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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Litchfield school board names new elementary school principal

LITCHFIELD – The turnover at the top of the Litchfield School District continued this week.

The School Board selected Scott Thompson, currently the principal of Newmarket Elementary School, to succeed longtime principal Bo Schlichter as head of Griffin Memorial School, it was announced Monday.

The board members selected Thompson from a field of more than 30 applicants based on his administrative experience along with his command of elementary-level practices, they said.

Thompson will take office starting July 1.

“He really had a good grasp on elementary administration,” Dennis Miller, a School Board member, said Monday as the district announced the hiring.

Thompson will be joining the district as it goes through a series of changes at high-level administrative positions.

The School Board recently appointed Brian Cochrane, assistant superintendent in Nashua, to succeed outgoing Superintendent Elaine Cutler, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

In November, Laurie Rothhaus, currently a vice principal at Campbell High School, was announced as the new principal of Campbell, replacing Robert Manseau, who is also retiring at the end of the school year.

“We’re very excited about all of this (change),” said Miller. “It’s an opportunity both to validate what we’ve been doing that’s right and to look at what we’re doing in other areas to see what we can do better.”

Miller said Thompson stood out from the other applicants for his knowledge of using data and what would be expected of teachers to know in terms of instruction methodologies and curriculum.

“Basically, he knew his stuff,” Miller said.

Thompson, a native of Maine, has held the Newmarket Elementary post since 2005. Prior to joining the elementary school, he served as an assistant principal at Newmarket Junior/Senior High School, and before that, he worked as a music teacher and department director at Gilford Middle School.

“I’ve been around the Seacoast for a long time,” Thompson said Monday. “Litchfield has a great reputation for success in education. I’m excited to be joining that.”

Jake Berry can be reached at 594-6402 or