Dawe Takes Helm Again

Another school year brings a familiar face back into the Principal’s chair


Jacqueline Downs, Staff Writer

The central office was crowded with papers and the occasional brown Fedex box. It was apparent that Triton was out of the laziness of summer and well into the business of the school year.

The office had been the center of school activity before and so had Principal Kathryn Dawe, who exchanged her position as assistant principal to become principal of the high school for the school year, though not for the first time.


“I’ve been the assistant principal, then seven years ago I became principal for five years and then I really didn’t want to do it anymore. Then we had some change in leadership and now I’m back doing it for this one year,” Dawe explained.


Though Dawe misses the types of interactions with students she got to have as assistant principal, she still finds that every day brings the exciting possibility of an entirely unique situation.


“It kind of is really fun in its own way. I like the variety of the day; you never know what is going to happen.” Dawe continued to explain that, “my primary focus… is making sure this is a safe environment for students to learn – and I mean safe for students and staff.”


Meghan Ober, Director of Guidance, works closely with Dawe in many aspects of running the school, including but not limited to which and how many programs will run during the school year, unique student situations, and other important decisions. All of these issues and questions make their way to guidance, and eventually to Dawe.


“A lot of key decisions end up filtering through guidance in some way,” Ober said. “If there is a question about how many sections of a course we are going to offer or if we are going to offer that course is something that the principal has to approve.”


With Dawe handling phone calls from parents about the school’s curriculum, academics, or their child, as well as various administrative and curriculum-based meetings, there are a lot of things that she has to be up-to-speed with.


“Ms. Dawe is very detail-oriented, so she really likes being involved in all of those details and really likes to have a sense of everything that is going on.” She said that, “when people ask her questions, she is able to answer them.”


Another member of the school faculty who works closely with Dawe, English Department head Sarah Scruton, feels similarly with her interactions with Dawe as Scruton is also Vice President of the Teacher’s Association.


“[When] our building reps and the principal haven’t come to some sort of resolution to a problem, [we] meet with the building principal and/or the superintendent to resolve conflicts. [Dawe] may come sometimes to get ahead of something,” said Scruton.

Scruton goes on to mention how, though she and Dawe may not always agree, Dawe is fair and often has to think about the bigger picture.


“I always found her to be fair,” said Scruton. “She’s the one that has to deal with the fallout of something too, which I think sometimes we forget.”


Ober and Scruton may work with Dawe in different capacities, but both have found working with her to be a great experience, especially when they see the love she has for her school, students, and staff.


Ober reveals that, “I’ve seen through that type of work how much she really cares about the school. She really cares about our students getting the education they deserve.”


Scruton also points out that the serious side of Dawe, which most students see, is only one part of her personality.


“I think most – especially kids – see a serious side of her, but she’s funny.” She continues to clarify that “[Dawe] takes her job seriously because she wants to do what’s best for the kids. I think people forget that she’s a real person too.”


Dawe has always had a love for teaching in her heart; she started out teaching math after college and eventually rose to where she is today, thanks in part to Mrs. Berube, her third grade teacher.

“She was absolutely the most wonderful woman, and I think she just touched me in such a way that I said, ‘You know what, I want to do what she does.’”


Although she is only planning to be principal of the high school for this school year, Dawe is rooted in her dedication to her new role.

“I love, love, love this job,” Dawe exclaims. “I just want people to know that I’m really excited that I am doing it.”