A Sit Down With Dr. Perella


Ava Hawkes and Julia Axiotakis, Staff Writers

With a wave of new faculty and administration working at RHS, many students

have felt confused and out of the loop. After years of the same, a portion of our faculty

has moved out of RHS, leaving many incumbent students dizzy with the changes. The

new administration hovers around the school, checking ID’s and saying “good morning,”

but who are they? More importantly, who is in charge of it all?


Many students know Dr. Perella as the man who enacted “Movember”—an event

where faculty won’t shave to raise awareness for men’s health—and a homework­free

Thanksgiving break. His popularity is undeniable; Rachel Menezes, a senior and Writing

Center Tutor, said of our new principal: “I feel like Dr. Perella has completely changed

the environment of the school… he’s trying to make it… somewhere where students

want to be.”


He managed to fit the interview in amongst a principal’s tight schedule. Walking

into his office, the first thing that one might notice is the corkboard filled with Star Wars

and hippie­esque imagery sitting on the eastern wall, along with the long conference

table that takes up the back of the room. We pulled up chairs, and began our interview.


Our first question was if he’d worked in Revere Schools before.


“I did. I was a teacher from ‘97 to 2003… I taught AP U.S. History and

Psychology… I was also a coach here, a soccer coach.” He leaned back in his chair

and nodded as he spoke.


We continued on to light questions: hobbies, favorite movies, favorite artists, et

cetera. Dr. Perella revealed that he’s an outdoorsman—”I like to hike and go

camping”—and that he has two pets, a dog and cat, that he enjoys spending time with.

His favorite show is Breaking Bad and his favorite band is The Beatles. His astrological

sign is Pisces, and he idolizes figures such as Robert Kennedy and Obi­Wan Kenobi

(who he has a photo of up on the corkboard.) As for some media he might recommend,

he highly suggests watching The Handmaiden’s Tale and a few Wes Anderson movies,

such as Isle of Dogs, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums (“That’s his best movie.”)


We talked about Dr. Perella’s love for music; if there’s any skill he could pick up

in an instant, he said he’d like to be a great pianist. He’s a supporter of Revere High’s

artistic programs, visiting Rock Ensemble practices and referencing RHS’s very own

music teacher, Mr. Waugh: “He used to teach my kids guitar.”


Dr. Perella has what he describes as a “nerd streak”; he revealed to us that he’s

a Dungeons & Dragons player, a hobby that he’s passed down to his kids. “I have a son

that’s gonna be sixteen, and he plays now.” We asked about his favorite D&D class, and

he replied with “Ranger,” instantly. “I was never interested in like, the glory, the fighter. I

liked being on the side.”


We discussed school spirit; initiatives like Patriot Fridays, Movember, and

No­Homework Thanksgiving Break. “My philosophy is that you have to give to get, so I

try to give as much as I can and see what we get.” This reflects a drastic change from

RHS’s previous ways; students were hardly aware that groups like the School

Improvement Committee even existed. School spirit was scarce outside of sports

teams, and discussion of Revere High was rife with criticism of the faculty and the

building itself. While those criticisms still exist, there’s now an undertone of hope that

coincides with the new administration’s arrival.


A rather serious topic that all students are most likely curious about: standardized

testing. We asked Dr. Perella to weigh in, saying “I don’t really care about it… I hope

that everyone passes, they have to do well if they want to go to college, but I don’t put

much credence in them… I think it’s not always reflective of how intelligent someone is.

A lot of it is testing things… That aren’t important in the long run. So for me, it’s a matter

of maintaining those things, but not focusing on them.”


Finally, we asked him about his goals as an administrator and his goals for the future of

RHS. What Dr. Perella said reflects why students like him so much: “I want to make this

a comfortable place that people want to come to… That’s the first thing, and once we

establish that, everything kind of follows after. If you like being here, you’ll probably do

better in school.” Students so far seem to be in support of this approach.