Bellows Falls Union High School hires new principal

John Broadley. Photo provided
John Broadley. Photo provided

WESTMINSTER, Vt. – Bellows Falls Union High School has announced the hiring of a new principal, current BFUHS vice principal John Broadley, to succeed principal Christopher Hodsden. Hodsden, who has held the position for the last 12 years, is moving on to explore new opportunities. The high school serves the towns of Rockingham, Westminster, Athens, and Grafton.

Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, and a graduate of Brunel University in London with a degree in physical education and geography, Broadley came to America nearly 30 years ago and received a master’s degree in special education from Anitoch University and a post master’s degree in education leadership from Keene State College.

He settled in Vermont, starting as a teacher at the Greenwood School in Putney from 1993 to 2002, and over the years, has broadened his experience in education as a math teacher, varsity girls’ soccer coach, athletic director, and as the BFUHS vice principal for the last dozen years.

“I had been coaching soccer all over the Northeast of the USA and had finished in Putney,” Broadley said in a recent interview. “I was in college at the time and completing my physical education degree and was offered the math teacher position at Greenwood School. It was the right fit to begin my teaching career in Vermont.”

After having settled in Bellows Falls, Broadley married a BFUHS graduate, Christine Farino, and now has two daughters in the Bellows Falls school system – his daughter, Abby, a BFUHS junior and standout cross country runner, and Desi, a creative and excellent student at Bellows Falls Middle School.

After Hodsden had announced he was stepping down as BFUHS principal to pursue other opportunities, the School Board voted in late April to hire Broadley as his successor. Hodsden held the position for 16 years and was recently named the 2020-21 Vermont Robert F. Pierce Principal of The Year.

“Mr. Hodsden and I have had a great relationship in and out of school, and he has been a great mentor and principal. He will officially retire on June 30 and I will take over on July 1.”

Broadley was given a two-year contract rather than a one-year interim position, as to allow him time to settle in and implement his ideas while helping the school continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Broadley said, “I am excited to ‘have a go’ at being in charge. I won’t please everyone all of the time, but my main goals are to have everyone excited to come to work every day, to never want to miss a day, and to make all decisions with our students’ best interest to the fore!”

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