Twin Valley principal leaves, cites personal reasons

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WHITINGHAM — Twin Valley Middle High School's new principal stepped down after less than six months on the job.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must leave this special school with its tremendous staff and students," Principal Reed Mellinger said in a statement.

Mellinger's last day is Dec. 20. His decision to resign had to due with "personal reasons of an urgent nature," according to a news release issued last week. He declined to go into specifics in a phone call Monday.

"I'm disappointed that this is the situation," he said.

He started July 1, moving from Pennsylvania for the job. He had been a teacher then a principal there.

In a previous interview, Mellinger said he took an early retirement in Pennsylvania.

"My longevity afforded me that opportunity," he said in May. "Now, we get to live and work and explore another part of the country."

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He had expected to stay for "a good five to eight years." He had been familiar with the area, having skied at Mount Snow in West Dover.

The Windham Southwest Supervisory Union said it is "pleased" to announce Anna Roth will be the interim principal. She mostly recently has been employed as dean of student support systems in the school.

"We are excited about the strengths that Interim Principal Roth brings to her new position," states the news release. "She comes with well-rounded experience working at Twin Valley Middle High School ... She demonstrates an ability to creatively and effectively respond to student, staff and community needs."

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In a statement, Roth said she is "thrilled to be stepping into this new role and confident in my ability to support the amazing staff and students in moving forward. My heart is here at Twin Valley and I am fortunate to be furthering my career here. I look forward to working with the Twin Valley community."

Roth invites the community to attend a meet-and-greet event Dec. 17 at either 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. in the school's library.

Roth and Mellinger are expected to "act as an administrative team in order to provide a smooth and strong transition," according to the news release.

The Twin Valley board plans to discuss how to conduct a search for Mellinger's permanent successor this winter.

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"The Twin Valley Board appreciates Principal Mellinger's service to TVMHS and is sorry that he has to leave," Sharon Berry, Twin Valley board chairwoman, said in a statement. "The Twin Valley board has full confidence in Interim Principal Roth. She brings a high level of positive energy, dedication, and innovative thinking to the position that will enable the school to keep moving forward."

In a letter to students, parents and guardians, Mellinger said his decision to resign had not been an easy one, "as I really feel at home here."

"I have enjoyed getting to know the students here at Twin Valley," he wrote. "The students are great! Experiencing the State Championship with the soccer team and getting to see the recent play are just two of memories I will cherish. In addition, the teachers and staff at Twin Valley are awesome and doing great things for the students. I am confident this will continue."

Reed thanked "the students, parents and guardians, staff and the greater community of the Twin Valley School District for the opportunity to serve as your principal."

"I truly value the relationships I have built in the short time I have been here and the kindness and support I have received from the community," he wrote. "Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, I must leave my position."

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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