WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2013/2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Four attributes came up again and again: the ing students who had never held a power tool. "I think that ignites a passion in some kids," he ability to communicate clearly, comfort with says, marveling at how they went in one year from carving spoons to building Adirondack chairs. collaboration in settings real and virtual, Lussier was hired on a three-year contract. If the job he's doing still suits the school board adaptability, and a willingness to take risks. and himself, he hopes to continue beyond 2015. While his office on Kingsbury Street is a long That last quality poses a challenge for com- way from Pennsylvania Avenue, he relishes being in a position to bridge the gap between those munities like Wellesley, with its high expecta- who set policy and those who make it work. tions for success. "There's a real discomfort with any sort of failure," Lussier says. "It's hard [for me] to hear to someone say, 'Gosh, I'm interested in taking that course, but I don't want to get a bad grade. …'If that's the prevalent theme, then we failed as a system." As he oversees the drafting of a new strategic vision for Wellesley schools, Lussier hopes to broaden the definition of success. Not every student should feel as if he or she should shoot to get into Harvard, Yale, or another Ivy League school. "We want to prepare kids to be college ready, but we really want to prepare kids to have options, knowing that they are going to have an infinite number," he says. To that end, he added, the high school offers students a variety of pathways, be it indepth study of art or of math or science. Students can take accelerated courses or go off campus or online for college classes. For those who are adept with their hands, Lussier pointed to the woodshop program in middle in high school. According to Lussier, "Great teaching can exist in what has sometimes been seen as non-academic settings." He was particularly impressed when he watched instructors guid- 61 w i n t e r 2 0 1 3 / 2 0 1 4 | We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e school and the photography and jewelry labs

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