School board appoints new principal at Bluff elementary
CLAREMONT — Following a two-month search process, Claremont resident Dale Chenette was chosen unanimously from among 14 candidates to be the next principal at Bluff Elementary School. Following his nomination, the Claremont School Board voted to appoint Chenette at a regular meeting Wednesday night.
“I’m honored that I’ve been nominated,” Chenette said to the board. “From the time I walked into the interview and started communicating with interviewees I got a great sense of the commitment at Bluff elementary, how much dedication they have to the students.”
SAU 6 Superintendent Dr. Middleton McGoodwin said this is the first time that the principal search committee has been unanimous in its selection of a nominee. The committee consisted of 10 community members — three parents of Bluff students, three Bluff teachers, one Bluff support staff member, the school secretary, one community member and one school district administrator.
The committee was formed on March 11 and began reviewing applicants March 15.
“[Chenette] doesn’t stand here by coincidence,” McGoodwin said.
The process to find a new principal began on Feb. 17 after Michael Lansing announced that he would be vacating the position due to his wife accepting a professorship at a university in Nevada.
Chenette has served as one of two assistant principals at Windsor Schools in Windsor, Vermont since 2015, working with students in Kindergarten through grade 12. Before being named an assistant principal in that district, Chenette taught four sections of math at the middle school level.
Prior to his time in Windsor, Chenette worked as a teacher at Bartlett Schools in Bartlett, Tennessee, teaching science for grade 8 students as well as working with that school’s Professional Learning Community to create common formative assessments. He also served on the school’s Professional Development Committee to improve lessons and instruction.
Locally, Chenette has also worked as a grade 6 science teacher in Springfield, Vermont for a year starting in 2010.
Chenette has a Master of Science Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University, as well as a Masters in Education from Union University, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Earth Science with a Minor in Physical Science from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Teacher Certification from University of New England.
During a site visit to the school on Tuesday, Chenette visited a number of classrooms and spoke with staff. He told the board “he was essentially the center of a staff meeting” at the school and took a number of questions from staff. He said that in talking with staff, “those feelings of commitment [to students] were reinforced.”
“They were very open about what they’re looking for in the school, and in it’s leader,” Chenetter said.
School Board member Michelle Pierce made the motion to accept the nomination, seconded by Patrick Adrian. The motion was approved unanimously.
Chenette will be paid an annual salary of $87,348, according to McGoodwin.
“I’d like to thank the committee for doing a quality job,” said School Board Chair Brian Rapp.