By Chloe Combra, Clare Mone, and Marin Gillis
After working at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) for the past six years, Career Technical Education (CTE) Director and assistant principal Barbara-Jean Chauvin is retiring from MVRHS.
As the director of the CTE program, Dr. Chauvin has occupied a leadership role that is often occupied by men. “It’s only been the last four or five years across the state of Massachusetts that there have been more than just a handful of women in the role of CTE director.”
During her time as CTE Director and assistant principal, Dr. Chauvin has managed the construction of a new greenhouse at MVRHS, helped raise over $100,000 for the horticulture program so that they could replace some of their aging equipment, and revamped the health assisting program. In addition to her daily responsibilities as CTE director and assistant principal, she has also been a driving force behind the early childhood education program that is set to launch at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
After the pandemic forced school closure last spring, Dr. Chauvin helped orchestrate food distribution to students Island-wide in collaboration with the Island Food Pantry. “That was something that I’m proud of, and it’s something that really helped the entire Island community, not just the high school. Once the other schools figured out what we were doing at the high school, they started to work with us in terms of transporting food,” she said.
Outside of school, Dr. Chauvin has been focused on earning her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Plymouth State University, which he has been working on since 2016 and completed this year. Additionally, she sings with the All-Island Community Chorus as the first soprano, and enjoys listening to all kinds of music (except for opera).
Dr. Chauvin hopes to continue working in education after she retires from MVRHS. She anticipates taking her teaching career to the college-level, but is open to any opportunities that present themselves.
“I think I’m going to be involved in a lot of different things,” said Dr. Chauvin. “And I’m open to just about anything. I have a lot of skills that I can offer different organizations on the Island, and I hope that my phone starts ringing. I do want to continue to work, but on a part-time basis.”
After years of following the school schedule, Dr. Chauvin is excited to have more flexibility with her time. “In the role that I’ve had, whether it be at MVRHS or in other schools, it’s a lot of hours and a lot of commitment to the school and to the students. I’ve loved just about every moment of it, but now I would like to have a little bit more control over my time.”