Goodbye Dr. Graham


Picture courtesy of the Worcester Telegram.

Sam Mitchell, Editor

Dr. Parry Graham has been principal at Nashoba since 2012, when he came to join our community after working as an administrator and a German teacher in North Carolina. Now, after ushering through five classes of students, he is moving on from the Nashoba community to strike out into a brand new world of adventure.

He sat down with the Chieftain Press earlier this month to reminisce on his time at Nashoba and discuss his future. To begin, he mused over the year that just passed and the unique group of students who will be graduating this year. “There are some really fun personalities in [the class of 2017]… It’s been a really fun class to get to spend time with.” He explained how he perceived the culture of the class to be, saying “I mean this in a very positive way, you are a relaxed class. You all seem to be very happy with who you are and you seem to be very excited to go onto the next part of your life.”

Speaking of that next part of life, Dr. Graham had some advice to share with graduating seniors. “It’s incredibly exciting to be an adult and to be treated like an adult and to have the adult freedoms… and you don’t get to be this age but once, so enjoy this age,” he said. “Enjoy the next stage and the fun that comes with it…. There is a freedom and independence and endless opportunities in this part of your life, so enjoy that. But at the same time being off on your own can be scary and overwhelming, so lean on others for support.”

While the seniors will be leaving high school to pursue new adventures, Dr. Graham will be mirroring this experience in his own life. After the end of this year, Dr. Graham will be leaving for France, relocating his family to this new country and way of life. He expressed his motivation for the move, saying “[my wife and I] wanted to show our kids that living in the United States is only one way to live…. So giving our kids the experience to live in a foreign culture, to see the world through a foreign culture’s eyes is a wonderful experience.” He is incredibly excited for this new opportunity as “There is nothing [he loves] more in the world than being on an adventure with [his] family.”

However, Dr. Graham will be giving up a lot to go on this journey. “I love being here at Nashoba and leaving Nashoba behind was a very hard decision. But one of the things I’ve always told my staff is put your family first.” Although he will be greatly missed by Nashoba and will miss his normal job and life himself, he is trying to “follow his own advice” and do what is right for his family at this time.

Although he won’t be a principal in France, he will still be putting his skills and education to work while he works on writing a new book. “The point of the book is to help tentatively guide parents through public education.” He will use his years of experience in public education to give parents a guide on how to best advocate for their kids and get what they need out of the system. This is certainly a great undertaking which will help many people. This new trip and book certainly fit in Dr. Graham’s philosophy: “I believe the most important thing in life is to experience as much joy as you can with family and friends and do as much good as you can for other people.” He believes “[t]here are some really fun personalities in [the class of 2017]…” and he hopes they try and do the same.