A decade of excellence – Fila retires as Lynn English principal

Andrew Fila said he had “ten great years – a great decade” as principal at Lynn English High School.

“It’s time to move on and let someone else take over and continue what’s been going on,” said Fila who announced last Thursday that he will be officially retiring from his position as principal on Nov. 5.

Fila served 45 years in the school system, working two years as a substitute teacher and continuing his career in vice principal and principal positions at Eastern Junior High School. He became principal of Lynn English High School on Feb. 28, 2000.

During Fila’s reign, English has gained national recognition for its outstanding academics and vibrant school environment.

National publications US News and World Report and Business Week hailed English as one of the top public schools in the state and the nation. English was selected as a Compass School in recognition of its scores on the MCAS. The school’s mathematics program also garnered a national award.

Fila takes pride in the construction project that was completed during his time as principal.

“When I came here, construction was at a standstill so completion of the construction at the school was a major accomplishment,” said Fila.

The athletic program has also prospered in the past decade. The girls basketball team has become a perennial champion under coach Fred Hogan, while the boys basketball team, under coach Buzzy Barton, advanced to the state finals in 2009.

“We’ve made some positive coaching which have resulted in successful seasons and student-athletes moving on to colleges,” said Fila.

Director of athletics Gary Molea wished Fila well in his retirement. He also praised Fila’s work as principal and his support of the athletic program.

“I hope he thinks he made the right decision – I know it’s a hard one to make,” said Molea. “Unfortunately, I guess, every train comes to a stop. He did a good job and I just hope he enjoys his retirement.

Fila worked long days as principal and his efforts were appreciated greatly by fellow administrators, faculty, students, and parents.

“I used to wake up and be in school at 5 a.m. to work out and meet the students at 7:15 or so,” said Fila, who will head to Florida this week for a vacation.

Fila said he will recommend Vice Principal Thomas Strangie to be his successor.

“Mr. Strangie deserves to have that position,” said Fila. “He’s done a great job. All three vice principals (Jennifer Mancaniello and Joseph O’Hagan are also VPs) do a great job at the high school. We have a great administrative staff, a great teaching staff, and a great bunch of kids.”

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