Richmond Middle School Principal Finalists Emerge

Hanover — The Dresden School Board has chosen two Richmond Middle School principal finalists, one of whom is the current associate principal at the school.

Michael Lepene, associate principal at Richmond, and Garon Smail, associate principal at Woodstock Union High School, were chosen among more than 30 applicants, Dresden Superintendent Frank Bass said.

The new principal will replace Jim Nourse, who is in his seventh year as principal and will retire at the end of the school year.

The search committee was made up of four school board members, three middle school teachers, two community members, Hanover High Principal Justin Campbell and Bass.

The committee interviewed five candidates before choosing finalists.

Lepene and Smail will each spend a day at the middle school during the week of Dec. 9 meeting with faculty, students and the school board. The visits will include a tour, teacher team meetings, a parent and community meet-and-greet and a dinner and interview with the School Board, Bass said.

Smail, a Norwich resident, previously taught social studies and was an advanced placement instructor at Souhegan High School in Amherst, N.H., before joining Woodstock.

Lepene, a Dartmouth College alumnus who lives in Orford, has worked at Richmond Middle School since 2008. He has advanced degrees from Pacific University and the University of Oregon in teaching and educational administration. Lepene is a former science teacher and was recently a finalist for the New Hampshire assistant principal of the year award.

The School Board plans to choose the new principal at its Dec. 17 board meeting. The new hire will take his post on July 1.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at or 603-727-3223.


Letter: Principal Observations

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To the Editor: I am a seventh-grade student at the Richmond Middle School. Next year I will have a new principal. A new principal might be an unusual event for a student or a school, but for me and other Norwich seventh-graders who have been around in Norwich since fifth grade, a new principal is a normal occurrence. In fact, …