John Smith, Headmaster, Dover Sherborn High School

  1. Why do you care so much about preventing drug and alcohol use among Dover-Sherborn teens?

In over twenty years in public education, I have seen a number of talented, intelligent kids who have made choices with drugs and alcohol and it has changed them in so many ways. They lost out on opportunities in sports, leadership positions and it also impacted their grades thus limiting their options for post secondary education.


  1. What would you say is the most important thing that we, as parents, can do to help prevent our children from underage drinking and using drugs?

I think the most important thing a parent can do is to keep a constant line of communication open with your kids. Never assume just because they are highly involved with school and seemingly doing well, that they are not hiding or masking other behaviors that can only lead to trouble. Having straight forward, honest conversations while also letting them know that you are there to support them but also to hold them accountable. I would also recommend establishing communication with the parents/guardians that your children hang around with. Having knowledge of other parents expectations, can allow you as a parent to be informed about their friends and their behaviors.


  1. What is one message you would give to DS students if you could really get their attention?

Although the teen years are a time of development and trying new things, it only takes one mistake with alcohol and drugs to potentially change your life now and possibly forever.


  1. What is your reason for staying involved in SPAN-DS?

I love the collaboration between parents, educators, and local law enforcement as well as community leaders. Collectively we can work in unison to support kids and help guide them to making good decisions.



This is my 21st year in public education and overall I have been an educator since 1992. I have been Headmaster of Dover Sherborn High School for the past three years. It is a fantastic school community and I am very proud to serve the community of Dover and Sherborn.  I first began as a History and Social Studies teacher, then an assistant principal for four years before assuming my first principalship in 2002. This is now my 13th year as a secondary level administrator. I love working with students and using my skills and experience to provide them with the support and guidance to excel in and outside the classroom. Coming to Dover Sherborn gave me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented educators as well as the chance to work with intelligent, motivated and compassionate students who are engaged in their learning and have high aspirations for their future. It is a fantastic school community and I am very proud to serve the community of Dover and Sherborn. I have been involved with SPAN-DS since being named Headmaster in the spring of 2013 here at Dover Sherborn High School.




SPAN-DS seeks to prevent and decrease substance abuse in our communities, especially among youth. To that end we help build networks among parents, students, and other individuals that will:
  • Heighten awareness
  • Promote responsible behaviors
  • Encourage strong support systems


If you would like to make a donation, you may write a check payable to SPAN-DS and mail it to PO Box 40, Dover, MA 02030 or pay with your credit card via the donation link below. SPAN-DS is a 501c3 organization and donations are tax deductible in accordance with applicable laws.
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