CLAREMONT — Assistant Superintendent of Claremont Schools Donna Magoon, who tendered her resignation two weeks ago, said she is leaving the Claremont and Unity School Districts with a heavy heart but hopes to eventually return.

“There have been a lot of things that have been hard for me to do, however this is the hardest,” said Magoon on Wednesday at her last official Claremont School Board meeting. “My heart is saddened. It is sad because I am leaving behind my family, a family that has been very supportive of me the last three years.”

Magoon joined the Claremont School District in 2018, first as assistant principal of Stevens High School, then as the district’s assistant superintendent in 2019.

“We kind of stole Donna from the high school,” said SAU 6 Superintendent Michael Tempesta, adding that Stevens Principal Pat Barry “is still not over that.”

Tempesta, briefly appearing emotional, thanked Magoon for helping him navigate the district through one of the most challenging school years in the nation’s history due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Donna was absolutely fantastic during COVID,” Tempesta said. “She really held it together, the whole team and the community, from Goshen [tuition discussions], the summer programs, vaccines, everything.”

Magoon took a lead communicative role during the pandemic, particularly during the 2020-2021 school year when she became a primary communicator to families and educators regarding remote instruction and the transitions to in-person learning.

“You have shown grace under pressure and have been a role model for professionalism and competency and a work ethic beyond compare,” said board Vice-Chair Heather Whitney, who added that the community would strongly echo her sentiments.

Magoon, who submitted her resignation notice on July 13, will take over as assistant superintendent in the Milford School District, which will be similar in role and pay as her position in Claremont, Magoon told The Eagle Times.

Notably, Magoon informed The Eagle Times that departing the Claremont School District is not her desire and that she hopes to eventually return.

“I do not want to leave,” Magoon said. “Like I said, this is my family.”

Magoon said she is not able yet to disclose her reason for leaving but wants the community to know that she hopes her departure is only temporary.

“This path may be leading me in a different direction for now,” Magoon said. “But I hope it brings me back to Claremont, back to my family.”

In other news, Tempesta announced that interim principals have been hired at Maple Avenue and Bluff Elementary Schools to replace Kathleen Chenette, former principal of Maple Avenue, and Dale Chenette, former principal of Bluff Elementary.

Kathleen Chenette, an employee in the district for 25 years, announced her resignation in a letter on June 6.

Dale Chenette submitted his resignation letter on June 23 after four years in the district.

Tempesta announced this week that Nicole Bailey, of Sunapee, will take over as interim principal at Maple Avenue. Christine Baker, the former teaching-principal at Croydon, will take over as interim principal at Bluff Elementary.

A formal search for permanent principal hires at both schools will convene in the spring of 2022, according to Tempesta.

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