OESU superintendent to be Blue Mountain Union principal

Staff Report
Published: 4/21/2022 10:02:44 PM
Modified: 4/21/2022 10:01:28 PM

WELLS RIVER — The outgoing superintendent of the Orange East Supervisory Union is set to become the next middle and high school principal at Blue Mountain Union School in Wells River, beginning Dec. 1, according to an announcement posted online this week.

The post at Blue Mountain marks a return for Emilie Knisley, a 43-year-old St. Johnsbury, Vt., resident who has held the top spot at OESU — which includes Bradford, Vt.-area schools — since 2018. She announced earlier this year that she would resign as superintendent at the end of June.

Knisley began her career at Blue Mountain in 2005 as an English language arts teacher. She later served as principal of the school.

“I am delighted to return to BMU and work with the dedicated staff and leadership team at the school, as well as the students, families and community members I have gotten to know over the years,” she said in the online announcement. “BMU is a place that I have a deep admiration for, and I look forward to returning back to my roots to work in a school filled with the sounds of students learning and laughing.”

Randy Gawel, currently OESU’s assistant superintendent, is to take over as superintendent on July 1. When he takes that role, John Barone — Blue Mountain’s current middle and high school principal — is slated to move into the assistant superintendent post.

Knisley will take the first semester, from July through November, to work on her doctorate and travel with her sons, the announcement said. The principal position will be filled by a long-term substitute until Knisley starts, Blue Mountain Board Chairwoman Angeline Alley said in an email.

During her time as OESU superintendent, Knisley has overseen the merging of OESU and Blue Mountain Supervisory Union, as well as the Act 46 merger that created the Oxbow Unified Union School District.

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