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Grace Ballenger – Staff Writer

(Photo courtesy of Madalyn Walker)

You often see her patrolling the hallways or surveying the cafeteria. She can almost always be found in the main office, waiting to help anyone who needs her. Yet many students are still wary of approaching our new vice principal, Ms. Adams.

The formally dressed vice principal can seem aloof from afar. But once you talk to her, Ms. Adams seems much different. A former job as an EMT, a love for the Patriots, an interest in heavy metal music and a passion for psychology are just a few of the things that set Ms. Adams apart from the stereotypical principal.

Before coming to Holliston, Ms. Adams taught history, sociology, and psychology at Framingham High School for ten years. While at Framingham High School, Ms. Adams also served as the Student Government Advisor, helping to organize school events such as dances, fundraisers, rallies, and teacher appreciation breakfasts.

Ms. Adams is drawn both to teaching and administrative work. She explains that, “As much as I loved teaching, and I still do love it, every time I was out of the classroom and involved in administrative responsibilities I found myself wanting more.”

She enjoys working in an administrative position because it allows her “to interact with students in a different way and help make positive changes on a bigger scale.”

For her, the role of a vice principal is different from the role of a teacher “in terms of the interaction with students,” because her new job does not have the one-on-one relationship with students that teaching provided.

She came to interview at Holliston High School because she heard the position for vice principal was open, and she had a good opinion of the school based on our school’s exemplary MCAS scores. When interviewed, she found the atmosphere at Holliston to be welcoming, energetic and fun.

Ms. Adams has held a variety of jobs before serving as teacher and vice principal. She was certified as an EMT during her freshman year of college. She is still certified as an EMT today but she does not actively serve as one.

She has a background in psychology, and earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling. She worked part-time as a therapist for three years in an outpatient clinic.

Ms. Adams’ background in psychology is still useful in her current job, because according to her, psychology is “helpful in difficult situations,” and in “understanding behavior and how to talk to people.”

Ms. Adams says that there is “no such thing” as a regular schedule in her job. Some of her duties include observing classrooms, tracking down students and watching over the lunches in the school cafeteria.

For her, some of the greatest difficulties of being a vice principal have to do with the amount of work that she is involved in and the unpredictable nature of her job. She explains that in her job she “may have the best plans for the day and then [have to change her plans] because a student or teacher needs [her] for something.”

However, Ms. Adams still enjoys getting to know her new school, explaining, “It is fun to be in a new place again and have to learn how the school works, the rules, and student and faculty names.” The changing atmosphere of a school keeps her busy and open to new ideas, and she says that “if I can learn from the school it’s great.”

Outside of school, Ms. Adams enjoys going to concerts. She is also an avid Patriots fan and loves attending games or watching them from home.

Ms. Adam’s vision for the school is one where “students are successful, kind, respectful, and laughing all the time.” She adds that she wants students to feel like “they have a place in the school and an adult who believes in them.”

If there is one thing that Ms. Adams would like students to know about her it’s that “I try to be fair and consistent. I’m always here to talk, or to listen, and to figure out a solution to whatever the problem is.”

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