Dr. Janet Parlato

Congratulations to WHS principal, Dr. Janet Parlato, for being selected as the recipient of the William Cieslukowski Outstanding First-Year Principal Award for 2020-2021. Dr. Parlato's nomination from Nicole Lewis was outstanding, showing her to be a strong and innovative educational leader as well as a role model for others.

As teacher Paulina Auclair writes in her letter of support, “Dr. Parlato encourages the faculty to take risks in their classrooms because she recognizes that supporting teachers who want to try new strategies develops a culture of excellence. Like many of her approaches, this encouragement to challenge oneself is not achieved through policy or initiatives, but with a sincere desire to help teachers meet their potential.”

Library Media Specialist Nicole Lewis writes that “Dr. Parlato's leadership style is, first and foremost, defined by her strong and focused educational vision. She is an enthusiastic advocate for rigorous and meaningful experiences for all students.”

Among the accomplishments cited in her nomination materials are Dr. Parlato’s introduction of a teacher-led "Innovation Team," which serves as an incubator for new ideas and provides a supportive space for teachers to work collaboratively to implement these ideas in their classrooms. Also, Dr. Parlato established a grades 7-12 parent-child book club, known as the "Book Bridge," with the goals of increasing parent involvement in the high school community and promoting respectful and thoughtful dialogue among students.

Dr. Harrison shared the good news with the WHS staff during their virtual staff meeting and expressed his appreciation for her dedication to her students, staff, families and the entire Watertown community. Congratulations to Dr. Parlato for this well-deserved honor!