The new principal at John Glenn Middle School says he is “really excited about this opportunity to make an impact on Bedford, and to get to know students, teachers, families, and community. members.”
Jonathan Hartunian, 43, began his position on July 1. He succeeded Kevin Tracey, who is now the principal at Reading Memorial High School.
Hartunian said he is arranging opportunities to connect with JGMS teachers throughout the summer, setting up times to meet and “talk about their experiences.” Then he plans to get to know the students, first at locker days for grades six and seven and then at grade-level assemblies.
The new middle school head most recently was the assistant principal of the lower division at Chenery Middle School in Belmont. Indeed, his Belmont roots are deep. Hartunian graduated from Belmont High School in 1996, lettering in soccer and wrestling.
As an undergraduate at Syracuse University, Hartunian earned degrees in physics and psychology. He explained that he discovered the joy of teaching as a senior while working as an intern and a tutor with freshman physics students.
His first professional position was in 2000, teaching mathematics and physical science at Garfield Community Magnet School in Revere. After a couple of years, he returned to Belmont as a seventh-grade mathematics teacher at Chenery.
After 13 years of teaching at the school, he successfully applied for an assistant principal’s position there because “I felt I could make an impact. I really wanted to work with people.”
In addition to his teaching and administrative experience, Hartunian’s resume includes Belmont High School head wrestling coach from 2000 to 2013 and an assistant football coach from 2003-2005 and 2007-2012.
Hartunian feels that the key to his role as JGMS leader is “building relationships with kids. That’s critical to their success, and everything has more meaning.”
“As principal, you have got to be visible,” said Hartunian, who plans to be greeting students in the halls and personally thanking them for “doing the right thing.” Through visibility, he said, “They get to see you as part of the school, as somebody who cares.” He especially values knowing students by their names.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763