GMHS principal search entering final phase Two candidates to meet community in virtual forum on March 30

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

On Thursday, Two Rivers Superintendent Lauren Fierman told the Green Mountain Unified School District board that the search for a principal for the Green Mountain High School was reaching its final decision.

Superintendent Lauren Fierman tells the board that two principal candidates have been chosen.

Fierman noted that the second round of applications had yielded six candidates for the search committee to interview and make the first cut. Second interviews were conducted and the search committee winnowed it down to two who will move forward to meet the community at a virtual forum on Tuesday March 30. To attend that forum go to

The names and resumes of the candidates were not released on Thursday because, Fierman said, they had not yet been contacted to get permission, but on Friday the supervisory union posted the resumes of Keith Hill and Gwen Hagenbarth. Hill currently teaches social studies at GM while Hagenbarth teaches math at Rutland High School. Click on each candidate’s name to see a resume.

Interim Principal Michael Ripley was a candidate for the job but did not make the committee’s final list. When Ripley was given the interim job, Fierman said that if he did not get the permanent position, Ripley would continue in the Associate Principal position he had before being promoted.

Recovery efforts get underway

The Agency of Education has asked schools to formulate “recovery plans” to help students with the academic, mental health and other effects of the pandemic when schools reopen in the fall. Fierman said that the schools have received a “template” for reporting on their plans and TRSU has appointed Curriculum Director Anne Gardner as coordinator of the recovery efforts along with a team of nurses, counselors, administrators and teachers. The group is looking at figuring out how individual students have been affected and looking for ways to use grant money to help them catch up.

In other business

The board worked through a long list of annual appointments to start the meeting and also had an in-depth discussion of holding a strategic planning retreat including hiring a facilitator from the Vermont School Boards Association and splitting the $5,000 fee with the Ludlow Mount Holly school district. Fierman said the effort should begin with an SU wide planning meeting and then retreats at the district level.

Fierman also told the board that the IRS had waived nearly $40,000 in penalties it had levied when a health benefit form was filed late. She noted that the office of Rep. Peter Welch had been instrumental in working with the IRS on this.

Finally, the supervisory union is trying to find employees to handle the payroll and human resources functions at the central office. Both of the people doing that work recently resigned to take jobs that paid more than the school system could afford according to Fierman.

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