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Thetford Academy Leader to Leave

  • Thetford Academy Head of School William Bugg speaks at a school function in Thetford, Vt., on December 10, 2016. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thetford — After more than six years at the helm of Thetford Academy, Head of School Bill Bugg has announced plans to step down at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Bugg, 53, said on Wednesday that he will continue leading the independent secondary school as it celebrates its bicentennial next year, before departing to seek other opportunities.

“In many ways,  I believe I’ve accomplished what I had hoped to do  at TA, and I believe it’s time for new leadership to take the school to the next level,” he wrote in a March 23 letter to parents.

Bugg came to Thetford in 2012, after a nearly two-year search to fill the head of school position left vacant when Martha Rich retired.

He previously worked as an administrator and teacher at the Western Reserve Academy, a boarding and day high school in Hudson, Ohio.

Bugg also spent 11 years teaching Latin, English, history and journalism at the Darlington School in Rome, Ga.

During his tenure in Thetford, Bugg said, the school saw expanded course offerings, a new schedule for students and championship basketball and soccer teams.

Bugg also highlighted the school’s land purchases and work inside the neighboring Thetford Hill State Forest as a major achievement.

The academy signed a 10-year lease with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation in 2015, which allowed for teachers and students to use a 177-acre tract of land in education programs.

The school created an environmental studies and outdoor education initiative around the same time, which is supported by a $55,000 annual grant from the Chicago-based Woodbury Foundation.

The move was a great example of Thetford Adacemy’s strengths, Bugg said.

The school serves tuition students from Thetford, Strafford and Lyme like a public school, he said, but it also has the financial flexibility as a private school.

“It’s that kind of ability to do these public-private partnerships that makes Thetford Academy really special,” Bugg said in a phone interview. “I’ve been really excited to be a part of initiatives like that.”

In the coming year, he plans to continue supporting school operations, as well as the outdoor program and a new internship initiative with Fujifilm Dimatix and Hypertherm in Lebanon.

“I think the school is in a really fabulous location,” he said of Thetford Academy’s future.

Community members will continue to ensure the school’s success, Bugg predicted, adding parents and alumni support students, both with volunteer hours and with donations.

Bugg said his transition from the school will come as one of his children graduates high school, making it a good time for him to seek a change.

“I don’t have the next steps ironed out,” he said of future job prospects.

“I wanted to make sure that the board had time to take the next steps without having to go through an interim process,” Bugg said. “I think this will make a smoother transition for the school.”

Bugg “has been a faithful steward of out school’s mission and has worked to advance opportunities for students at the Academy,” TA board of trustees President Cameron Cudhea said in the same March letter to parents.

Cudhea also expressed gratitude to Bugg’s wife, Sally, who is “ever-present” volunteering and lending her support to the academy.

The board will announce its plans to seek a new head of school in the coming months, Cudhea said. Until then, he said, staff and faculty will be focused on providing a stable transition for students.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.