Keeping Up With Ms. Lesniak

SHS history teacher accepts position as middle school principal


Bridget Lumnah and Caroline Stevenson

The beginning of the school year can be difficult for almost every student, as they are expected to swiftly transition from days on the beach to pressure-filled days spent in the classroom. Despite these stresses, students find themselves ecstatic, as they are able to see a friendly face in the hallway and reconnect with their favorite teachers. However, for this year’s upperclassmen, one of the friendliest faces of SHS was suddenly M.I.A, causing them to ask one question: Where is Ms. Lesniak? 

For the past 12 years, Samantha Lesniak has taught at Scituate High School as both a history and sociology teacher. Most notably known for her positive attitude and willingness to tackle nearly any challenge thrown her way, Lesniak has become a role model for both students and faculty alike. 

This past summer, upon learning about the opening of the assistant principal position at Lester J. Gates Middle School, Lesniak looked at this opportunity as a new adventure. The decision to apply wasn’t easy, as Lesniak truly loved both the faculty and students at the high school level. Teaching at SHS had not only allowed her to connect with students on a personal level, but she said it provided an atmosphere that was “like going to work with friends every day.” In the end, Lesniak knew that this administrative position could be the right fit for her.

“For me personally, I was getting to the point with teaching that, I was still loving it, but it wasn’t challenging me like it used to,” says Lesniak. After completing the hiring process, Lesniak decided to accept the role of assistant principal. 

Five years ago, Lesniak enrolled in the Leadership Licensure Program to receive her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) from the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association. Though she initially had no intention of using this certification, Lesniak now welcomed the chance to utilize these skills in a new environment.

 Lesniak knew this new position would provide her with endless opportunities to make a positive change in the school system. Moving forward, she hopes to implement some of the lessons she learned and observed at the high school level into the middle school setting. More specifically, Lesniak plans to continue the work that was started in the high school surrounding the concept of cultural humility and proficiency, cultivating these topics among students and faculty would create a more progressive learning and social environment. 

As for the moment, Lesniak loves the friendly spirit at Gates, stating that the staff is “so supportive and so appreciative of [the administrators].” Though days may be unpredictable, she’s enjoyed the ability to schedule her own time without being constricted by class periods throughout the day. Having the ability to schedule her own time, Lesniak hopes to grow closer with the middle school students and integrate herself into the Gates community.

It’s safe to say that if Lesniak is one bit as good of an assistant principal as she is a teacher, there’s no doubt she will become just as much an asset to the Gates community as she was to the SHS community.