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Strafford board names interim principal for Newton School


Staff report
Thursday, July 11, 2019

STRAFFORD — The Strafford School Board has hired a longtime teacher from Hartford to serve as interim principal of the Newton School.

Tracy Thompson started work at the K-8 school in Strafford last week and has been meeting with teachers, parents and other school officials to get to know the community.

Thompson was a science teacher at Hartford Memorial Middle School, and she credited Hartford Superintendent Tom DeBalsi with supporting her bid to become a school principal after 26 years in the Hartford district.

“It just felt like the right time for me to take a chance and make a change, and the Newton School felt like a really great fit,” she said Thursday.

Thompson, who will be paid $85,000 for the school year, replaces Greg Bagnato, who announced his resignation in May after six years at the helm of the school.

The Newton School, which has about 80 students, lost nine students during the past year and has heard complaints from some parents about the learning environment in the school. A task force also is meeting weekly to address issues surrounding the seventh and eighth grades.

White River Valley Supervisory Union Superintendent Bruce Labs said Thompson has been hired for the 2019-20 school year and that “it could be longer if things go well.”