Chase to Return to High School as Principal


Paul Chase greets students at the high school on Monday, May 20. Photo by Prerna Mukherjee

Paul Chase, current principal of the Beachwood Middle School, will become the BHS principal for the 2019-2020 school year, while current BHS Principal Tony Srithai will be taking over as Principal at BMS.

Prior to becoming middle school principal, Chase was high school assistant principal from 2006-2o13.

“Mr. Chase knows our students and community well. He is trusted as a fair, firm, and dedicated leader. Mr. Chase is ready to take this step in his growth as a school administrator and will be recommended to our Board of Education for a contract extension through 2022,” Superintendent Dr. Bob Hardis wrote in an email to students and staff on May 10.

Chase shared some of his thoughts and approach to being principal in the coming years at BHS.

How did you learn that you would be coming to the high school next year? …Dr. Hardis approached me…and [asked me] if I was interested in this opportunity, and I said yes, absolutely. I’m very excited about the opportunity.

Why do you think this change was made? …Dr. Hardis’ email I think is the best way to [address] that…he looked at…my strengths and how [I could] benefit the high school. 

“You have to start with the meetings, and you have to start with the people, and it’s almost like a needs assessment…and you listen to suggestions…”

— Paul Chase

What are you looking forward to when coming back to the high school? [Most students] I know already, so I’m really excited to see everybody that was at [the] middle school, how they grow…the biggest thing is just reestablishing those relationships with students, helping them…forming open lines of communication with students, staff [and] families.

What skills will you bring to the high school? …I would say I’m a problem-solver…I [also] always tell middle school students…[to be] kind…[and] work hard…so I try to model that as well. Kindness and caring, but also hard work,…and…part of that is obviously communication too…

What are some of the ways you will express the importance of mental health for the students? …I know Mr. Peters was planning [an activity] with the CVC…and [I’m] already working on helping him with that, but it’s bigger than that. I think part of mental health…is also something where…you can really get to a point where you’re helping people [through relationships and open communication] before it gets to a serious problem…

Do you have ideas for next year to address current issues at our school, such as racism and vaping in bathrooms? [Regarding racism,] I think a culture [and building a sense] of belonging should generate more of a spirit for people to feel accepted…I don’t play games when it comes to racism or bullying…It will not be tolerated…And then in regards to vaping…Officer Piro and I already discussed some things that we’ll be doing next year [and I’m] not ready to share it with you guys, but that will stop as well.     

What do you think about closed campus? I definitely feel more comfortable having a closed campus and keeping kids safe. I know there are pros and cons to that, but [at] this point that’s definitely the correct decision.

How will your approach at the high school differ from your approach as middle school principal? …Ultimately there’s not a whole lot I’m going to change about what I do because I think a lot of the things such as communication, following up with things, having great relationships with people… These are just strategies you should use anywhere you go in life…

Do you plan to implement any changes next year at the high school? …I think walking in to [make changes] without taking a breath and taking a step is the wrong approach, but…you have to start with the meetings, and you have to start with the people, and it’s almost like a needs assessment…and you listen to suggestions…