Lyme School finds new principal in Lebanon Middle veteran; district still seeks superintendent

By ALEX HANSON

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 04-06-2022 10:09 PM

LYME — The Lyme School District has hired John D’Entremont to lead the Lyme School.

D’Entremont, who has been principal of Lebanon Middle School since 2017, will take over in Lyme on July 1. The Lyme School Board voted to hire him on Saturday and he accepted the job on Tuesday, Yolanda Bujarski, chairwoman of the Lyme School Board, said Wednesday.

“He was very personable, very organized and friendly, well-prepared for the interview,” Bujarski said when reached by phone. He was also knowledgeable about the school and did well with the students during a visit to the campus, she added. The district’s principal search committee strongly favored his candidacy.

The Lyme School Board will have to continue its search for a new superintendent, as the applicant the board chose did not to accept the position. The board will discuss whether to reopen the search in hopes of finding someone this year or wait to reopen the search later on to find a permanent replacement this fall.

Longtime Upper Valley school administrator Frank Perotti is serving as interim superintendent in Lyme.

“She felt that it was not the direction she wanted her career to go in,” Bujarski said of the superintendent candidate, Amy Allen, who’s currently an assistant superintendent in the Manchester School District.

While the principal position is full-time, the superintendent job is part-time, a 0.6 full-time equivalent.

D’Entremont announced his resignation from Lebanon Middle School in February, effective June 30, with a letter stating he was “no longer the right fit for LMS.”

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He started at the middle school in 2014 as a social studies teacher and served as assistant principal before being named principal. He was a teacher and administrator in private schools, including Cardigan Mountain School, prior to working in Lebanon. He lives in Lebanon with his wife and two daughters.

“The Lyme School is a wonderful place where I felt welcomed right away by community members, staff, and students,” D’Entremont said in an email Wednesday. “You can feel the pride that everyone has in their school, and I am thrilled to be joining the community as their next principal.”

The K-8 Lyme School has around 200 students.

The new principal and superintendent mark a return to a leadership model the Lyme School District had employed prior to 2017. That year, after the resignation of superintendent Mike Harris, Lyme adopted the district administrator model, which effectively vested longtime principal Jeffrey W. Valence with the authority of both a superintendent and a principal.

Valence resigned last August, and the School Board opted to again keep the jobs separate.

“We gathered input from the teachers and staff and the community,” Bujarski said.

The role of a superintendent has become more specialized and labor-intensive, she said, and having a superintendent as well as a principal provides another layer of oversight between the school and the school board. With a sole administrator, more issues related to staffing or raised by parents were coming before the board, Bujarski said.

The board also discussed whether to join with another school administrative unit. Years ago, Lyme belonged to an SAU with Hanover.

“The community’s desire for independence is pretty strong,” Bujarski said, adding that “there’s this kind of fear that we would be a second-class citizen if we were to merge with another district.”

There were two search committees for the administrative jobs, and both put in a lot of hours, Bujarski said.

“I think we keep taking steps in the right direction,” she said.

Alex Hanson can be reached at ahanson@vnews.com or 603-727-3207.

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