Parent puts retirement on pause

Josh Rosenstein, Staff Writer

Former dean Michael Parent is back to roaming the Westford Academy halls as he temporarily returns from retirement. Parent is filling in for dean Dan Twomey, who is on paternity leave until March 23.

“His [Twomey’s] wife just delivered their fourth child, so he took a paternity leave for 20 days. He and Mr. Antonelli asked me if I could come in, and I’m just assuming his job,” Parent said.

Parent expressed his excitement at returning to WA since retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

“It’s great to be back. It was a great place when I left, and it’s still a great place now. […] I missed the kids. I missed my co-workers. It’s great to be retired, but it’s also good to come back, especially knowing that it’s only for four weeks,” Parent said.

Parent’s responsibilities are different as an interim dean than when he was a full-time dean.

“Everything that Mr. Twomey was doing with student management, organizing the contracts for the building, and the good old lunch duties — everything like that I’m still doing and helping him out. […] It shouldn’t look any different in a student’s eyes,” Parent said.

After a 35-year career at the school, Parent has already readjusted to the schedule at WA.

“Even though I’ve been gone for 7 months, it didn’t take long. My first day back, it honestly felt like I never left,” Parent said.

Both faculty members and students are glad to see Parent back at Westford Academy, as his friendly spirit has been missed this year.

“The teachers have been asking where I traveled to in the fall and how do I have such a good tan, […]. And the students, I’m glad to see that they remembered me and that they’ve welcomed me with open arms,” Parent said.

Parent, who is the varsity baseball coach, will be around for practices during the spring, but he will slide back into retirement when Twomey returns from leave.

“I’m still coaching baseball, so I’ll be here in the afternoons for baseball. […] Unless Mr. Ware or Ms. Murphy takes a paternity leave, I should be back to retirement,” Parent said.