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ConVal High School principal search extended, top choice declines offer

  • ConVal school board met for a regular meeting Tuesday June 6, 2017. (Abby Kessler / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Abby Kessler—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/8/2017 9:46:55 AM

The search for a high school principal at ConVal will be extended longer than anticipated after its top candidate declined to take the position. 

"The person did not accept the position due to unforeseen personal reasons," Superintendent Kim Saunders said during a regular school board meeting Tuesday night.

She said interim Principal Gib West, who was serving as the dean of faculty before Brian Pickering abruptly left late last year, will continue leading the school forward.

Ray and Associates Inc, launched a nationwide search for candidates earlier this year. Saunders said the group whittled the number of applicants down to 10, a committee then narrowed the number down to five, and two top candidates came to tour the high school last month. Michael Tenters and Shannon Mayfield were the applicants who toured the school, Saunders said. The district extended the offer to Tenters.

After Tenters declined, the position wasn’t extended to Mayfield.

“The candidate is not an option at this time for our high school,” Saunders said about the runner-up.

The search company will blast out another job description in November. The district paid $15,000 for the service, a flat fee it shelled out that covers all costs until the position is filled.

Saunders said the districts hopes to fill the principal position by the first week in March. 

TES Principal

The district hired a teaching principal at Temple Elementary School.

Fabiola Woods is currently a fourth-grade teacher at Antrim Elementary School and was involved in a Keene State College leadership graduate program cohort that prepares teachers for principal positions.

“We’re really excited that [Woods] accepted,” Saunders said. “She’s a fantastic fit.”

Woods’ salary will be $65,000.

DCS Enrollment

Ten out of 13 fifth-grade students petitioned to attend South Meadow School next school year instead of Dublin Consolidated School.

That leaves three fifth-grade students enrolled in Dublin. Saunders said, at this time, Dublin will have a fifth-grade class to accommodate those students. It’s unclear how the classroom will be structured at this time, but Saunders said they currently have enough staff to accommodate the students enrolled and will not have to hire an additional staff member. 

The discussion of the future of Dublin’s fifth-grade class has been an ongoing topic of conversation in the community. A group called the DCS Communication Committee has organized two community conversations about the topic this year. 

At one of the meetings, residents expressed concerns about the school’s viability.

No school in the ConVal District can be closed without a two-thirds majority vote from the entire district. 


The board agreed to pursue a grant for a real-time law enforcement information sharing network. 

Dick Dunning, a school board member in Peterborough, said the Budget and Property Committee is looking into implementing a service called COPsync Inc, or similar software, into each of the schools in the district.

“The faster you have law enforcement on scene, the more lives are saved,” Dunning said, who is also chair of the Budget and Property Committee. “We’re not talking minutes here, we’re talking seconds.” 

Dunning said the software would cost $1,800 per school for the first year to implement, and $1,200 per school every year thereafter. 

The federal grant would cover the cost of installing the software in the first year, but it’s unclear if it will be able to secure additional money in subsequent years.

Board member resigns

David Martz, a school board representative from Temple, will step down from the post, a decision that will go into effect at the end of the month.

“It’s been a pleasure,” Martz said during the meeting. 

He told the board that he is stepping down because he is moving out of the state.


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