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People You Know: Trahan School Principal Matthew Castonguay

Apr 21, 2015 11:00AM ● Published by Hollie Gonzalez

Trahan School Principal Matt Castonguay.

(Editor's Note: Today we introduce a new feature on Your Tewksbury Today called "People You Know." Columnist Hollie Gonzalez will be sitting down and chatting with community leaders, business owners and other folks who help to make Tewksbury tick.)

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Matthew Castonguay.
For those of you who don't know him, he has just become the resident principal of the Louise Davy Trahan Elementary School here in town.  The Trahan is for children in grades 3 and 4.
My interview began in the principals office.  It was not what I expected at all.  It was very Boston Bruins oriented. Think Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch with the Red Sox, except this is Bruins.
Mr. Castonguay was nice enough to make time in his schedule to answer a few questions for our inquiring minds.  Matt grew up in Ipswich.  He lives there now and makes the daily hourly commute to Tewksbury.
So I had to ask him, why Tewksbury?  Why travel all the way here?  It turns out that Matt's father worked in Tewksbury for many years at National Grid!  His father always liked the town and was very fond of the community and spoke to Matt often about it. Matt likes the closeness of the families here and that was a giant plus for him in choosing Tewksbury.
Next, I asked him what improvements he would like to see made to the Trahan School?  Well, point blank he says, " A New Building"!  How wonderful, an honest principal!  By Matt's words, the Trahan has long since served its purpose in a magnificent way.  Turning out graduating children year after year, but now there is a greater need.  The school is at its limits.
"The Trahan needs to come into the 21st century," he said.  "The school limits learning in some ways, such as having no computer lab, and no full size gymnasium, or having to use the stage for class space." ( not to mention the leaky roof )
He would love to see a new state of the art Trahan in the future.  I would have to agree here.
Mr. Castonguay's theory for being a principal long since goes back to his eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Hayes.  She influenced him to make decisions without knowing the outcome.  To always be caring and connect with the students, weather it is as a teacher, principal, lunch person, or recess monitor.
"Relationships first," he said.  What a great idea!  So as principal, I asked him, What do you want the parents to know about how you will principal our school?  "Involved."  He is going to be visible as a principal.  He will be around the hallways, in the classrooms, on the playground.  He has high expectations for the school when it comes to students and staff.  He encourages them to be part of a team and work together as a unit.
Oh, and then there is the fun aspect.  Did you know he let kids duct tape him to the wall a few weeks ago?  It was to raise money for Box Tops for Education, but a principal letting kids do that?  How cool!
"Learning can't be without the fun," he said.  Honestly, I didn't know what to expect in this candid interview.  But, in my opinion, Bravo, so far Mr C. (that's what the kids call him).
 In his spare time, Matt Castonguay loves the Bruins.  He actually used to work for them for 12 years. Oh and did I mention his office?

 
The Matt Castonguay Quick 5 
 
Favorite Food - Chinese
Favorite Movie- Miracle
Favorite Vacation Destination- The Caribbean
Favorite Sports Team- Boston Bruins (ummm Obviously)
Favorite Quote- (Matt had 2)  1. "The student is not necessarily going to remember what you teach them, but how you treated them." & 2. "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game" 
 

Hollie Gonzalez resides in Tewksbury.  She is married and has two kids.  She is very passionate about her town.
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Opinion, Today, Schools column Hollie Gonzalez People you know

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