Natick Report has begun working with The Natick Nest, Natick High School’s official student-run school newspaper, to help bring the students’ work to a larger audience. We’ll be republishing some of their articles, and plan to coordinate with their staff on additional pieces.
By Nathan Moldover, editor-in-chief
This year, Natick High School has a new interim principal, Mr. Jason Hoye. Having connections to a principal, or any teacher, is vital to a positive relationship. To help with this, Mr. Hoye graciously agreed to an interview. Many students have had interactions with Mr. Hoye throughout their years at Natick High School (NHS), but a strengthened knowledge of him will lead to a strengthened relationship.
Mr. Hoye started out his educational career as a paraprofessional in Newton, where he discovered his love of working with young people and decided to pursue a career in education. After spending four years at Wilson Middle School, he became a Health and Wellness teacher at NHS. Six years later, he got the job of Dean of Students. And after four years as Dean of Students, he is now the Interim Principal for this school year. This is now his fifteenth year in Natick and eleventh year at Natick High.
After former principal Mr. Harrigan announced that he was leaving NHS, the school opened up applications for the position of Principal. But with a short turn-around, the school wanted more time for the candidate pool to expand. They approached Mr. Hoye, who hadn’t applied for the position, and asked if he would consider taking a one-year interim position as principal. After giving it thought, he decided that it would be “best for our faculty and our students to have somebody that they knew already in the position.” Now, as Interim Principal, he says that “the biggest thing [he] want[s] to do is to help strengthen and build culture and relationships.” Still emerging from Covid, it is imperative that the school build community and school culture, because our community is one of the many things that makes NHS so special.
The community around Natick High School is just one of the things that makes Mr. Hoye love working here. He is thankful for the abundant support that the community around Natick has given him and the school overall. He says that NHS is lucky to have some of the best teachers, to have an incredible building, and to have access to so many resources. In his words, “There is something here for everybody.” But one of the most important things to Mr. Hoye is the interactions with young people: being able to see them grow and mature, being able to watch their trajectory. What is especially rewarding for him is running into former students when they are older, and seeing where they have gone. He says that “to hear that they are doing what they love to do is the most important thing to me.” Some of his fondest memories are from teaching classes, coaching the football and baseball teams, and interacting with students. He loves seeing the seniors at the end of the year do all the senior traditions: class night, prom, the boat cruise, and, finally, graduation. “Watching seniors walk across the stage on graduation day is a great feeling for them, and for us as educators,” he says.”
Education for Mr. Hoye, and for many teachers, is incredibly rewarding. Although education is incredibly rewarding for Mr. Hoye and many other teachers, working in education isn’t necessarily easy. There are lots of skills required, and many challenges to be faced. Mr. Hoye says that educators must be able to understand kids, be patient and resilient, be organized, and have grit. He says one needs to have a philosophy of meeting kids where they are. Importantly, one needs to enjoy working with kids. These are traits required for any job in education, and there are many more role-specific requirements that allow educators to meet the challenges that come with working in education. Mr. Hoye says that “anytime you work in a field that deals with human beings on a daily basis, that’s tough. There are an infinite amount of things and situations that you come across that sometimes are really tough.” Everybody has their own personal situations and circumstances, especially when dealing with families and young people. But Mr. Hoye says that if one is helping push kids and families and support them in education, and is sticking true to personal beliefs and values, then they are doing their job as an educator. Because being an educator is so difficult, it is so important that educators like Mr. Hoye, who cares deeply about the people at the school, are here to face these challenges.
Moving forward, Mr. Hoye says Natick can expect applications for principal to open in December or January. A committee to interview and select candidates will run the process. He says that he is considering applying for the position, but has not made up his mind. Regardless, the committee will choose a new principal in time for next year. If it is Mr. Hoye, he says he would be ready to take on the challenge. If they chose someone else, he is ready to assist with the transition, and then return to his dean position.
It is evident that Mr. Hoye loves working with kids. He is filled with joy “seeing them happy.” Hopefully, this year can bring everyone this joy.