By Ranya Merchant— Editor-In-Chief
With over 30 years of experience in the education field, Mr. Olsen has returned to SHS for the third time.
Olsen began his education career in Franklin where he taught math for 8 years before transitioning to administration. He later worked as an assistant principal in Topsham, Maine, and Spencer, Massachusetts until he accepted his first principal position at North Middlesex Regional High School where he stayed for 12 years. He has since worked as a principal in more than 20 different school districts accumulating nearly half a century of experience, including his years at SHS as principal in 2005 and 2019.
Olsen says his return to Sharon is largely due to his love for our school community. “I’ve been here 3 different times in 3 different decades because I like this place. I like the superintendent, I like Ms. Weinstein, I like Mr. Fazzio, and I like the students,” said Olsen.
“We have a very nice population here. It’s high achieving, but there is also lots of gratitude, acceptance, and personality,” he added.
Mr. Fazzio, our returning assistant principal, has worked with Olsen 3 times starting more than 18 years ago and says Olsen is the best administrator he has ever worked with. “I learned more about administration in the first year I worked with him than I learned from any of the other administrators I served with,” said Fazzio.
“He’s just amazing. He loves kids, he’s amazing with teachers and he’s always straightforward. You always know what you’re dealing with. You don’t have to like it, but at least there’s no sneakiness or no lies with him,” added Fazzio, reminiscing on their years together.
Fazzio says Olsen’s work ethic and approach is a large part of the reason he came back this year and it may be the reason he comes back next year too. “I was retiring— I only agreed to return because he was coming back,” said Fazzio.
“In fact, I’m planning on retiring at the end of this year, but if they are crazy enough to bring him back for another year, I might stick around,” he added.
Although Olsen is familiar with the SHS community, the new building is a new adjustment for everyone—including him. “This building has the potential to be beautiful,” said Olsen.
“I experienced the other building twice, it was inadequate 20 years ago, and it was inadequate 3 years ago when I was here. This is a much better facility, it’s just that things are not quite at peak operation right now. I’m dealing with a lot of things that I have to address with the logistics of the building. People just have to be a little patient,” said Olsen.
Olsen says he hopes to foster connections this year with a hands-on approach in the building. “My style is very high visibility and as you can tell by the presentation we had, I believe in preventative discipline. I believe in getting to know the kids, getting to know the faculty, getting into the classrooms and promoting learning,” he said.
Olsen says he also plans to focus on promoting school spirit and fun. “I like to laugh, I like to laugh at myself, and I like to laugh with the kids and faculty,” said Olsen.
Outside of the building, Olsen is an avid reader and occasional TV watcher, though he prefers to spend his off-time traveling when presented with the chance. “When I’m not working, I like to read a lot— particularly historical fiction. I’m not a terrible fan of television anymore — I watch a few games now and then, I like to watch world news, Boston news, but that’s basically it,” said Olsen.
“What I really love to do is travel. I’ve been all over the world— China, Africa, all over Europe. I really enjoy interacting with other cultures,” he added.