SHS Wishes Mrs. Harwood Well in Her New Role

Harwood will transition to Hatherly Elementary School as a reading specialist


Kate Harwood has been a teacher at SHS for 17 years

Annika McCanne, Staff Writer

By now the news has spread–beloved SHS English teacher Kate Harwood is leaving the high school and moving on to a new role with Scituate Public Schools as a literacy specialist at Hatherly Elementary School.

Born and raised in Marshfield, MA, Harwood is deeply rooted on the South Shore. (She even remembers when her SHS colleague, math teacher Kerri Hallihan, graduated ahead of her from Marshfield High School.) After she graduated from MHS in 2001, Harwood went on to attend Simmons University in Boston for five years, earning her undergraduate degree in 2005 and graduate degree in 2006. Hired at SHS right out of college, Harwood has spent her entire professional career in Scituate.   

Despite feeling a little sad to leave her students and colleagues, after 17 years in the same role, Harwood is excited to transition to Hatherly as a part-time reading specialist. In fact, she has been working toward this goal for about three years: In 2022, she completed an 18-month graduate certificate level program in language and literacy at the MGH Institute of Health Professions to gain her reading specialist license. This experience included two practicums: a clinical speech and language lab and a school practicum, which she completed at Cushing Elementary School.

Over the summer months, Harwood also worked at the Cohasset Learning Center, where she found “reading intervention and working in small groups very rewarding.” Harwood plans to continue her part-time position there.  

Although her new elementary school role “will be completely different,” Harwood admitted she “won’t miss grading essays” and is excited for a new chapter and change of scenery.

When asked what she will miss the most, Harwood instantly responded: “My students and wonderful colleagues.” Acknowledging she has grown very close to her seniors–who are “going through a big transition in their lives,” just as she is “going through a big transition in [hers].”  When asked about her favorite memory, Harwood recalled when the entire English department dressed up as Mr. Beattie for Halloween, and it wasn’t until the third or fourth person walked in that he realized what was happening.

Reflecting on her classes, Harwood has many fun memories of teaching her favorite course–AP Literature and Composition. In addition to a full-year course with a great curriculum, Harwood explained that AP Literature provides an opportunity for teachers to see students grow from “nervous and scared” in the beginning of the year to graduating with “their whole futures ahead of them.” If she could impart one message to this year’s senior class, Harwood said it is to “go for what you want to do–ask yourself what the alternative is, and if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.” She also wants to encourage her students to stay in touch–especially as they hear back from colleges. 

During her time at SHS, Harwood has changed the lives of countless students. Her sense of humor never fails to cheer up a dreary Monday morning, and her welcoming classroom makes school feel like a second home. Everyone at the high school will miss her tremendously, but we couldn’t be more excited for her to continue her teaching career at Hatherly Elementary School!