Then and Now: (Left) Principal Michael Zapicchi, Vice Principal Doug Eadie and Vice Principal Melissa Levine at the 2002 senior prom. (Right) Levine, Zapicchi and Eadie earlier this year. Eadie will reture at the end of the month. — Melissa Levine
Many students are unaware of what Doug Eadie, our vice principal, does for the school. And since they do not know what he does or who he is, they do not understand the serious loss this school will experience when he retires at the end of December.
As vice principal, Eadie focuses his efforts on three main tasks, each of which helps the school function smoothly: building maintenance, student management and teacher observation.
For example, his building maintenance responsibilities require him to understand completely current problems regarding forms of maintenance and how to remedy those problems when they arise. “Mr. Eadie was here before there was anybody in the building, even before the kids were here, so he knows this building like nobody else in the district,” Principal Michael Zapicchi said.
Over the 17 years since Eadie opened the school, he has gradually accumulated an unmatched knowledge of everything maintenance-related. “There’s just so much institutional memory that he has; I know some of it, Mr. Zapicchi knows some of it, but not to the extent that Mr. Eadie knows it,” Vice Principal Melissa Levine said.
Some of the inherent value Eadie adds to the school is rooted in his personality and the way others see him. “He treats everyone as an individual and each situation individually, so he has a sense of fairness about him,” history teacher Joseph Bossio said.
Eadie was a special education teacher at Hightstown High School before he began work at North, and in his current role, he supervises the Academy, an alternative education program at North. “Mr. Eadie will always give the kid another chance if he thinks one more chance is going to make a difference,” said Donna Ritz, who also works in the Academy. “I’ve seen him take a risk of looking like the biggest idiot on the planet to give the kid one more shot.”
“He always assumes the best in students until shown otherwise and gives off a very calming and approachable manner,” math teacher Monica Biro said.
Every school needs that one person who, when faced with a sudden problem, can make a quick decision, and at North, that one person is Eadie. “He has that even keel to his temperament, even when things get a little crazy in school and we have to react quickly, because he is a clear thinker and has a common sense approach to school management,” Zapicchi said. This type of personality is essential to any administrative job; in times of emergency, Eadie has proven he can make logical decisions that are best for the school, his colleagues said.
Some other personality traits that most enjoy about Eadie are his quick wit and cheerful mood. “He has a phenomenal sense of humor and we’ve pranked him a hundred times,” Ritz said. “Most years at the Senior Disney Trip, one of the female teachers will go to the front desk, present herself as Mrs. Eadie and ask for a duplicate key to his room. Then he’ll walk in and all the furniture is turned over or his clothes is switched with women’s pajamas or the room is completely covered in popcorn. But he’ll always take the jokes well.”
Levine, Eadie and Zapicchi have been a team for quite a while, making Eadie’s retirement one of the biggest personnel changes in school history. “I bounce ideas off him, we discuss situations, and if I give jobs to do, I know they are done properly. He’s been my right hand man for 14 years, and I’m going to miss him,” Zapicchi said.
“It’s a relationship that we have built over time,” Levine added. “It’s like getting divorced.”
Eadie’s personality and knowledge of the building have made him an essential member of the school’s personnel. These are undoubtedly qualities that will be hard to replace.
“There are a lot of good things going on here and a lot of positives. You don’t find a place like this everywhere,” Eadie said while reflecting on what the school meant to him. “There’s a lot of thanks I have to give to staff and students for allowing me to have a career that has been so rewarding.”