In a Storm of Uncertainty Blanchard Brings New Light


Owen Biniecki, Editor

Just after the 2019 Seniors’ transcript disaster, and in the midst of a large-scale school renovation and a pandemic that has stopped 2020 in its tracks, enter Brett Blanchard, the new Principal of Bellows Free Academy. 

Even in the unmitigated chaos 2020 has become, Blanchard has stepped up to the challenge with resounding success. From the newly-implemented Egress Drill, to the massive amount of planning required to make BFA prepared for schooling in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Blanchard has proven to be worthy of the position, despite his alleging “I never felt fully prepared.”

The perfect amount of experience to solve the unsolvable

Blanchard has an extensive history of teaching experience, especially as principal. Blanchard has held the position of principal at two different locations for a total of 13 years preceding his time at BFA. Blanchard has also experienced a wide-ranging college career as he explored majors.

“I started with practical business, and then I switched to philosophy. And then I realized, I like to read and write, so I went to history. Then I did an education minor. I got my Master’s in educational leadership,” Blanchard said.

With such a busy and complex work life, it’s hard to imagine what Blanchard does in his free time, if it exists at all. 

On the occasion that Blanchard finds himself with free time, and the opportunity, he enjoys the adventure in wild ice skating. Beyond the amazing sights he’s seen while skating, Blanchard finds the quiet wilderness therapeutic. Blanchard spoke of one particular skating adventure he remembers vividly.

“One time skating- the weather’s terrible- There’s one gentleman sitting on a chair ice fishing with no hut. And I remember thinking, that’s insane. And then as I’m skating a circle for like, four hours, I remember thinking, who’s the one? And I remember thinking: this is the worst TV show he’s ever seen. He can’t stop seeing me because there’s no choice, he has no hut. I remember thinking, he’s thinking the same thing I am of him – ‘that makes no sense,’” Blanchard said.

Approaching his fourth month at BFA, it’s hard to say if Blanchard has gotten the full BFA experience.

Even with the more than difficult circumstances and relatively short time spent here, Blanchard manages to see the successes and joy that break through the chaotic atmosphere, especially when he sees students’ shared positivity.

“In terms of what’s caused kind of a visceral ‘the day feels good’ was seeing and hearing students say that it was a good day,” Blanchard said.

Recognizing the monumental tasks and chaotic context to the inception of his job, The Mercury would like to welcome Blanchard to the BFA Community.