Our School

Ralph C. Mahar Regional School, named after Senator Ralph C. Mahar, the father of regional schools in Massachusetts, opened in 1957. We honor his name and legacy in our 7th through 12th-grade middle and high school by being true to ourselves and each other, by standing up for what we believe in, and by striving for a lifetime of education for all that will lead to the improvement of our community and the lives of our families.

Mission Statement

The Ralph C. Mahar Regional School community will ensure teaching and learning take place in a safe, collaborative, and inclusive environment. We commit to working with families and community members to support the personal, academic, and career growth of every student. We believe that a challenging curriculum for all students and a culture that actively welcomes all learners will contribute to a more knowledgeable community and society. We believe that all students must be prepared with 21st century skills and an understanding of the demands and challenges of an ever changing world.

Middle School Mission Statement

The Mahar Middle School will provide an environment that meets the developmental, educational, and social needs that emerge through adolescence. In partnership with parents and the community, our program promotes responsibility, independence, self-esteem, and self-confidence for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Who is Ralph C. Mahar?

Ralph C. Mahar was a 1930 graduate of Orange High School. He earned a BS degree from Tufts College and a JD from Northeastern School of Law. In 1949, Tufts College presented him with an honorary MA degree for his work in the fields of education, public health, and public welfare.

At the young age of 25, in 1937, Ralph became Senator Mahar when he was elected to the state House of Representatives. He served in the Senate from 1944 until his death in 1962. Senator Mahar’s “pet project” was the bill that changed Massachusetts State College to the University of Massachusetts. He fought to bring a community college to Orange but was unsuccessful in his effort to convince the school board; it went to Greenfield.

Senator Mahar was known for his unquestioned honesty and integrity. He was the principal speaker at the graduation exercises at our school in 1962, the year of his death. In his address, he said, “May you always have faith in yourselves, whatever hardships may develop in the years ahead. May you be individuals in the sense that you make up your minds, that you think straight, and that you stand on your own two feet. May you have a sense of social conscience which shows concern for your fellow man, and yet, may I urge you to beware of the philosophy of those who advocate something for nothing.”