FITCHBURG — After eight years under the skillful leadership of Dr. Sheila M. Harrity, Monty Tech has named her successor. On April 6, the Monty Tech School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Thomas R. Browne of Marlborough, who has served as the school’s principal for eight years, as the next superintendent-director, effective July 1, 2022.
The school committee, led by chair Eric Olson, worked in partnership with Browne to reach a three-year agreement that will ensure the school’s leadership remains steadfast, with forward progress as a guiding tenant.
“There is no doubt Tom will lead Monty Tech with the same level of excellence we are accustomed to. His collegial relationships and abiding respect for the staff will allow for a smooth transition into the role. Tom knows our Monty Tech community well, and has a clear vision for its future. We are excited to see where he takes Monty Tech next,” said Olson.
Browne’s leadership style, experience and passion for vocational education impressed the committee, who also understand the value a vocational education presents today’s students.
“From the start of my career at Leominster High School, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the special bond that forms between a student and their instructor as they learn a trade. However, it was not until I was fully immersed in a school community like Monty Tech that I was able to see the value and lasting impact that day-to-day mentorship and real world work and learning opportunities present to our students,” Browne said.
Browne is a longtime educator, with more than 30 years in varied educational leadership roles. After having taught Social Studies at Leominster High School for 10 years, he advanced to assistant principal and then principal for 7 years, before leaving to join the Monty Tech team.
Under his guidance, the school has seen advancements that include a new veterinary science program and state-of-the-art onsite clinic, program improvements in 10 vocational areas made possible by more than $2 million in Skills Capital Grant funding, expanded access to instructional technology through a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, improved community outreach and student engagement, and increased school-to-business partnerships that have resulted in more students than ever before participating in the school’s popular co-operative education program.
“Currently, 180 of our juniors and seniors are spending a full week on real job sites as part of our cooperative education program, and dozens of others are in hospitals, elder care facilities, and child care centers as part of our affiliation program. There is nothing more valuable than learning on the job,” he said.
The Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District includes 18 member communities across North Central Massachusetts, employs more than 200 full-time professionals, serves approximately 1,430 students in grades 9-12, and is home to a robust evening training program for nontraditional students.
“Tom Browne is right for Monty Tech. He sees the value in, and is passionate about, vocational training, and will work to build relationships that strengthen our day and evening programs. I am confident that the good work we have done will continue and that Monty Tech’s future is very bright under Tom’s guidance,” said outgoing superintendent Harrity.
Browne holds a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame, a master’s degree from Boston College, and Superintendent/Assistant Superintendent licensure with Sheltered English Immersion endorsements.