SPRINGFIELD, Vt. — The Springfield School Board decided they will not renew the contract of Superintendent Zach McLaughlin when it expires on June 30, according to a press release issued by Springfield School Board Chair Troy Palmer.

On Friday, the Springfield School Board announced that they have notified McLaughlin of their decision to not renew his contract at the end of this school year. While no singular reason for the decision is known at this time, the press release cites that a majority of the board “felt that a change in leadership was needed in our educational journey.”

“It has been my pleasure to work with Dr. McLaughlin over the last year as board chair and I have the utmost respect for him. He has worked tirelessly and spent countless hours supporting the school community,” Palmer said. “Dr. McLaughlin has guided us through the COVID pandemic with the safety of the students and staff as the district’s highest priority. I cannot envision making it through this challenging time without his leadership and guidance.”

The move comes nearly two years after 56 parents and residents launched an anonymous petition on Care2 calling on the school board to ask McLaughlin to resign after the Union Street School principal’s contract was not renewed.

The petition stated that “[Zach McLaughlin’s] decisions are not in the best interest of the staff, students, families of students or the community. He does not respond to parental/guardian calls or emails, and does not address important issues, not in a timely matter.”

A superintendent search committee will be formed in conjunction with the Vermont School Board Association, although it is not clear at this time who will sit on the committee.

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