Bryan Hand Settles into Role as Assistant Principal

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Mr. Hand smiles for a photo in his office.

Meagan Sundstrom

Mr. Hand smiles for a photo in his office.
Mr. Hand smiles for a photo in his office.

By Maggie Conley, Kayla Frost, Mandy Scully, and Meagan Sundstrom

Trailing by a score of 14-8, Assistant Principal Bryan Hand brought his team of Juniors into a tight huddle to strategize for the second half.  Deciding what plays to run and how to defend against the Senior Class team, Mr. Hand assumed a fun leadership role as a Walpole Powder Puff coach.  Although the Junior Class lost by a score of 30-22, the game was an opportunity for the new assistant principal to establish himself as a familiar face in the Walpole High School community.

Following William Hahn’s departure to become Johnson Middle School’s principal last year, Superintendent Lincoln Lynch appointed Mr. Hand as the new assistant principal.

Mr. Hand initially attended Penn State to study medicine, but he soon decided that the medical field was not for him.  He then took online classes at Walden University to earn his Master’s Degree, and he eventually got his administrative license from Sacred Heart University.  Mr. Hand later taught mathematics for eight years at Middletown High School in Connecticut, where he became the department head after only three years of teaching there.

So far, Mr. Hand is impressed by Walpole High, as the students are well-behaved, and he rarely has to implement harsh discipline.  He also appreciates the school’s impressive academic performance and enthusiasm for education.

“Sitting in classrooms, I am amazed at the vocabulary teachers and students are using, and the level of expectation,” said Mr. Hand. “The school seems to be about academics, learning, and also athletics.”

However, entering the Walpole High did present Mr. Hand with multiple challenges.  “Getting to know new teachers, a new superintendent, and new students is difficult, especially when nobody really knows who I am,” said Mr. Hand.

In addition to coaching the Powder Puff game, Mr. Hand is an athletic enthusiast: he has played volleyball and ultimate frisbee throughout his entire life. He has coached both sports in the past; therefore, it is no surprise that he hopes to initiate a male volleyball team and co-ed ultimate frisbee team in the spring.

Mr. Hand also participated in Walpole High’s annual volleyball tournament on November 21 as a member of “The Uncoachables,” a team made up of both students and faculty members.  He led his team to the tournament championship, but they lost the finals in a close match against the “Reigning Champs.”

Additionally, Mr. Hand enjoys hiking, visiting the city with friends, and reading Stephen King books. His participation in over 12 clubs in high school, including drama club, further shows Mr. Hand’s numerous and diverse interests.

“I just had a wide range of interest. I was friends with everybody,” said Mr. Hand.  “That’s how I am today, interested in everything.”

Although the experience may be intimidating, Mr. Hand is adjusting well to his new environment.  He looks forward to working with his new faculty members and teaching students, all while integrating his own personality into the school.