Departing Conant principal heading to Peterborough Elementary School

  • Rob Clark Ledger-Transcript file photo

  • Larry Pimental Ledger-Transcript file photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/18/2018 6:04:34 PM

Departing Conant High School Principal Larry Pimental will become the new principal at Peterborough Elementary School. 

Pimental – who submitted his resignation letter to the Jaffrey-Rindge School District on March 26 – said Monday night that he is excited for the opportunity to be working with elementary school students, something he has yet to do in his career.

“I’ve been in this district nine years, it’s been great. The community has been great, the staff has been wonderful, the kids are amazing,” said Pimental, who also served as athletic director and assistant principal during his tenure. “[The opportunity] just presented itself at the right time. I’m excited about heading over to Peterborough.”

Pimental was one of two finalists for the ConVal Regional High School principal job, but the position was ultimately given to Michelle Voto, who had been developing programs for the Applied Technology Center for the ConVal School District since August. Pimental said he was also interested in the elementary school position, although he did not originally apply for it. 

Voters approved the cutting of a principal position at the middle/high school when approving the district’s proposed $25.4 million operating budget in March. One principal will now preside over both schools, with two supporting assistant principals: one in charge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment and another in charge of safety and culture.

The resignations of Pimental and Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School Principal Robert Clark were accepted unanimously by the school board on Monday night as a part of the consent agenda. The board did not discuss the resignations or the process moving forward during the meeting. 

Pimental and Clark, in separate interviews, said the shift to a joint principal and other changes throughout the district bore little weigh in their decision to leave the district. 

“I’ve been thinking about this for a couple years now,” said Robert Clark, who has worked in the district for 11 years, also serving as middle school assistant principal. “It has nothing to do with the focus or direction [that the district is going in.] It’s just time for me to move on.”

Clark – who submitted his letter on April 6 – said the changes happening throughout the district presented a good opportunity for someone new to come in and for him to explore something different. Clark said Tuesday afternoon that he has not accepted a new position at this time. 

Jaffrey-Rindge School District Superintendent Reuben Duncan said the district posted the new position on Tuesday and is now accepting applications. 

“This won’t change our work going forward,” said Duncan. “Any time you bring in someone new for a role, there’s a period of adjustment. This causes a little change, but not in the work going forward.”

Duncan said the conversation about eliminating a principal position in the district has been going on for about two years now, adding that the move to one principal at the middle/high school creates more efficiencies and better utilizes the district’s resources. 

“The two schools, though attached, have functioned as though they were miles apart,” said Duncan. 

Duncan said the timeline and process moving forward to hire a new principal will largely depend on the applications that come in. Duncan said the district is looking for someone who is experienced in leading change, and someone who has a “strong belief in the direction the district has chosen to go.”

“I have a very high level of respect for both of them,” said Duncan, of Pimental and Clark. “They have given so much to this district and have done their very best for our kids.”

Duncan also said he has had several conversations with both assistant principals – Richard Simoneau at Conant and Lisa Wilkinson at JRMS – to try to “find out where their interests lie,” regarding the newly proposed assistant principal positions.


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