Pennichuck welcomes new administrative duo

NASHUA – With a new school year comes two new administrators at Pennichuck Middle School.

Recently, Gabriel Falzarano assumed the role as principal at Pennichuck and has been joined by new interim Assistant Principal Craig Hardimon. Both administrators bring more than a decade or more of experience in education.

Falzarano earned his undergraduate degree in human movement and sport science from Sacred Heart University.

Later on he went back to Sacred Heart University where he obtained his master’s degree in education. Later he received his administrator certification through the University of New Hampshire Manchester.

Once in the education field, Falzarano spent eight years teaching middle school science. He then spent seven years with the Hudson School District as the student management assistant principal. He spent five years in this role at Hudson Memorial School and two years at Alvirne High School.

Though Falzarano didn’t pursue a career in education immediately, the thought of it was always in the back of his mind.

“I recall a moment in sixth grade when I said I wanted to be a teacher, and I will say, I strayed from that path. I tried something else in college which I loved, but then I always had this sense pulling me back, saying, ‘Hey you wanted to be a teacher, you wanted to be a teacher,'” Falzarano said.

He added, “I was very fortunate that I never had a teacher I disliked and I was able to find teachers that really pushed me forward. Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones, but I always wanted to be able to give that back.”

Hardimon received his undergraduate degree in art and history from Ripon College. From there, he received a Master’s of Education in Severe and Profound Special Needs. He went on to obtain a second master’s degree from UMass Amherst in Moderate and Mild Special Education. After this, he obtained his administrator certification from Lesley University. Hardimin also has received mediator training.

Hardimon began his career as a special education teacher. After this he spent 11 years as an assistant principal and 13 years as a principal at both middle and high schools. Hardimon also served as the human resources director for Watertown Public Schools.

Like Falzarano, Hardimon was also inspired by teaching at a young age. His mother was a teacher and her parents were college professors.

Both Falzarano and Hardimon are excited to be a part of the Pennichuck and Nashua community. Falzarano said he is looking forward to meeting and working with a whole new staff as well as working with Hardimon so they can make the school run as efficiently as possible.

Hardimon said he is excited to be working in a middle school again.

The pair has several goals they are looking to accomplish this school year.

A goal of Falzarano’s is to instill a sense of “Raider pride.” He is also focused on making sure students meet their potential.

“Every student is smart. We just have to figure out what type of smart they are and we have to focus in on that type of smart and educate them in that direction,” Falzarano said. “Every student can learn. I try to invigorate students and get them to feel that they are smart in something.”

As for Hardimon, he said he lives by three core values: “I believe that everyone can learn; everyone is expected to behave with civility and integrity; and everyone is responsible for their own behavior,” Hardimon said. “The goal for me is applying those three values to support the vision of improving the culture while bringing back a sense of pride.”

Hardimon also wants students to learn resilience.

“We all fail – we all hit the wall. But, it’s what you do when you hit the wall. How do you figure out how to pick yourself up and how do you move forward?” Hardimon said. “I think that’s a lot of what we do in middle school. As parents and as teachers, we sort of try to stop the kid from falling down because we want to help them. But in middle school, we need to help them learn because sooner or later they’re going to find some failure.”

The duo also has nothing but good things to say about the Nashua School District.

“Pennichuck students are typical middle school students who push boundaries and do the things that middle school students do, but they’re equally very respectful,” Falzarano said.

“We’re an accepting school from (multiple) elementary schools so you can tell it’s a value of the Nashua School District,” he said.

Hardimon said, “These kids are prepared. They are good citizens. They’re good people and they welcomed me very quickly.” He added, “I’m impressed with the maturity, integrity and civility of these kids.”

The pair is optimistic for the future. Falzarano said it has been very natural the way he and Hardimon have connected.

“It’s only taken a couple of literal days for Craig and I to really begin to gel,” Falzarano said, adding that this has gotten the ball rolling in a positive direction for the building.

Hardimon said he is glad to help and join the community.

“This has just been an incredibly welcoming building and community. I feel at home and I’m thrilled to stay as long as they need me,” Hardimon said.