QUINCY -- Julie Marshall takes on a new role as sixth-grade dean of students at Quincy Junior High School with a new approach to the job for the 2018-19 year.
"It's going to look a little different," said Marshall, who has spent 12 years teaching at QJHS and almost 19 years in education. "Hopefully the dean is seen as more of a positive role this year than it has been in the past."
Plans call for the deans -- Marshall along with new-hire Tony Fesler for seventh grade and veteran Tom Lepper for eighth grade -- to spend more time in classrooms, instead of offices, building relationships with teachers and students.
"Each floor will have a learning lab, a counselor and a dean to where basically we're working as a team to support the teachers and the students, as well," Marshall said. "Hopefully this cuts down on a lot of the discipline referrals that are written."
It's an exciting transition for the school and for Marshall, 45, who taught social-emotional lessons to QJHS students, helping them to understand other perspectives than just their own -- lessons she'll continue to use in the dean's job.
"It's going to be good for everybody," she said.
The seventh-grade dean's job brings Fesler back to Quincy Public Schools after two years as an assistant principal at Pittsfield High School.
Fesler, 42, taught two years at the former Barry Elementary School before spending six years as a teacher in the alternative school, then another six years as a star guide at Baldwin Intermediate School before taking the Pittsfield post.
The revamped dean's position was "a little bit intriguing and in my wheelhouse, so to speak," said Fesler said, who didn't want to pass up the opportunity.
"Honestly over a 12-year period, I built a lot of relationships with a lot of not only students, but staff members. I'm looking forward to getting back and seeing some of those people," he said. "The opportunities Quincy provides is a little different than some surrounding areas."
Also taking on a new role at QJHS is Andy Hoskins, who shifts from ed tech specialist focused on testing and supporting teachers with technology in daily instruction to become school administration manager. He takes over the role held by Brenda Fleer, who was named assistant principal for curriculum and instruction.
"I have a special place in my heart for this building," said Hoskins, 39, who is starting his 16th year at the school, where he has taught special education, history, and most recently computers and technology. "It's an opportunity to continue to push the good things, the positive things we've been doing to support the students, support the staff, support even families of our students."
As the school administration manager, Hoskins will work to ensure that Principal Dan Sparrow can focus on instructional leadership in the building.
"I'm supposed to pick up management things so he's not losing time responding to every single little question for every single little need," Hoskins said. "As the instructional leader, his goal should be focused on getting classrooms, supporting the teachers, building relationships with the students. My role is to be sure he's doing that."
But the role also extends into other areas.
"At the junior high, it's been kind of a flexible position to allow it to be whatever staff and students need to support them," he said. "I'm excited to be able to continue pushing what we've been doing here, allow myself to grow personally and professionally with this new role."