. Mike Berry is an approachable man with a football player’s stature and even though he’s just learning the ropes, he is happy to answer any questions you might have.
Mike has wanted to be a school principal since he was in high school. He’s known about Souhegan since his days as a child from Massachusetts. Mike used to play soccer on the front field as a young child when the school was just being built. Since then, he’s had friends who have gone to Souhegan and has kept the well-known “hippie school” in the back of his mind.
“I’m really fortunate that I ended up at, and landed, at this destination, at Souhegan.”
Mike has lived throughout the United States in Massachusetts, Vermont and Georgia. When Mike was offered the position to be the Souhegan principal last year he was in the London airport. “I got a phone call from two different people within the hour…. Advising me or asking me if I knew about Souhegan and if I was going to be interested in their opening… because they knew I was looking for other schools.” He was currently the principal at White Mountains Regional High School but was looking for other options.
Mike has always been interested in sports. He was the athletics director for White Mountains Regional High School before he became their principal, coached football when he lived in Georgia, played sports throughout his life, and has most recently become interested in CrossFit. As well as improving the athletics community here at Souhegan, he is also trying to help the arts program. “I was just in with the AP art kids yesterday… and the quality of their conversations, the quality of their work, and the way they interacted with their instructor, Stephanie Fritz… I was super impressed by.”
“It really doesn’t matter what kids do to find their niche and their lane. I think It’s more about having opportunities for kids to explore who they want to be and what version of themselves they want to be.”
This year has been a struggle for everyone in the Souhegan community but Mike is hopeful and thinks it’s going “…As good as can be expected” considering the circumstances. He likes to keep a structured daily schedule and it’s been crammed full with conferences, meetings, and planning for next year. Mike is trying his best to work with administration and staff to make next year as great as it can be while at the same time still focusing on the threats and complications of this year.
“Our days are filled with conversations regarding how to maximize the student learning experience, how to keep the learning cycle going, for students, how to support the stuff as they try to teach in two modalities here at Souhegan, how to make life as easy and consistent for families in the community.”