A-B Then and Now


  • Acton-Boxborough Regional School District was established in 1955.
  • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (the building that is now the Raymond J. Grey Junior High School) was occupied in 1957. Raymond J. Grey was the principal.

ABRHS Student Council 1956


  • Acton-Boxborough Regional Junior High School was built (this is part of what is now the high school).
  • Acton was one of the fastest growing towns in Massachusetts, and the high school population more than doubled.


  • Because of overcrowding, ABRHS operated on double sessions from 1971 to 1973.
  • The expanded Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (current high school building) opened in 1973.
  • Dr. Lawrence E. McNulty was named principal, and Raymond J. Grey became Superintendent of Schools.
  • The six-day cycle of classes was initiated at ABRHS.
  • Izzy Stearns was named the first Athletic Director for the district in 1978.


  • ABRHS won the Dalton Trophy for athletic excellence during the 1981-82 and 1988-89 school years.
  • The high school was awarded the Presidential Flag of Excellence during the 1984-85 school year.
  • The junior high building was named the Raymond J. Grey Junior High School after the sudden death of Mr. Grey.
  • Thirteen new girls' athletic teams were established.
  • Lights were installed on Colonial Field.


  • Stephen A. Donovan was named principal.
  • ABRHS joined the Massachusetts School Choice program and had students attending from over 30 cities and towns.
  • The school's Community Service Program was established. The first Senior Community Service Day took place in May 1995.
  • Alternative education programs were developed to meet the needs of students who had difficulty functioning in the regular school day program.
  • Technology was added on a large scale, with computers in labs, in the library and in some classrooms.
  • Colonial Field was dedicated and renamed for Edward Leary.
  • The PTSO (parent organization) instituted Project Graduation, an all-night party for seniors following graduation.
  • Because of overcrowding, the school schedule was changed from a seven-period day to an eight-period day, and the school day was lengthened.


  • An expansion and renovation of the school, which added a wing and updated the rest of the building, was completed in 2004.
  • As part of the building renovation and expansion, all teachers were provided with laptop computers and classrooms were equipped with projection systems. The World Language Department added two fully-interactive digital labs which greatly expanded teaching and learning capabilities. A Visual Arts lab made possible offerings in publishing and web design. The introduction of online resources such as Google and Wikipedia provided ready access to all types of information and revolutionized the whole concept of student research.
  • ABRHS was the recipient of the Dalton Trophy for athletic excellence during the 2007-08 school year.
  • Dr. Alixe Callen became principal in 2008.
  • in 2009, ABRHS was the recipient of the Blue Ribbon School Award from the U.S. Department of Education.


  • In 2012, ABRHS was the fourth high school in the country to receive the international Green Flag Award in recognition of significant success in energy conservation and waste reduction.
  • The school adopted Google tools for students and faculty email, file management and supported classroom use and classroom use of laptops, Chromebooks and iPads. Teachers use school technology to develop a wide variety of innovative learning projects. A guest network allows students to use school wifi on their own devices to support their learning.
  • The cafeteria added point of sale machines to modernize how students get lunch and how parents pay.
  • ABRHS initiated an official Twitter account, OneABRHS. AB to Z, a weekly program produced by the Introduction to Broadcasting class airs on ActonTV and on YouTube.
  • Athletic facilities were enhanced by the creation of additional fields beyond the existing fields next to the school. At Leary Field, a new turf field and a new track were installed.
  • In the fall of 2012, an advisory system was set up, with each staff member responsible for an advisory group of students that meets once a week and stays together for all four years.
  • JoAnn Campbell became principal in 2013.
  • During the 2015-16 school year, a mid-year week was established.
  • Larry Dorey became interim principal in 2017.

ABRHS Principals

Raymond J. Grey 1955 - 1973

Lawrence McNulty 1973 - 1991

Stephen A. Donovan 1991 - 2008

Alixe Callen 2008 - 2013

JoAnn Campbell 2013 - 2017

Larry Dorey 2017 - 2018