BELLOWS FALLS — Rockingham School Director Jason Terry has resigned from the board, which is already down one member.
Terry said Friday that he wanted to devote more time to his work on the Bellows Falls Union High School board. He was elected to the high school board this past March; he was elected to the Rockingham board in March 2020.
“People are spread too thin,” said Terry. “They are doing the best they can.”
Terry and David Clark, a BFUHS board member from Westminster who resigned as chairman of the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union board on Wednesday night, both said they wanted to devote more time solving the problems with the HVAC system at the high school, which has been the subject of two engineering reviews.
Terry declined to say what prompted his resignation, which came shortly after after Wednesday night’s contentious Windham Northeast Supervisory Union meeting.
“I’m going to take the high road,” he said, noting he would let his letter of resignation speak for him.
“Last evening it became abundantly clear that I need to focus my time more on the high school board and not the Rockingham board. My concern is we have some immediate issues regarding the HVAC system that appears to have been neglected for a long time and I want to be available to the new principal Mr. Broadley,” Terry wrote.
“In my roughly 18 months on the Rockingham board I feel that I have had a positive impact and I tried my best to do the right thing for the kids,” he added.
“It also became very clear in executive session that we have some issues at the supervisory union that need to be ironed out. I also feel bad leaving the Rockingham board because I was the representatives for negotiations on the teachers contracts,” he wrote.
“I feel very confident that the principals Kerry Kennedy, Susan Johnson and Laura Hazard along with the nurses Jennifer Burke and Kat Goodell for the Rockingham district will do great things. Teachers really have worked hard through all of this pandemic and I truly was hoping to reward them appropriately for their great work,” he said.
Terry said he felt bad about leaving the Rockingham board, especially since he was on the negotiating committee and he had hoped to reward the teachers and support staff for their hard work during the past year of the coronavirus pandemic.
Priscilla Lambert, chairwoman of the Rockingham School Board, said Friday the board would consider Terry’s letter of resignation at its next meeting on Sept. 20. She said the board hopes to appoint a new member at that meeting to fill the position left vacant this past summer by former Board Chairman George Smith.
Lambert said she hadn’t talked to Terry about his resignation, but she hinted that she hoped he would reconsider. “The board will respect his decision,” she said.
But she said the various school boards and directors in the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union had just been through “an intense week.”
“We need to be sure, gentle and caring about each of our board members,” said Lambert, who had locked horns with Clark over what she described as an autocratic approach to finding an interim superintendent.
Lambert declined to identify the person who had applied for the remaining time on Smith’s position on the board.
The other board members are Jason Benson and Megan Applegate. Benson was also elected in March 2020, and Applegate was appointed last October to a vacancy created by the resignation of Rick Holloway, also a former chairman. Applegate was elected on her own this March to fill the unexpired term originally held by Holloway.