Lebanon Middle School principal’s cryptic resignation still a mystery

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 3/5/2022 7:55:46 AM
Modified: 3/5/2022 7:55:10 AM

LEBANON — When John D’Entremont announced his resignation in a letter last month to the Lebanon Middle School community, he hinted at discord as the reason for his departure.

But weeks later, it is unclear what led to D’Entremont’s decision and what his departure might mean for the direction of the school with nearly 500 students in grades 5-8.

“It has become increasingly clear to me that I am no longer the right fit for LMS,” D’Entremont wrote in his resignation announcement on Feb. 21. “As a result, I am not able to be as effective a leader as I want to be for our students, staff and families.”

Lebanon school officials have been unwilling to comment on the reasons behind the resignation.

And D’Entremont did not respond to questions from the Valley News seeking further explanation for his resignation, which is effective June 30.

While SAU 88 Superintendent Joanne Roberts and School Board Chairman Richard Milius said they are unable to provide further clarity on the terms of D’Entremont’s resignation, they did provide insights as to what they would be looking for in his replacement.

“I can’t answer for John what he put in his letter,” Roberts wrote in an email on Monday. “He has decided to move on from LMS, and I wish him the best of luck in his career.”

“It’s his decision to resign, and I respect that,” Milius said in a phone interview last week.

Both Roberts and Milius said D’Entremont has made positive contributions to LMS as its principal.

D’Entremont, who began working at LMS as a social studies teacher in 2014, later transitioned into the role of assistant principal before the district hired him as principal in 2017.

Prior to arriving in Lebanon, where D’Entremont currently resides with his wife and two daughters, he worked in administrative and teaching roles in private schools, including Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan.

Roberts highlighted D’Entremont’s role in the development of “LMS PRIDE” — an acronym that stands for Leadership, Motivation, Spirit, Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Dependability and Excellence — that represents the school’s core values statement.

During his time serving as principal, D’Entremont also built and implemented an advisory program, established recess time for all students and created new strategies to help ease the transition for students entering and leaving LMS.

Members of the LMS Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) offered a similar sentiment about D’Entremont in an email last week.

“The Lebanon Middle School PTO is saddened that Dr. D’Entremont is leaving at the end of this school year. We are grateful to Dr. D’Entremont for his input and support, especially in the past few years, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” they wrote.

The search process to fill the role of principal at LMS beginning next school year has already begun. Roberts posted the job application on Feb. 22, which can be viewed publicly on schoolspring.com.

Roberts said that she expects a “right fit” candidate for the job to display strong communication skills and support for the entire LMS community, including students, staff and families.

“I’m (still) seeking input from LMS staff members regarding the characteristics we are looking for (in a candidate),” she said.

Milius added that leadership skills are important.

“We’re looking for someone who will be a strong academic leader,” he said.

Contributions and collaborative skills within the district leadership team are sought after, too.

A search committee will soon be appointed to participate in the process of hiring a new principal. The committee will include Superintendent Roberts, at least one teachers, at least one School Board member, at least one community member, a parent and a representative from LMS support staff (e.g. paraeducator), Milius said.

The posted job description mentions a July 1 start date along with a contract length of 220 work days per school year. Among qualifications for potential candidates are a New Hampshire principal endorsement, a master’s degree in education and a minimum of five years of teaching experience.

“We are already receiving applications from qualified individuals,” said Roberts, who will help host interviews with a pool of candidates in late March or April.

“We’re prepared to move quickly,” Milius said.

Rose Terami can be reached at rosoterami@gmail.com.

Valley News

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