After being assistant principal at Kingston Intermediate School for four years, Mike Bambery was ready to take over as principal.
KINGSTON – After being assistant principal at Kingston Intermediate School for four years, Mike Bambery was ready to take over as principal.
He really enjoys the positive environment at the school, and since he’s not parachuting into a new building, he has already developed relationships with most everyone there.
“I love every one of my staff, and they’re very professional,” he said. “They take the job seriously, they’re very fun to be around, they’re empathetic, they care for each other, and they care for the children.”
It’s been a bit of a strange road to get to Kingston, Bambery explains. He grew up in Foxborough, graduating in 1985, and attended Bridgewater State before going to work for the state Department of Youth Services. He made the switch to public school six years ago.
He worked primarily in Brockton for the 24 years he worked for DYS but also worked in Brewster for seven years and Fall River for five years. The decision to accept the job in Kingston evolved from his work at DYS facilities and the educational components within the facilities.
New teachers right out of college would spend a couple of years with him as the building principal in these standalone educational departments and then transition to public school districts, and after about 12 years he had an epiphany. He wanted to become a public school building principal.
“It was the best decision I ever made in my life, especially with this age group,” he said.
He had been working with high school aged students and only had contact with intermediate school students through coaching many sports while his children were growing up. He said it’s refreshing to work with children at this grade level who are genuinely happy.
“Every day is very rewarding,” he said. “The kids just really make you appreciate being here. It’s their excitement, their passion.”
Bambery participated in the process for choosing a new assistant principal to take his place. Kaitlin Bishop, a middle school vice principal at her last job, was the choice.
While the superintendent has the final say, Bambery said he was given a lot of leeway to review the applicants, and with help from his peers narrow the list of his preferred candidates to make his own recommendations to the top administrators.
He said he believes that if you have the smartest people in a room, they will make the best decisions, and that Bishop is both smart and experienced. She also has the same perspective. He said having worked in Fall River, she will enjoy the environment at the school.
He said her background supervising student teachers is invaluable because it’s a relevant experience that’s learned by working in the role. He said vice principals usually come from the classroom, while principals have usually been a vice principal.
He said he’s now in a position where he can pay extra attention to students who need it and can be a role model for those who don’t have role models in their lives and instill values in adolescents at a formative age. He said it’s rewarding to have a career where he can be a role model.
Bambery doesn’t believe in change for the sake of change. As a manager, he waits on making changes, and in Kingston has a strong district support network to aid in his decision-making going forward. He said it’s vastly different being principal and vice principal, and he has just made some logistical changes to operating procedures.
He said he and retired Principal Lisa McMahon were always on the same page, like-minded, and most of the time when he asked what she would do in a particular situation, she would have the same answer he had in mind. He said she was a great mentor and had good systems in place.
He said the teachers and staff are very supportive, very helpful, from offering help to a substitute teacher to supporting one another. He said it’s also a very professional staff, the most he has worked with since he has been a manager.
They also welcome parent volunteers into the building and into the classrooms, he said. He encourages the use of apps by teachers to communicate with the families.
“I’ve really embraced technology as a means of inviting the community into the school,” he said.
Follow Kathryn Gallerani on Twitter @kgallreporter.