Former assistant principal Scott Parseghian named K-12 wellness director


Credit: Meg Trogolo

Above is the WHS wellness office where K-12 wellness director Scott Parseghian works. Parseghian, who was previously WHS’s assistant principal and dean of students, took the position of director over the summer. “I’m looking forward to getting [this] year under my belt and being able to really dig in,” Parseghian said.

Meg Trogolo

Scott Parseghian has taken a new position as wellness director for the Wayland school district, leaving his former position as WHS assistant principal and dean of students. As part of this job, he observes each Wayland school’s wellness classes and oversees the district’s general wellness curriculum. He remains head coach of the WHS football team.

Principal Allyson Mizoguchi announced the change in an email to the Wayland school community at the end of June. James Nocito replaced Parseghian in the role of assistant principal in August.

Parseghian’s first day in his new position was in August, but superintendent Paul Stein’s office tapped him for the role at the beginning of the summer when wellness teacher Adam Hughes resigned. Stein had been searching for someone to do the job since March, when the school committee created the part-time position.

“One of the things that we’ve said, at least for the past four years, is that we really need to have a K-12 health and wellness coordinator for the district,” assistant superintendent Brad Crozier said.

According to Crozier, the school district had difficulty finding a director because of the job’s part-time nature; it takes only 40 percent of the hours of a full-time job. Many candidates interviewed, but the search for a wellness director for grades K-12 was fruitless until Parseghian stepped forward.

“Happenstance came about with the departure of [Hughes]. That’s when [Parseghian] called me over and said, ‘I’m really interested in this. It’s my passion. I can get back to the classroom working with kids and still have a leadership role,’” Crozier said. “Because it was a part time job, we weren’t getting the candidates that we would have liked, and certainly nobody with [Parseghian’s] background and passion for the work.”

Parseghian had previously been doing much of the work involved with the position, including advocating for the wellness departments at each Wayland school, but jumped at the opportunity to continue as the official wellness director.

“Before that, I’d been the K-12 wellness director, just on my own. I was doing it for the last five years. It wasn’t an official thing. It was something I was doing because my background is health and wellness,” Parseghian said. “There’s no way I could do the job justice being the assistant principal and the K-12 wellness director.”

At this point in the school year, Parseghian’s duties as director mostly involve observing wellness classes at Wayland’s public schools and taking note of how and what wellness teachers go over. Using his observations, he plans to build a new district-wide curriculum with Crozier and Stein.

“There are always [aspects of our curriculum] we think we can improve on,” Parseghian said. “I’m really taking this first half of the year, if not the full year, to look at what’s going on K-12, because I haven’t been able to do that.”

Parseghian’s presence in this role is appreciated by Crozier.

“[Before Parseghian took this job], we just didn’t have that ability to have a district-wide perspective on what our program is,” Crozier said.

When Parseghian is not watching wellness classes, he teaches them at WHS himself. As assistant principal, he taught the Mentors in Violence Prevention and Rape Aggression Defense programs to WHS juniors, but because his job as wellness director is part-time, he can now spend more time in the classroom.

Parseghian expressed appreciation for the opportunity to teach and the lack of stress compared to his experience as assistant principal.

“It’s different, getting out of the rat race of being an administrator and dealing with all the headaches of the school and making sure the school runs right,” Parseghian said. “I thought that was always my strength as assistant principal, working with the kids and being there as an advocate for them, so I feel like in this role I can still do some of that.”

Parseghian’s time as assistant principal did not lack controversy. In 2015, the MetroWest Daily News reported that over a period of 15 years, three companies owned by Parseghian’s family received over $170,000 in total from the Wayland school district. That same year, former athletic director Stephen Cass accused the WHS athletic department of giving its varsity football team, which Parseghian coaches, special treatment.

According to Crozier, the furor over these two issues did not affect the district’s choice to hire Parseghian as wellness director.

“[Hiring Parseghian as wellness director] wasn’t [in response to these issues] at all,” Crozier said. “His passion for working with kids and being in a leadership role really contributed to the change.”

Parseghian said the controversies did not affect his decision to take the job.

“It was just pure coincidence that Mr. Hughes left after school got out and we were still looking for a director and I had been doing a director job here for five years prior to that,” Parseghian said. “[I had] 11 years of being an administrator and it was time for a change.”

Parseghian is still head coach for WHS’ varsity football team, which has a record of 1-1 this season. According to him, his new job does not cut into coaching at all.

“If anything, [this job has] probably given me a little more time to focus on [the football team],” Parseghian said.

Crozier looks forward to what Parseghian’s first year as wellness director will bring.

“We’re happy and fortunate that the town has invested in the health and wellness program. We think that it will be a key piece in making sure that we have a full range of offerings for kids throughout the district,” Crozier said. “We’re pleased to have Scott in the role because of his background and what he can help move the district forward with.”

Parseghian shares Crozier’s optimism for the department’s future.

“I’m excited to be here,” Parseghian said. “I’m looking forward to getting that year under my belt and being able to really dig in.”