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First Week Recap & Meet and Greet Dates

Good morning Newmarket parents, teachers, students and community members,

Having just completed my first week here in Newmarket I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone for the warm welcome that I have received. As I am sure you all know, Newmarket is a very friendly community. One social media post that I saw this week quoting a former superintendent saying, “Newmarket is a gem of a town”. My early perceptions match this view. Thank you to everyone who has reached out via email, by phone or in person to offer words of welcome and support.

Over the last week I have had two goals. My first goal has been to introduce myself to as many people as I can. The process started with last week’s introductory email. Many have taken me up on my invitation to reach out by phone or email. I have corresponded with dozens of community members, had many in-person meetings with many more scheduled in the coming days/weeks. To reiterate my invitation from last week my email is and the office phone number is 659-5020. I appreciate hearing from Newmarket community members with thoughts to share on what makes you proud of our schools and what areas for growth you see.

In last week’s email I mentioned plans for some upcoming scheduled opportunities for community members to meet me and share thoughts on the Newmarket Schools. In that spirit I have scheduled two events in the coming weeks.

* Tuesday, June 7th,  from 6 PM- 7 PM at the Junior-Senior High School  Cafetorium

* Monday, June 13th, from 6:30 PM- 7:30 PM at the Elementary School Gym

At these events I will share some introductory thoughts and then open it up for questions. We will also build in time for informal conversations. If these dates don’t work for you, there will be additional scheduled events throughout the summer and early fall.

Another part of introducing myself to the community is being at as many events as I can. On Friday I attended staff meetings at both schools to share initial thoughts on my new role. Newmarket staff have been very open and welcoming, inviting me to many year-end events. On Wednesday night I attended the SST Certificate Ceremony at Exeter High School. It was wonderful to see all the students getting recognized for their efforts in career technical programs. There was a funny moment at the end of the ceremony when Principal Wilson thanked visiting guests. Being new to the community, I had not been able to pick Newmarket students out of the crowd up to that point. When the principal thanked me for being there, you could see all the heads of the Newmarket kids whip around to catch a glimpse of the new guy. It paid off too. Yesterday morning when I attended the Graduation Walk at NES one of the award recipients from SST said,”Hey. I saw you last night.” A lot of this job is just being present. I’m looking forward to shaking their hands tonight at graduation.

My second goal has been to move quickly to fill the vacant leadership positions. I am pleased to report that we are making good progress. At last night’s board meeting Patricia Wons was approved as the new Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional Learning. Patty comes to Newmarket with a wealth of experience in public education. She has 29 years in public education.  She started her career as an elementary school teacher in Maryland before moving to NH to teach middle school ELA in Bedford and Amherst. Her administrative career started as an assistant principal at Amherst Middle School before being named principal of Windham Middle School and most recently as principal of Cooperative Middle School in Stratham. For the last year she has worked as an educational consultant with an organization called Curriculum Associates. Patty brings strong curriculum leadership skills and a tremendous affinity for coaching teachers to grow and improve.  Please join me in welcoming Patty Wons to the Newmarket School community. 

We are still actively working to fill the NJSHS principal and assistant principal positions. As I told the board last night we have some strong candidates and I am optimistic that we will have both positions filled soon. After all, Newmarket is a great place to be a school leader.

On as final note. Good luck to the Newmarket baseball and softball teams playing at home in the second round of the playoffs tomorrow at 4:00 PM. Go Mules!

Todd Allen
SAU 31, Newmarket


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