Welcome Principal Bourn!

Abington High School Welcomes a New Principal


Abby Joyce

Mr. Bourn in his office at Abington High School on October 6, 2020

Abby Joyce, Editor in Chief

Hailing from Coventry, Rhode Island, Mr. Jonathan Bourn is welcomed as the new principal of Abington High School. Equipped with much experience, Bourn taught history in Maryland and Brockton, was the principal of the old Abington High School in 2006 for four years, an assistant principal in Needham for five years, to later become a principal in Norwood and Hudson, before returning to Abington this year.

When asked about Bourn’s path to becoming a principal, he describes his passion had derived from teaching. “I knew in high school I wanted to be a teacher. I knew I either wanted to be a math or history teacher. And I decided on being a history teacher,” Bourn said.

Bourn likes working with high school students because of the relationship he can build with students at an interesting stage in their life. When asked why he enjoys being an administrator of this age group, he said, “I like checking in with students to see what they are working on and learning about what their academic experiences are. I like high school because the age groups of 14-18 are really transformative years for students.”

He added, “I think being a principal, I have a unique position to have a hand in hopefully improving the educational experience for all those students. So, it’s a combination of seeing people at a very interesting and transformative stage in their life, and to play some role in helping that transformation be as positive for them as possible.

I like checking in with students to see what they are working on and learning about what their academic experiences are.

— Mr. Bourn

Considering all of the challenges the 2020-2021 school year faces, Bourn has positive visions for the year. “I think for me, it was very much acknowledging the realities of the pandemic and as it interfaces with school. So, my vision was to try to give kids as comparable and reasonable of a school experience as we could under the circumstances and limitations,” Bourn said.

Although safety protocols need to be in place, Bourn hopes to create a sense of unity between staff and students even during these trying times: “One of the most valuable things we provide students is the relationships with classmates and the relationships with teachers. So, I would say once we’ve established a safe school environment, we can build those relationships, so students have those connections.”

Although having much experience being a principal under his belt, this pandemic poses a new set of obstacles. Every aspect of education has to be considered in terms of safety and protection, and new problems arise as a result of these concerns.

Bourn said, “Almost everything is new. Almost everything has to be created from scratch. I think that is true for teachers too and I have heard from my teacher friends that they feel like first-year teachers where they are building everything.”

When highlighting the differences this year has from any other in the past, Bourn commented, “Just about every problem is a new solution, because there is not a lot of ‘how did we do it before?’ That is one of the biggest differences. The things we have to consider and think and consider in making those solutions has also changed.”

Aside from working, Bourn enjoys movies and music in his free time, and often checks in with students about Hollywood movies that they have seen or are interested in. He is excited to speak to and meet new students and build relationships as well,

“Again, that relationship piece that I mentioned for students applies to me too,” Bourn said. “I will specifically talk to students and I want to hear what the student experience is like.”

Bourn described that he wants to be an approachable and friendly face around the school, to build these positive bonds and engage with students.