This week wasn't just a first for freshman entering the halls of Sachem East High School; it was the first week on the job for new the new principal. Louis Antonetti began his tenure at East after up from his role as assistant principal to Dr. Rory Manning. Manning left Sachem East this summer to take a principal's job at Harborfields High School.
Yesterday, Antonetti shared with Patch some thoughts on his first day, first week and the upcoming school year in the following email message:
As for my first week as a high school principal, all I can say is I feel blessed to be part of a team that has a common goal each day they come to HS East. I am extremely fortunate to be in this position knowing that we have great people working within the walls of our building. Being that East is only nine years young, we have an opportunity to further establish a tradition and culture that will forever be a part of those who work and learn here. It is amazing to see the many accomplishments we have already achieved as a group and I hope to build upon the camaraderie that already exists.
My main goal as the new principal is not to build my resume, but to build a culture of trust and positivity alongside people who deserve it. I am looking forward to working with all of our staff members as we promote a tradition of excellence for years to come. Many people ask me how it feels to be empowered in my new position. I do not consider myself anyone’s superior, we are all members of a team and must help each other accomplish the goals we envision. The empowering part of my job is being able to work with a first class group of professionals on a daily basis who understand the true meaning of effective teaching. The type of teaching we are trying to promote extends far beyond the classroom walls and hopefully will prepare our students to be successful, productive members of society.
One thing I am trying to express to our students is that they all have the same thing in common, and that one thing is “last year.” What happened last year remains in the past. The current school year provides them with a clean slate, so any regrets or mistakes they made last year can be corrected and learned from. As I speak with students that are entering the building or in the hallways throughout the school day I try to encourage them to be leaders amongst their peers and classmates. They must understand that things will not always go their way while remembering that giving their best effort is all we can ask of them. It is how they react to adversity and tough times that will define who they are. In my opening remarks on the first day students were reminded to act as if their parents will witness everything they do. It is important for them to realize that a person’s character is determined by what they do when nobody is watching.
Being that you only get one shot at high school it is vital for them to understand that they are creating their future with their present attitude. A person’s character follows them wherever they go and I have never met someone who was able to buy back their reputation. The electricity that students bring to a school is amazing and we hope to keep the positive vibe going throughout the school year. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the negativity of the world and that’s why all teachers and students are asked to leave their Negativity, Impatience, Complaints and Ego at the door in order for them to have a N.I.C.E. day!
Antonetti is planning to post a "Principal's Message" on the Sachem East High School website in the near future.