Cavendish interim principal pick says ‘No’

By Chester Telegraph staff
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Madeline Carlock, the 32-year-old West Lebanon resident and instructional coach at Hartford School District, accepted the job of interim principal position at Cavendish Town Elementary School last night after Green Mountain Unified School District board offered it to her as the last remaining candidate.

Madeline Carlock says she would hope the position would last longer than one year.

But then this morning, according to an email from Superintendent Meg Powden to CTES teachers and staff, Carlock declined the offer. Powden said that Carlock “believes she couldn’t be successful without community support.”

During last night’s meeting, several Cavendish residents spoke in support of reopening the search and making the position being offered permanent rather than temporary.

Some said that of the two candidates interviewed in a public meeting they preferred the other – Joseph Smith. But Smith withdrew his name from consideration for the post on Sunday.

Powden said that Carlock declined the offer with a “heavy heart” and wished the CTES faculty, staff and students the very best.

From the beginning, the process of replacing longtime CTES Principal George Thomson has been fraught with troubles. First, Powden proposed that the position be filled with a dean of students who would not need certification as a principal. Under that scheme, Chester-Andover would also get a dean and current CAES Principal Katherine Fogg would supervise both schools.

But that idea was met with resistance not just from Cavendish, but from Chester as well. Then position of CTES principal was restored but only as a one-year interim ostensibly to allow the district time to assess its goals and decide on a management structure.

Since then there have been many calls by Cavendish residents to make the job permanent, but the supervisory union has not relented. Even board members including Kate Lamphere and Doug McBride have noted that the interim designation limits the pool of applicants.

“It’s too late to change,” Powden has said.

According to the calendar of the Hanover Street School in Lebanon, N.H., Carlock was named as one of two finalists for principal in early March.

As of this afternoon, attempts to reach Carlock, Powden and Marilyn Mahusky, chair of the GMUSD, for comment were unsuccessful. We will update this story as soon as possible.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 30 years. She has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Stuart Lindberg says:

    Our little elementary school needs stability. Every member of this community needs to know that the school is not going to be closed by Governor Phil Scott’s school closing commission. An interim position as principal is not very reassuring for students, parents, taxpayers, teachers and any potential applicants for principal. Act 46 has created this mess. It can be repealed. All it would take is for the voters to send people to Montpelier that are committed to the task.