CHS’ Tenreiro heading to Mount as President

CHS’ Tenreiro heading to Mount as President

Former All-Mountie was national Principal of the Year

UPDATE: This story is updated to include a comment from Cumberland School Committee Chairman Raymond Salvatore.

CUMBERLAND – Alan Tenreiro, the Cumberland High School principal who as the 2016 national principal of the year injected pride townwide, is leaving on June 30 to take on the role of president of Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket.

Pawtucket native Tenreiro, 42, is returning to Mount exactly 25 years after his graduation, when he was honored with the prestigious All-Mountie Award.

His key mission, according to Gerald Piette, chairman of Mount’s board of governors, is energizing the academy with the same academic vigor Tenreiro brought to Cumberland, while growing a student body that currently educates 612 students in grades 6 to 12.

Piette said this academy on Logee Street, founded and operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, can accommodate an added 400 students. In fact, at its peak in 2007-08, before grade 6 was added, about 1,000 students were enrolled.

Tenreiro is succeeding President Herve Richer, while Edward Burke will remain in his current role as principal, Piette said. Under Richer’s leadership, most of Mount’s classrooms have been completely rebuilt in the past five years, with new floor-to-ceiling improvements, including new windows and state-of-the-art technology.

News that Tenreiro will be taking the helm of his alma mater was announced Wednesday afternoon in a press conference. Not immediately clear was the process the Cumberland School Committee will use in replacing Tenreiro.

Cumberland School Committee Chairman Raymond Salvatore had high praise for the principal he's losing. "Alan’s innovative approach was just what the high school needed. He created a positive culture and a platform for improvement and then he went and successfully implemented it. Through his leadership, Cumberland has become one of the best high schools in the state. On behalf of the entire community, I want to thank Alan for his service to our community and wish him well in his new position."

Tenreiro, who earned a master’s of education in school administration at Rhode Island College in 2005, and a certificate of advanced graduate study from Northeastern University in 2015, never strayed far from his high school.

He began his professional career at Mount St. Charles in 1999 where he taught social studies to grades 7 to 12. He was also the boys varsity soccer coach, a class adviser and teacher mentor.

From 2006 to 2012, he was an assistant principal at Smithfield High School, while serving some of those years on Mount’s school board, then came to Cumberland as principal in 2012.

He has also served on the Pawtucket School Committee, including many years as chairman.

He has worked on a number of state and national committees and has been recognized with many awards, including being named to the Mount St. Charles Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

These days, he has a son, Michael, attending Mount.

Tenreiro comes from a family of educators including a grandfather who was once principal of Pawtucket West (Shea) High School.

Coming into Cumberland four and one-half years ago, Tenreiro was the agent of change who made Clipper pride cool again, tossed out general education courses and relocated the graduation – over howls of protest – to the Providence Performing Arts Center.

Under his watch, the dress code was firmed up, cell phones banned, and the number of AP courses expanded to 27 and open to all grades.

He’s leaving behind a teaching and support staff of nearly 200 people and 1,352 students to accept the goal, as he describes it, “to build a comprehensive high school that offers a ton of possibilities to kids.”

Mount, which expanded to include grade 6 two years ago, currently has 57 teachers and an added 20 members of the support staff.

He declined to speak more specifically, noting he’s currently familiar with Mount only from the perspective of a parent.

He described his upcoming presidential role as that of a public school superintendent focused on development, marketing, public relations, alumni and admissions. He’ll be the main spokesman for the school, he said.

Tenreiro told The Breeze, “I’ll be working with the principal marketing the school and the benefits of Mount St. Charles, leveling up what’s happening on the academic side.

“I sense an urgency that people want more from their high school, not less. My hope is to bring that innovation to Mount.”

Currently, Cumberland is the community sending the most students to Mount, although the academy draws from the wide northern Rhode Island and south central Massachusetts area.

Tuition to Mount next year will be $12,150 for grades 6 to 8 and $13,850 for grades 9 to 12. The school is still accepting new students for September, with the next entrance exams set for Saturday, March 4.
Tenreiro plans to meet for the first time with parents and friends of Mount at the Parents Council meeting next Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in Chapel Hall.

Praise was heaped this week on the man Tenreiro is replacing, Herve Richer, the first layman to serve as Mount’s president. Richer was president for eight years and gave a total of 34 years of service to this Catholic school.

Thanking him for all those years, Principal Burke said in a statement, “In his various roles at the school, Mr. Richer always sought to do what he believed to be in the best interest of the entire community. As teacher, assistant principal, principal and president, Mr. Richer was driven by his desire to fulfill the school’s mission and improve the experience of the entire school community. His leadership in renovating classrooms at the school will benefit our students for many years to come.”

Welcoming Tenreiro to Mount, Burke noted he has maintained his strong connection to the school.

“Mr. Tenreiro brings a wealth of educational experience and school leadership to his alma mater. I look forward to working with him in this next chapter of the school’s history and know that his service to Mount Saint Charles will enhance the learning environment for all of our students. As an alumnus, former teacher and coach at Mount Saint Charles, and as the parent of a current student, Mr. Tenreiro knows the mission of the school and will tirelessly work to implement it in his leadership of the Academy.”

Also commenting this week was Brother Ronald Hingle, S.C., president of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart of New England Inc., who said, “It was Herve’s responsibility to preserve the charism at the Mount and make it grow and live to affect the lives and educational experiences of the next generation of Mounties. He faithfully lived this mission, giving it his best and untiring efforts for many, many years. We are grateful for the model he has been of a Catholic, Christian gentleman, and we have been inspired by his unwavering love for MSC.”

Welcoming Tenreiro, Hingle said, “Alan’s obvious love for the Mount, as a former teacher, past board member, and current parent, is even more impressive than his outstanding professional resume. We are truly blessed to have another man of such quality and experience leading our school, his alma mater, into the future.

“We look forward to working closely with Alan and continuing our partnership with Mr. Ed Burke, principal, in furthering Fr. Coindre’s mission which began in Lyon, France, in 1821, and will soon be in its 94th year in Rhode Island.”

Observers credit Tenreiro’s “socio-emotional IQ and an ability to read people,” as they describe a man with strong leadership style with the ability to make people comfortable as change happens.

Said Tenreiro, “We’ve made dramatic progress at CHS. I’m so proud of the leadership and the transformation of the school in such an advanced way.”

Tenreiro points immediately to a graduation rate that’s up from 80 percent to 96 percent during his tenure, while discipline issues have dropped from 2,000 referrals a year to about 500.

“We used to have to cancel the Winter Ball for lack of attendance,” he said. Now it’s a sellout that he says “is a positive indicator of school spirit.”

Tenreiro says he strives to “make people feel comfortable with people and open because I trust them. I can’t think of an innovation or idea suggested to me that I’ve said ‘no we can’t do it.’”

He describes, too, his “visible rapport with students” that leads him to attend their events, greet them in the lunchroom and hallways.

And he said, “We’re working very hard at improving teacher quality, coaching new teachers with lots of focus on instruction. Our faculty has done an amazing job learning how to function and use techniques in a new way.

“We’re empowering teachers,” he said, “not making them the objects of change but the agents of change we seek. They have the autonomy they need to get kids to achieve. Expectations are very clear,” he said of the environment he’s championed at Cumberland.

Tenreiro, who as a 7-year-old with his dad was one of the couple of dozen people who stuck out the PawSox 33-inning “longest game” night in 1981, attends St. Teresa’s Church on Newport Avenue. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children, Michael and a young daughter, Julia.


Thank You For Making Cumberland High School A Better High School!

I appreciate his move, knowing that he's an Alumni, former teacher and current parent. However his departure is a loss for the town. Where is the superintendant and school committee member's statement on his announcement?

I'm hopeful that Mr. Tenreiro has a strategy to curb falling enrollment. Mount is a great school with brand-name recognition. The key is, how can amount differentiate itself from LaSalle, Feehan, Hendricken? One idea is to leave the RI Interscholastic League and compete in the prep school league for hockey and perhaps other sports. High school hockey is nothing like it was in the 80's and 90's. The top youth hockey players today play in the prep schools. Mount gained its notoriety for being the top hockey program in the country. I don't think it's a coincidence that enrollment started falling as RIIL hockey started falling, too. There are no prep schools in northern RI and nearby MA. A move to the prep league is something to consider. Let's make Mount hockey great again!