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Sunday, August 18, 2019

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Superintendent Chosen!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         

Contact: Marc DeBois

Phone: (603) 493-0508

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                                      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.