Matt Fisk will serve as next principal of Bow High School

Incoming Bow High School principal Matt Fisk serves students lunch last week.

Incoming Bow High School principal Matt Fisk serves students lunch last week. JEREMY MARGOLIS / Monitor staff

Incoming Bow High School principal Matt Fisk serves students lunch on Wednesday, April 17.

Incoming Bow High School principal Matt Fisk serves students lunch on Wednesday, April 17. JEREMY MARGOLIS—Monitor staff

Incoming Bow High School principal Matt Fisk helps staff serve lunch to  students last Wednesday, April 17.

Incoming Bow High School principal Matt Fisk helps staff serve lunch to students last Wednesday, April 17. JEREMY MARGOLIS / Monitor staff

By JEREMY MARGOLIS

Monitor staff

Published: 04-23-2024 4:00 PM

Assistant principals don’t typically serve students food, but at Bow High School, lunch duty is a daily responsibility for Matt Fisk.

Last Wednesday, Fisk dished out Big Mac subs and cheese nachos and checked in with students as they passed through the lunch line.

Next year, Fisk’s title will change but lunch duty will remain on his schedule. Earlier this month, Fisk was named the next principal of Bow High. He will take over for Brian O’Connell, who was named the superintendent of the Litchfield School District earlier this year.

Just as he has as assistant principal for the past five years,  Fisk considers relationship-building a core part of his job as principal. 

“Going behind the cafeteria line and serving food gives me the opportunity to just say hi to these kids,” said Fisk, who credits lunch duty with knowing the names of nearly all of the 630 students at Bow High.

Fisk’s authenticity and people skills are what stood out most to the 19-person search committee that helped select him, said Marcy Kelley, the superintendent of SAU 67, which includes Bow and Dunbarton.

“He is beloved by students and staff and he just quickly rose to the top,” Kelley said. “I couldn't be more excited.”

Prior to coming to Bow High in 2019, Fisk served as a social studies teacher and administrator at the New Hampton School. He started his teaching career at and is an alumnus of Concord High School.

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As principal, Fisk hopes to restart an advisory program at Bow High, which has been dormant since before the pandemic. Though the high school has rebounded more than others academically, Fisk – like many who work with teenagers these days – said the toll of the pandemic on mental health and social skills remains evident.

“I see an advisory as the adult who’s your go-to person that’s going to be the one who’s going to pump your tires when you’re not doing great,” he said.

Academically, Bow High is known for its experiential learning opportunities, which include science classes that take water samples from nearby Turee Pond and humanities classes that participate in simulations with the World Affairs Council. Fisk hopes to both enhance these opportunities as well as branch into programs and assignments that have a community engagement or service component.

As examples of “service learning”, he proposed interviewing Vietnam War veterans in conjunction with learning about the war in history class, or volunteering for older residents while at the same time asking them about their experiences living on fixed incomes.

“We want our kids to be good human beings while they’re learning and while they’re giving back to the community here,” Fisk said.

Outside of his administrator duties, Fisk coaches Bow’s unified soccer and basketball teams, which he said number some 30 students, large for a school of Bow’s size.

“I think that just says a lot about the character of the kids we have here, that so many students want to be part of that program,” Fisk said.

One of his more joy-filled moments of this school year came at a unified basketball game at Concord High. To support a student who is visually impaired, Fisk hit the basket with a broomstick. After having missed twice, the student’s third shot went down.

“The entire gym erupted,” Fisk said. “Seeing this kid make the basket, it has a really really positive impact.”

Fisk starts as principal on July 1. Meanwhile, the school district is in the process of filling his vice principal position, said Kelley.