LACONIA — The school board on Friday selected Steve Tucker, a popular former high school history teacher, as the district’s new superintendent.
Tucker, the director of curriculum for Gilford School District, signed a three-year agreement with first-year salary set at $132,000 and pay for subsequent years to be determined by the board. His contract will start on July 1.
After the brief school board meeting, Tucker said he was excited to return to the district.
“This is a great community to be in,” he said. “We chose to live in Laconia. This is our home. I have deep roots in this community. This is a community that did a wonderful job of taking care of me.
“The first part of my work is to get an understanding of what’s happening. I see things in the press and on social media, but I don’t really know because I’m not in the work.
“Making sure the children have opportunities for a quality education, that’s why we’re here.”
Tucker’s wife, Mitzi, is an elementary school physical-education teacher in the district. They have three children, two sons who attend Laconia Middle School and a daughter at the high school.
In his free time, Tucker enjoys running on the WOW Trail with his dog, a golden doodle.
“Laconia is the best running town,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I love this community.”
He taught at Laconia High School from 1995 to 2012 and was the academic coordinator there from 2012 to 2016, before going to his current post in Gilford.
Tucker was surprised to see the high school’s former assistant principal, Dave Witham, at the meeting. The two men embraced.
Witham said the school’s former principal, the late Bob St. Lawrence, selected him to head a committee to find a new teacher. Tucker was selected for the position.
“You know what Bob St. Lawrence said to me a couple years before he died — ‘Steve Tucker is going to become superintendent,’” Witham told the board.
A 12-person search committee unanimously recommended Tucker for the superintendent’s job.
He was one of two finalists. A third candidate, Tim Richard — a principal at San Tan Foothills High School in Florence, Arizona — bowed out to take another position. Jean Skorapa, assistant superintendent for the Regional School District in Unity, Maine, was the other candidate.
Brendan Minnihan, the current superintendent, opted not to seek a new employment contract after his three-year agreement ends on June 30. He is earning $144,000 annually.
Tucker holds a master’s degree in history from the University of New Hampshire, with a major concentration in late 19th- and early 20th-century American history.