MEREDITH — After a career of 33 years in the New Hampshire public school system — the last four as superintendent of the Inter-Lakes School District — Mary Ellen Ormond will retire at the close of the school year.
Ormond succeeded Peter McCormack as superintendent of SAU #2 , which includes the Sandwich Central School and Ashland Elementary School, in 2012.
"I love it," she said of the district. "The School Board is great to work with. The administration is top notch. The teachers, the kids and the parents are all really concerned about the quality of education. We've done a lot of great things, and we've got a lot of great things to do."
She said that none of her prior experiences compared with her tenure at Inter-Lakes School District, and that she is fortunate and grateful to have worked there.
A graduate of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, she graduated from Keene State College and earned graduate degrees at Notre Dame College and Plymouth State University. She began her career teaching young pupils at Grinnell Elementary School in Derry, then turned to special education, serving as special education director in the Shaker, Merrimack Valley and Andover school districts before becoming special education director and curriculum coordinator at Merrimack Valley. Before coming to Meredith, Ormond was director of curriculum and associate superintendent at the Hudson School District.
Ormond said that aging populations and shrinking enrollments pose the greatest challenge to school districts across the state and in the Lakes Region.
"It's a struggle," she said.
Greater collaboration between districts will be required, she said, adding that "we've worked hard to do that in the Lakes Region, to pull together as a region. We can't consider ourselves silos any more."
Ormond began planning for retirement earlier in her career by topping up her retirement account with an eye to retiring around 55. Nevertheless, she said that she has no specific plans other than continuing to enjoy sports, particularly football and tennis. Last year she was in the grandstand when the New England Patriots won their fifth Superbowl, and at Forest Hills when Selena Williams beat her sister, Venus, in the U.S. Open.
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