Since taking over last year for Bob Smith, who served as principal for 13 years, Nick Botelho has worked to bring a "freshness" to the elementary school that it hadn't seen in quite some time.
More importantly, he is just happy to be a member of the "Moreau Hall Family."
"It didn’t take long to become a member of the family," he said. "Everyone definitely welcomed me with open arms. For me, it was all brand new."
Now fully acclimated, the former Framingham grades 4 and 5 teacher hopes to continue to bring new ideas while leading the educational and learning process.
"I can focus on greater things now that I’ve taken that year to learn who everyone is and get used to being in the position," he said. "We can now continue to move things forward and I’m more comfortable doing that."
This year, technology will be a major improvement to the school. The addition of eight epson brightlink projectors, which create interactive whiteboards will be added to the classrooms, thanks to money received from the Foundation for Excellence in Education in Easton.
FEEE also helped pay for wireless internet throughout the building, which will help students and teacher learn through 21st century methods.
"There are great websites out there and great things out there that are totally safe and free that we can use to enhance our teaching," Botelho said
The white boards and additonaly technology welcome additions while the school deals with district-wide budget cuts that cut the school's "multi-age" program and moved some staffing around.
Overall, however, Botelho said his staff was able to weather the storm.
"We kind of came out saying ‘ok, this is the hand we’re dealt and we can still play a pretty good game of cards here,'" he said. "The staff here is so incredible that they can weather any storm and they’ll rally."
Cindy Arnold, formerly the building's substitute teacher, will take over as a new kindergarten teacher this year - something Botelho says he is excited to see.
"She applied to our kindergarden position and we’re very proud to give her that position," he said.
Moreau Hall will also continue new initiatives set by Botelho last year, such as increased building security and safety regulations, like a buzz-in system and walkie talkies for administrators. Additionally, Botelho gives credit to the Moreau Hall PAC for always bringing new ideas to the table.
"They really have just spiced things up a bit. We still do our reading incentive program every year where we challenge kids to read a certain amount each night," he said. "We have mystery readers that come in every Friday to read to the kids. There’s a whole theme around it."
Parents, teachers and staff are all integral to Moreau Hall's success, Botelho said.
"We are an incredible place because of the staff that we have and the family that we have," he said. "And, there are many people that will say that we’re the best school in the district."