Message from the next Superintendent of Schools, Philip Conrad

March 13, 2020

Dear BPS students and families,

It is my privilege and honor to introduce myself to the Bedford Public Schools’ community. As much as I had hoped to introduce myself in person, the unique situation we find ourselves in requires us all to communicate a little more creativity. I look forward to the day we can be together in person.

First and foremost, I hope that you and your families are healthy and safe. Having been an educator for over 30 years, I know the importance of routine and connections for our students and their ability to succeed. Since March, I have had the great pleasure of watching students and families rise to the occasion of at-home learning. I know it hasn’t been easy, and BPS families are to be commended for the support and commitment to our teachers and especially our students. This school year has tested us all and I am grateful to join you this summer to support the great work you have achieved in difficult circumstances.

Because I’m not able to introduce myself, shake your hand and get to know you face to face, I wanted to offer a glimpse into my background. I have had the good fortune of teaching and learning from my students and colleagues for over thirty years. I began as an art teacher at Timberlane Regional High School in Plaistow New Hampshire, moved on to become the Fine Arts Department Chair, and assistant principal. In 2009, I became the associate principal at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, and then to my first principalship at the Rockport Middle-High School. I am currently finishing five years as principal of Andover High School, where I served almost 1,800 students and their families. I have enjoyed my various roles and am looking forward to a new challenge.

It has been a wonderful journey and I am excited to get started with all of you. Soon, I hope that we will have a chance to meet at academic activities, in classes, through club competitions, and co-curricular events. I am especially excited to attend our athletics, arts, and cultural events and meet our students and their families. It strikes me that Tom Brady and I became Buccaneers during the same week. Like most of you, I will miss watching him play in a Patriots uniform, but change is constant.

So what can you expect? I hope that you will find in me someone who is approachable and eager to listen. I am committed to meeting our challenges together and maintain a collaborative approach to leadership. I believe that we must continue to have high academic expectations for all of our students, and at the same time, we must support them as they learn and grow. It is important that we remember that all children learn in their own way, demonstrating their understanding through a variety of means.

As the school year ends, I wish the Class of 2020 the very best and hope that they know we are very proud of their accomplishments. As I come on board, I’d like to thank Superintendent Jon Sills and the school committee for their warmth, kindness, and thoughtful assistance. I cannot thank Jon enough for his work in creating a positive learning environment for all. I appreciate that he will be here to help all of us through the transition of leadership.

Best wishes until we can meet in person.


Philip Conrad