Lyme School principal resigns three weeks before students return for fall

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/12/2021 5:16:06 PM
Modified: 8/12/2021 5:16:14 PM

LYME — After 16 years as principal of The Lyme School, Jeffrey W. Valence has resigned with three weeks to go before the school year starts.

His exit was announced in a letter dated Wednesday from Valence and Yolanda Bujarski, chair of the Lyme School Board. The first day of school is Sept. 1.

“His leadership guided our school faithfully these past 16 years and we wish him the best as he pursues other interests,” the letter reads.

Hired as principal in 2006, Valence came to Lyme after serving as associate principal at Dover-Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.

He also served as Lyme’s superintendent after the retirement of Mike Harris in 2017. His job title since then was district administrator.

During his tenure, Lyme implemented full-day kindergarten and redeveloped its curriculum, among other initiatives. And during a time of declining enrollment in the Twin States, The Lyme School’s grew substantially.

Recently, Lyme’s school community has been struggling with disputes related to leadership and the coronavirus pandemic, and Valence said Thursday that his departure would make it easier for the School Board to focus on its work.

“It became increasingly clear that the differences that exist between members of the board itself, as well as the importance of what I believe are fundamental aspects of a healthy school culture, made now a good time to allow the board time and space to sort out what kind of school it seeks for the children of our community,” Valence said in a statement.

Valence and his wife, Cindy, settled in Lyme when he took the job, and their daughters attended The Lyme School. He said he looks forward to continuing to support the school and its staff.

“It is a place and a group of people who I will always love and feel connected to. Their continued support is what has made this decision so difficult and at the same time easier,” he said.

Efforts to reach Bujarski on Thursday were not successful.

The School Board did not announce an interim leader for the district, but said it is working to set up coverage of the district administrator’s responsibilities.

“We recognize that this is a huge change for our district and we promise to work diligently to ensure what’s best for our school,” the letter states. “A time will be arranged at a later date to say our goodbyes and thank-yous to Jeff.”

Alex Hanson can be reached at or 603-727-3207.

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