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  • STAFF PHOTO BY BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Retiring Principal Bo Schlichter chats with fourth graders Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at Griffin Memorial Elementary School in Litchfield.


  • STAFF PHOTO BY BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Principal Bo Schlichter chats with fourth graders Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at Griffin Memorial Elementary School in Litchfield.


  • STAFF PHOTO BY BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Principal Bo Schlichter chats with fourth graders Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at Griffin Memorial Elementary School in Litchfield.


  • STAFF PHOTO BY BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Principal Bo Schlichter plays a game with Devin Lencki during gym class Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at Griffin Memorial Elementary School in Litchfield.


  • STAFF PHOTO BY BOB HAMMERSTROM


    Principal Bo Schlichter shares a laugh with Lori Martin in the school's office Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at Griffin Memorial Elementary School in Litchfield.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Principal ‘Bo’ Schlichter leaving Litchfield after 26 years

Cameron Kittle

The man they call “Bo” at local schools is saying goodbye to the district, albeit with a heavy heart.

Martin “Bo” Schlichter, principal of Griffin Memorial School, has worked in Litchfield schools for 26 years, but has chosen to retire at the end of the year and spend more time with his family and fishing rod.

“It’s time,” said Schlichter, who will turn 60 this year. “With pension reforms and things, it’s in my family’s best interest to retire this year.

“It comes with a heavy heart. I really love the job here, love working in Litchfield.”

Superintendent Elaine Cutler called Schlichter “Mr. Litchfield” and said he is “beloved” by staff, students and parents.

“He’s made Litchfield his life’s work,” she said. “He has counseled, comforted and educated generations of Litchfield students.”

“Bo” came to Litchfield in 1985 to work as an assistant principal at the elementary school. Three years later, when the town opened up the middle school, Schlichter served as principal for 15 years. He then moved back to Griffin Memorial, where he’s been since.

“I really have loved the town here,” he said. “They’ve always been very supportive of me. The relationships I’ve developed, not only with the school department, but with the police and fire departments in town and the parents … I’ve been really fortunate to work in such a great community.”

Schlichter is a problem-solver, Cutler said. He is always able to find solutions that best affect the students, she said.

“He’s really an extraordinary administrator,” Cutler said. “He’s trusted by everyone.”

Schlichter is also a dedicated coach for the town’s youth basketball teams.

Cutler said those games were “his March Madness” and he often went “beyond the call of duty” for his students and players.

Schlichter lives in Bedford and said he doesn’t plan to stop working. He has considered substitute teaching, a part-time job in education, or maybe filling in for a school that needs an interim administrator while someone is sick or on leave.

Despite his having no definite or immediate plans, don’t expect Schlichter to sit around the house all day come July 1, which is his first official day of retirement.

“I’m not going to sit at home and build model airplanes … I’m not a woodworking guy,” he said. “I definitely need to find something to keep me busy.”

Schlichter plans to do some fishing at his house in Falmouth, Mass., and travel to Chicago to spend more time with his brother, Ken. He’ll see more of his two grandchildren as well, he said.

He said his wife, Phyllis, has been a source of inspiration throughout his career. She won’t stop working just yet, he said, and will continue as director of instruction at the Oyster River School District.

“I have a lot of people to be thankful for,” Schlichter said. “In such a small community, I’ve been able to touch a lot of kids’ lives. I really am going to miss the kids and the families.”

The Litchfield School Board picked his successor in February: Scott Thompson, currently principal of Newmarket Elementary School.

Thompson will have big shoes to fill.

“He has been a gift to the district,” Cutler said of Schlichter. “Bo will be greatly missed and he’ll stay in people’s memories for quite some time.”

The Learning Curve appears Thursdays in The Telegraph. Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or ckittle@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Kittle on Twitter (@Telegraph_CamK).