Principal’s new puppy a big hit at Concord High School

  • Concord High senior Elsie Anderson holds Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord High senior Elsie Anderson, left, and Emma Beaujouan take turns holding Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord High senior Elsie Anderson holds Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord High senior Elsie Anderson holds Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord High students hold Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday as Lisa Lamb takes a call in the school office. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord High senior Elsie Anderson holds Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Winston, a nine-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, on his first day at Concord High School on Monday, November 21, 2022. Winston belongs to principal Michael Reardon, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord High School student Grace Qiu, right, pats Winston, a nine-week-old Maltipoo, during morning advisory with fellow students Cooper Horton and Will Richards. Eileen O’Grady Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/22/2022 2:59:35 PM

The newest member of Concord High School’s main office staff is enthusiastic about greeting students and willing to put in a full day’s work, provided it includes treats and naps in his corner crate.

Winston, a 9-week-old black and white Maltipoo puppy, had his first day at Concord High School on Monday. The Maltese-Poodle mix, who belongs to principal Michael Reardon, is the new school dog, following in the four-legged footsteps of Peanut, Reardon’s well-known Maltese companion who died in August.

Winston, two pounds of hypoallergenic fluff, spent a busy day receiving delighted student visitors in the main office and managed to make it through the morning with only one minor accident on the carpet. In Reardon’s morning advisory, he scampered up and down a conference table, pausing to lick students’ hands and receive scratches behind the ears while they exclaimed over his small size  and his antics.

“I think it’s fun,” said Concord  High senior Will Richards. “There’s really no downside. It’s not like he’s a big or intrusive dog.”

Students anticipated the puppy’s arrival with excitement, creating several posters that read “Welcome Winston” that hung in the Main Office on Monday. In the coming months, some senior students will be helping out with the dog’s training.

Winston has big pawprints to fill. Concord High School upperclassmen have fond memories of Peanut, who was a regular presence in the building from 2019 to 2021, following along at Reardon’s heels wherever he went. When Reardon was first tapped for the principal position in 2019, he was unsure if he could accept, knowing he would have to find care for Peanut. But the former interim superintendent gave the OK to bring the dog to school, effectively creating a role for Peanut that became so cemented that the news of his death was announced to the community in a school-wide email.

Several students on Monday said they used to go to the Main Office to see Peanut when they were having a bad day, because it would cheer them up. Reardon said a dog can serve as a morale booster for the school community.

“Sometimes kids end up in my office and they’re agitated about a lot of different things,” Reardon said. “Having a dog, especially one like this, can be truly therapeutic for anybody – something that is non-threatening and affectionate.”

On Monday, students agreed.

“It’s nice,” Richards said. “If you have to go down to the Main Office, you have this adorable little puppy to see every day. It makes the building a little more lighthearted.”


Eileen O

Eileen O'Grady is a Report for America corps member covering education for the Concord Monitor since spring 2020. O’Grady is the former managing editor of Scope magazine at Northeastern University in Boston, where she reported on social justice issues, community activism, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a native Vermonter and worked as a reporter covering local politics for the Shelburne News and the Citizen. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Bay State Banner, and VTDigger. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in politics and French from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as news editor for the Mount Holyoke News from 2017-2018.



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