Jonathan Mitchell, Principal
Phone: 978-356-3137 x2162
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to be the principal of a great school like Ipswich High. As a resident of the North Shore for the last decade, I have always been impressed by the quality of education the teachers and staff provide every student in their charge. Many schools put it in their mission statement, but IHS truly focuses on educating the whole student, ensuring not only academic growth for each kid, but also developing thoughtful, socially conscious future members of the global community through active participation in the successful athletic program, the phenomenal music and fine arts program, or any of the multitude of other extra-curricular activities the school has to offer.
Personally, I am a lifelong Massachusetts resident, having been born in Springfield and raised in Westfield where I graduated from Westfield High School in 1991. I went on to graduate from Boston College with an undergraduate degree in Political Science, fully intending to go to law school. But an outstanding course called “Shakespeare’s Politics” changed that path, inspiring me to instead earn my Master’s Degree in Secondary English Education in 1997, also at BC. It just goes to show the impact a great teacher can have on the mind of a young person! Another significant moment at The Heights was when I met my future wife Erica, to whom I have been married for twenty-one years already. Hard to believe.
Upon earning my Master’s, I entered the very competitive job search for English teaching positions in the Greater Boston area. I sent out over 120 resumes and had two districts bring me in for an interview. Both Leominster and Revere offered me positions in their high schools and I selected Revere because of location and its urban challenges appealed to my commitment to social justice. Revere High would become my second home, and its staff my second family for twenty-one great years. I began as an English teacher, teaching 9thgrade at first and adding 11thgrade after a few years. After my first son was born, it made financial sense to make the change to administration, so I became the director of humanities, overseeing the K-12 history and fine arts departments, and the 6-12 ELA department for the district. But that role largely separated me from the students, so after eight years I made the move to assistant principal at Revere High so I could work directly with kids again. As I mentioned earlier, as a Hamilton resident I had always admired Ipswich High School, so when the opportunity arose to work in a smaller, tighter-knit school and community, I thought it was best for my family to make the biggest change in my professional career and assume the role of principal for this fine school.
I am the proud father of two boys, Christopher and Augustus, who attend the public schools in the Hamilton Wenham Regional School District. I know: the rivalry is going to make things interesting! My family and I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including tackling the 4,000 footers in the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. To stay fit I play in both a men’s basketball league and an indoor soccer league.
It is an honor to lead such a fine group of people and look forward to both the opportunities and the challenges ahead. Working together, the sky’s the limit!