December, 3rd 2019 by Hilary Jenison
It looks like a winter wonderland around Hingham today as the Town has its first snow day of the year. While many students (and maybe some parents) nervously speculated that our new Superintendent hailing from Maine would “NEVER” cancel school due to snow … Dr. Paul Austin proved them wrong this morning. We connected with the new superintendent about making the first snow day call in his new role.
“As I drove into the office this morning, I had no doubt that the cancelation was the right call. The snowfall is moderate, but it is a wet and heavy snow that makes driving conditions very difficult," said Dr. Paul Austin. “In all honesty, when considering the safety of our students and staff, snow calls are really quite simple. If the conditions warrant, like they did today, the call is quite easy. I tip my hat to our hard-working Department of Public Works in Hingham (and the surrounding towns) for doing their best to manage the storm and keep the roads safe. I began the decision-making process at 3:45 am this morning with a call to the Director of Public Works in Hingham (Randy Sylvester). His insight, as well as the opinions of those he works with, was instrumental, and after consulting with Superintendents in neighboring towns, I made the final call to cancel.”
Dr. Austin had heard the rumors circulating about his “Maine mentality” surrounding snow days and said they gave him a chuckle. He indicated he even received an email from a student last night requesting the day off – a first for him! However, he continued, “In all seriousness...I take the safety of our students and staff seriously. I have an obligation to make calls like today when it is in the best interest of our community, and I will continue to take that responsibility very seriously. I can't control the weather, but I can do my best to keep everyone safe and off the roads when absolutely necessary.”
Dr. Austin concluded, “I ask that the community be patient as I learn how best to communicate events like today effectively and efficiently with parents of HPS students.”
Speaking personally, we have been extremely impressed with Dr. Austin’s level of care and communication, and appreciated his early morning voicemail this morning.
And, now we can all move onto speculating if he will “EVER” call another snow day 😉
In the meantime, stay cozy and safe. Thanks to our hard-working DPW, who are out there working overtime to clean up and prepare for tomorrow so we can get back to routine.