My name is Michael Lepene and I am currently the Principal of the Frances C. Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH. I created this blog several years ago with the hope that I might better communicate both topics of interest at RMS and also some of my work and thoughts about educational leadership. While the majority of my posts are done via Twitter (@mlepene and @rmshanover) I do hope that this blog will offer readers a different lens into the role, responsibilities and opportunities that come with leading a wonderful school like RMS.
A little biographical information for those who might be interested:
-I grew up in Franklin, New Hampshire and attended Franklin public schools. In high school I also had the opportunity to attend summer programs at the University of New Hampshire and St. Paul's School. Both programs had an incredibly positive impact on my growth as a learner and fostered my love of learning about ecology and environmental science.
-I attended Dartmouth College ('99) and majored in Environmental Studies and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While at Dartmouth I was also active with the National Ski Patrol and Dartmouth Outing club. One of the wonderful pieces of the Dartmouth experience is the opportunity to participate in off-campus study programs. I was able to study biology in Costa Rica, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and aboard a tall ship in the Atlantic and Caribbean. During my time at Dartmouth I was able to teach by leading lab and field study experiences and also substitute teaching during breaks and off-terms.
-After a year of high school teaching and coaching at Dover High School in New Hampshire, I moved to Portland, Oregon where I taught high school and middle school science and math, coached basketball and varsity ski racing, and obtained my masters degree from Pacific University. In addition, I did graduate work in educational leadership at the University of Oregon. I spent almost nine years living in Oregon and loved nearly every minute of it. Fortunately, I met my wife there and we travel back for visits regularly.
-I spent my last three years in Oregon serving as an Assistant Principal at a large two-way immersion elementary school. I count those three years as some of the most rewarding of my career as I was part of an incredible team devoted to supporting students with diverse needs and talents. We were integrated with our community and all benefited from the diverse backgrounds and experiences that each student and staff member brought to our program.
-After my time in Oregon I moved back to New Hampshire and the Upper Valley landing at the Richmond Middle School as the new Associate Principal. I have learned a tremendous amount in my AP role over the last 7 years and now bring my previous experience, background and energy to the role of Principal. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead our school. We have a talented and experienced staff, a supportive community and board and students who exceed even the highest expectations on a daily basis. I'm certain there are many positive opportunities to come as our team looks to take a great school and make it even better.
-I am married to Heather Lepene who is also an educator and have two sons, Matthew and Jacob. We live in Orford, New Hampshire and have enjoyed the transition to rural life from our home in North Portland (though we miss walking to everything!). When I'm not at work I enjoy most any outdoor activity but especially running, skiing, biking, basketball and anything on the water. I also spend time gardening, working on home projects and playing with gadgets and technology. While it has taken me a while and I never quite have it right, I constantly am seeking a balance between work/being plugged in and being unplugged and disconnected from work. Fortunately, my sons help me with that as we search out the next opportunity to explore a new place, activity or experience.
-My resume can be found here.