We connect students

The Wire

We connect students

The Wire

We connect students

The Wire

New Dean Brings New Perspective to Discipline

Mr. Ferrier the dean of students at Monroe-Woodbury High School started in September.
Mr. Ferrier the dean of students at Monroe-Woodbury High School started in September.

Students may have seen a new staff member’s face as they navigate the hallways. Mr. Ferrier, the new dean of students, has joined Monroe-Woodbury High School this year.

The role of a dean is “a little undefined,” according to Mr. Ferrier. A dean of students serves the student community and works to improve the school culture. Throughout the day, Mr. Ferrier may resolve conflicts, hold students accountable, and provide support for struggling students.

Discipline is another aspect of this. Students may see Mr. Ferrier ushering others out of the halls to ensure they are on time for class. Due to not being connected to any house office, he coordinates between staff across the school.

Dean of Students has been a relatively new position at Monroe-Woodbury High School. Over the past three years, we’ve had one dean for the school, Dr. Sciarra, the current House A assistant principal, and no dean at all.

Compared to a principal, a dean is more student-focused. They don’t have to perform the same administrative work as their principal counterparts. Mr. Ferrier emphasizes interactions with students; such as greeting them at arrival and dismissal or appearing at after-school events. He does this to ensure he is always available for students and a constant in school life.

“I’m more concerned about the lesson than I am about the punitive punishment. I’m hoping that it’s starting to get out there to the student body that I am approachable, that I am always in the hallways, that I am happy to be here,” said Mr. Ferrier. “I want you to be happy, and when you’re not happy I’m here to help you, and when you’re struggling I’m here to help you. Then, when you’re doing awesome things, I’m here to celebrate you.”

Mr. Ferrier has worked in the district for three years, but it’s his first year as dean of students at Monroe-Woodbury High School.

Mr. Ferrier wants to reward students. He believes the work of good students should not be undermined due to students who have made mistakes.

“I think it’s [the culture of M-W] changing for the better. It’s been my understanding that it’s been a rough couple of years. From a student’s perspective, the feedback I’m getting is that when you’re a student that’s always doing the right thing, you’re not getting rewarded all the time for doing the right thing. I’m looking to get to that point again. I think the further we get away from the pandemic is a good thing,” said Mr. Ferrier.

The support of the school library is something that most impressed Mr. Ferrier.

“I think we have some of the coolest librarians on the planet. I think the library and the culture created in the library is an incredible, incredible thing… I never wanted to go to the library even though I needed to go to the library when I was in high school because of the culture in the library. I think the culture in the library here is bar none,” said Mr. Ferrier.

Mr. Ferrier has always wanted to be a teacher. He enjoys how every day as dean is different and a new opportunity to do meaningful work.

“I am somebody that when somebody is hurting, I wanna take that burden off their shoulders. That to me is the most difficult part [of being a dean], but in a way that is sometimes the most meaningful,” he said.

Just know that you are supported, you guys are loved, and we are here for you, and we hear you.

— Mr. Ferrier, Dean of Students

Mr. Ferrier isn’t a stranger to high school difficulties. He was supported through these times by an activity many Monroe-Woodbury High School students can relate to: sports.

“I had a lot of energy, and my parents were splitting up when I was in high school. Being in sports and being involved in my high school was a big piece of keeping me on the right track and making sure I had my grades where they were supposed to be,” said Mr. Ferrier.

He enjoys reconnecting with former students he taught at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School through high school sports. One anonymous student said, “I feel like he’s very well-respected by students because he used to coach sports.”

Many students seem unaware of the change in administration, but others have expressed positive opinions.

Caroline Calvey, a junior, said, “He always says hi to me in the library with a smile on his face.”

Rachel Rucker, a senior, joked, “I think he’s cool. I’m disappointed his name isn’t Dean though.”

Mr. Ferrier wants students to know this about his position, “I want you to know that although we’re adults and you’re growing up, that we are also retired teenagers ourselves. I’m stealing that from Mrs. Soto herself… We all struggle when we’re growing up and navigating our emotions, and our stressors. You guys are the busiest generation of young people ever. Ever. We’re not gonna be perfect, but I promise you we come with perfect intentions every day.”

Mr. Ferrier is married with a baby daughter, two puppies, and a cat. Before being a dean, he worked at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School as a P.E. teacher and coached football, wrestling, and lacrosse. He has worked in education for over ten years, including as engagement coordinator at Don Bosco Preparatory.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Cooper
Olivia Cooper, Writer
Olivia Cooper is a writer for The Wire News and a junior at Monroe-Woodbury High School. After writing creatively for years, she joined in 2023 to explore a new avenue of writing and learn more about issues within the school. In her free time, she alternates between vegetable gardening, knitting with local wool, watching her pet corn snake, and playing rogue-like video games. She's excited to write on topics close to her heart for an audience of fellow students.