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Monday, April 06, 2020


Important Notice

COVID-19 UPDATE (March 15, 2020)
All Rivendell Schools will be closed starting March 15, 2020 for the remainder of the school year
Please check our new section COVID-19 Information on the website

Annual District Meeting 
The Rivendell Interstate School District Annual Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, 2020
at Rivendell Academy has been POSTPONED (tentative date May 5, 2020).

Letter from Barrett Williams

February 14, 2020

Letter from Barrett Williams, Superintendent

Letter from Barrett Williams

December 11, 2019

Letter from Barrett Williams, Superintendent 

Rivendell Appoints New Principals

May 30, 2019
Dear Rivendell Community,

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Steven Lindemann as principal of Samuel Morey Elementary School and Timm Judas as principal of Westshire Elementary School effective July 1, 2019. Many thanks to all who helped with the search process.

The board decided at its April 4th meeting to return to the model of one principal dedicated to each school. The 13-person search committee was charged with finding two leaders to work as peers in making our schools the best they can be. The committee met with teachers, parents, and community members to identify what to look for in a candidate. Communication and interpersonal skills ranked high on the list, along with a demonstrated capacity to solve problems and build trust. School climate, behavior, and instructional leadership were also common themes. The committee looked through applications, conducted initial interviews, and set up a schedule for each of the finalists to spend a full day at the schools. This process played out over several weeks with the first two candidates visiting May 6th and the final two May 22nd. (If it feels like you’ve been waiting for a long time for an official announcement, you are right!) Reference checking started as soon as each finalist was identified. After each round of visits, the committee met to review feedback from teachers, staff, parents, community members and share what was learned from reference-checking. While some conversations took longer than others, the committee made the unanimous decision to recommend these two candidates to the school board.

Steve Lindemann started his education career teaching English to prospective baseball players, first in the Dominican Republic and then in the US working for the LA Dodgers. Shifting to elementary school education, he taught Kindergarten, 1st grade and 4th grade in Potsdam NY, before moving to VT and teaching 5th/6th grade math and science for 17 years. He became the assistant principal at Mary Hogan Elementary School in Middlebury in 2013 and served as interim principal this past year. He holds masters degrees in international management, elementary education, and educational leadership.

Timm Judas was the art teacher at Newbury Elementary School for eight years before teaching art and music at Oxbow for fifteen years. Throughout that time he worked to integrate arts across the curriculum and connect with rural community histories. He was involved in numerous school and community projects including a preschool, after-school programs, and theater and music productions. While teaching at Oxbow, he completed a masters degree and advanced graduate work in art education at Plymouth State. Since 2012 he has been teaching art education at Plymouth State and currently serves as the coordinator of graduate and undergraduate art education programs.

While changes in leadership can be challenging, we see this as an exciting opportunity to assemble a team of exceptional leaders to move the district forward. We look forward to working with this team.

The Rivendell School Board

Superintendent Chosen!


Contact: Marc DeBois

Phone: (603) 493-0508

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


                                      RIVENDELL PICKS NEW LEADER

Barrett Williams, longtime Sharon Elementary School principal, tapped as

Rivendell Interstate School District Superintendent


Orford, NH (April 16, 2019) The Rivendell Interstate School District Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Barrett Williams as superintendent of schools effective July 1, 2019.

A Vermont native, Mr. Williams attended Bradford public schools. He received his education degree at Husson College in Bangor, Maine, and his Master of Education at UVM. After teaching and serving as a an administrator in Tunbridge and Chelsea, he became principal of Sharon Elementary School where he has served for the past 11 years. At Sharon, Mr. Williams prized his connection with students, but he became known as a relentless promoter and developer of new programs and initiatives, including pre-school, farm to school, outdoor programs and more. These new ideas attracted enrollment. Total enrollment at Sharon increased from 84 students to 163 today, and Sharon is now at full capacity, one of the very few schools in the Upper Valley in that position.

The Search Committee, chaired by RISD vice chair Kathy Hooke of Vershire, was impressed by how well Mr. Williams matched their ambitious goals. “Teachers and community members told us that they loved Rivendell’s family-like atmosphere, innovative teaching and commitment to opportunities for students. They wanted us to find a skilled communicator, a proven innovator with the ability to see the connections that could lead to new programs and opportunities, and above all a leader with expertise and enthusiasm to take what we love about Rivendell and help us grow. Barrett checked all those boxes with professionalism and the disarming Vermont humor that we love.”

Mr. Williams lives in Thetford with his wife and son. He is a youth sports enthusiast, outdoorsman, and storyteller.  

Rivendell’s status as an Interstate district creates a host of opportunities, but also presents complicated requirements for management and reporting. In recognition of this challenge, RISD has retained the services of retired Lebanon superintendent Dr. Mike Harris to mentor Mr. Williams in his first year on the job. Dr. Harris served most recently as Lyme’s superintendent and was RISD’s interim superintendent 2016 to 2017. Board chair, Marc DeBois, states “We recognize that this is a challenging job. Dr. Harris’s long service to school districts in New Hampshire and to Rivendell will help make for a smooth and effective transition.”

The Rivendell Interstate School District was founded in 1998 to serve the children of Orford, New Hampshire and the Vermont towns of Fairlee, West Fairlee and Vershire. Rivendell has become known for its innovative approach to education that places the student at the center of deep authentic learning. The district is proud of its commitment to rigorous education for all students regardless of background or socio-economic status. It offers full-day preschool, afterschool and summer programming, and numerous opportunities for older students to deepen their learning through independent projects, internships and travel abroad. Rivendell’s three schools, Samuel Morey Elementary, Westshire Elementary and Rivendell Academy consistently rank among the best in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Superintendent Search Update


March 2019
Dear Rivendell Community,
The Rivendell Interstate School District is actively engaged in the process of searching for a new Superintendent of Schools. The search committee is composed of Brenda Gray, Keri Gelenian, Kirsten Surprenant, Rachael Weber, Makalia Oakes, Jess Cheney, Rebecca Wurdak, Kathy Hooke and David Ricker. Over the past several weeks the committee has met several times to look though resumes, review the job description, and identify what we are looking for in a candidate. We also held focus groups with teachers and community members. Some common themes emerged: we are looking for an excellent communicator who will be able to build relationships within the schools and larger community; a leader with expertise, enthusiasm and humor, capable of handling many responsibilities and making hard decisions; someone who will take what we love about Rivendell (small caring community, innovative teaching, commitment to special opportunities for our students) and help us grow. Based on these criteria, we narrowed the field down to three candidates for a first round of interviews. Of these, we identified one who we would like to advance to the next level. Since new applications continue to come in, we will keep the search open until the hiring process is completed. At this time, we are excited to invite you to meet our candidate under active consideration. We strongly encourage you to attend and participate in a community conversation with the candidate and submit feedback for the committee to consider. Included is a draft of the job description as you consider the role of the Superintendent in our district.

superintendent meeting dates

We hope to see you and welcome your participation and feedback.

Communication from RISD Board

Communication from RISD Board 01 14 19

Communication from RISD Board January 14, 2019

Student Enrollment

student enrollment

Click here to download the Student Enrollment Data Sheet.

Enrollment fluctuates throughout the year.

student enrollment08242016

student enrollement

Click here to download the Student Enrollment Data Sheet.

Enrollment fluctuates throughout the year.

Letter from the School Board and Superintendent

To the Rivendell Community:

Please read the letter with important information from the School Board and Superintendent.

Click here to download the letter.