PETERBOROUGH — For the second time in as many years, ConVal Regional High School has a new principal.
The school board voted unanimously to hire Heather McKillop of Peterborough for the job during its Tuesday night meeting. She will start at a salary of $115,000.
“We had a very talented applicant pool, which is not always the case,” said ConVal Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders during the meeting, which was held via the teleconferencing application Zoom. “So we are really excited about Heather coming on board. She’s going to be a great fit at the high school.”
In another unanimous vote, the board also hired Beth Gibney as principal of both Pierce and Francestown elementary schools. She is succeeding Pierce Principal Katherine Morrocco and Francestown Principal Katherine Foecking and will start at a salary of $91,000.
McKillop is currently the assistant principal at Nashua High School North. She has received her principal certification in both New Hampshire and Connecticut and holds master’s degrees in teaching and school health and a bachelor’s degree in English.
“I’m truly excited to start working with the school community,” she said during the meeting. “I look forward to working with students, staff and families.”
ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough has more than 700 students from Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Peterborough, Sharon and Temple, according to its website.
ConVal’s previous principal, Michelle Voto, resigned at the end of this school year to take a position as the director of adult education for N.H. School Administrative Unit 16 in Exeter, Saunders said Tuesday. The school board voted unanimously to accept Voto’s resignation at its June 2 meeting, according to the minutes of that session.
Voto accepted the principal job in March 2018 and took over last July following a yearlong transition period when she served as the school’s dean of faculty. She initially joined the ConVal district in 2017 and previously worked as the research developer at ConVal’s applied technology center.
Since ConVal undertook the principal search process about two years ago, when Voto was hired, Saunders said the district relied on the same feedback collected then from students, parents, staff and community members.
This time, 25 applicants met the qualifications for the job, and a hiring committee screened them based on the community input gathered during the last principal selection process. The committee was made up of district administrators, school-board members and teachers, as well as one student and one parent.
The committee interviewed seven candidates, Saunders said, and McKillop was one of two finalists for the job. The other was Dorothy Mohr, who previously served as principal at Pelham High School and also as an interim principal at Farmington High School.
McKillop is ConVal’s third leader since the end of 2016, when former principal Brian S. Pickering abruptly left the post.
Pickering, who was honored in 2016 as principal of the year by the N.H. Association of School Principals, was placed on administrative leave in mid-December 2016 and was granted early retirement for health reasons a few weeks later, according to the district. After Pickering’s departure, Gib West served as interim principal until Voto began last summer.