July 09. 2013 7:43PM

School district addresses Souhegan principal’s abrupt resignation

Union Leader Correspondent

AMHERST — The school district has issued its first official statement on the resignation of Souhegan High School’s principal, posting an open letter on its website.

Principal Jon Ingram unexpectedly resigned last week, according to school officials, who said he plans to explore other professional opportunities and further his education.

“During this transitional phase, I will serve as acting principal,” Superintendent Peter Warburton of SAU 39 said in the letter, adding he will work closely with the school board, administrative team, staff and students.

“Expect consistent, up-to-date communication over the coming weeks as we develop a process to hire the next principal of Souhegan Cooperative High School,” said Warburton, noting any updates will be posted on the district’s website, Facebook page and in various media outlets.

The School Board accepted Ingram’s resignation on July 2. He served three years as the school’s top administrator.

Warburton did not return a phone call seeking comments from the New Hampshire Union Leader this week. His executive assistant, Maryanne Buonadoma, said in an email that Warburton is in the process of developing a timeline for the hiring of a new principal and when more details are available they will be shared.

Colleen Lynch of the Souhegan PTSA said she did not feel comfortable speaking for the parent-teacher group, declining to comment on Ingram’s abrupt resignation or the upcoming search for a new principal.

Ingram was hired three years ago to replace interim Principal Jim Bosman. Ingram was previously the principal at Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Middle/High School.

Just last month at Souhegan’s graduation ceremony, Ingram thanked the senior class for helping him establish a new culture at the school.

“I think he did a good job. He really came in and tried to understand the culture of the school and embrace it,” Denise Jacobs of the Souhegan PTSA said of Ingram. “He solicited a lot of feedback to find out what needed to be looked at instead of just accepting things for the way they were.”

She noted Ingram’s efforts to form a scheduling task force to address problems with student scheduling, which she said ultimately resulted in positive changes for the student body.

“He was constantly looking at the existing system and trying to better it,” said Jacobs. “I was sad to hear he was leaving, especially because we have had a fair amount of turnover and now we are back to square one. It is tough for everyone.”

Jacobs says it is unlikely that a new principal will be hired before the start of the school year. She hopes Warburton and other school officials take their time to find someone who is a good, long-term fit for Souhegan.