PETERBOROUGH — Anne O’Bryant, who for the past eight years has been principal of South Meadow School in Peterborough, will retire at the end of the academic year, the ConVal School District announced Monday.

“It is saddening to see Anne go,” Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders said in a news release. “She has shown incredible dedication to the students and staff of South Meadow School, making it a great place to learn and work. We wish her all the best in retirement.”

The district began looking for O’Bryant’s successor in February, led by a search committee comprising staff, parents and administrators, according to the release. The ConVal school board will vote on a nomination for the school’s new principal at its April 20 meeting.

South Meadow School enrolls about 350 students in 5th through 8th grades.

During O’Bryant’s time as principal, she established a new mentorship program in which 7th and 8th graders help younger students adjust to middle school.

“The idea is that students are able to immediately make connections with their peers when they first arrive at the school by having a mentor assigned to them,” she said in a prepared statement. “This program was equally important for the mentors because they earn skills to be school leaders and how to support the younger students.”

O’Bryant, who said she plans to spend more time outdoors in retirement, added that her departure will be bittersweet.

“We have had so many things at the middle school that connect kids and make them want to be here, and have been able to continue that work through the pandemic,” she said. “This community embraces the kids and shows that their priority is what’s best for the kids.”

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.