GILFORD — School Superintendent Kent Hemingway, who has spent the last five of his 38 years in the public school system at Gilford, has announced that he will retire at the close of the school year.
"I knew it was good," Hemingway said of the Gilford School District, "but not this good." He credited the support of the entire community, the School Board, the teaching staff, district employees and "the 1,208 kids who want to learn and grow" with making the last years of his career enjoyable and rewarding.
Hemingway graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1976 and that fall was teaching and coaching in Tamworth, where he rented the house which is now his home. He became a teaching principal in Harrisville then an assistant at West Yarmouth, Mass. before returning to New Hampshire for good as principal of Merrimack Valley Middle School. From 1991 until 2005 he served as principal of Kimball School, in Concord then spent the next six years as assistant superintendent of the Rochester School District before succeeding his friend and colleague Paul DiMinico as superintendent in Gilford.
"I am proud that our district has grown in its ability to deliver a 21st century education, with enhanced digital applications, personalization and engagement with the community. I have been honored, " he continued, "to have had the opportunity to contribute to this effort."
A member of the adjunct faculty of Plymouth State University, where he earned advanced degrees, since 2003, Hemingway said that "I don't intend to stop working, but added he looked forward to a retirement of "a little bit of work and a lot of family, " caring for his parents and entertaining his four grandchildren.
In a prepared statement Karen Thurston, who chairs the School Board, said that the board "appreciates all that Kent has done for the Gilford School District and while we are sad to see him go, we wish him the best in his retirement. She said that the board has approached the New Hampshire School Boards Association to conduct a search for Hemingway's successor and will solicit input from the community in the appointment process.
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