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January 21. 2013 9:51PM

Governor Wentworth schools go in-house for new leader

WOLFEBORO - The Governor Wentworth Regional School District board unanimously voted to name Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Cuddy-Egbert as Jack Robertson's successor.

Robertson, who has served as the district's superintendent for 14 years and as its assistant superintendent for six years prior, is retiring in June.

The Governor Wentworth Regional School District (School Administrative Unit 49) serves Wolfeboro, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, Brookfield and Effingham.

Cuddy-Egbert came to SAU 49 in 1999 after working as an administrator for the Gilford School District for 12 years. She served as the district's director of special education until 2009, when she succeeded Kathleen McCabe as assistant superintendent.

Cuddy-Egbert has extensive experience as a special education educator and program director, and has worked with students in all grade levels, including young children in the Head Start program, after graduating from Plymouth State University.

In an interview last week at the district office in Wolfeboro, Cuddy-Egbert talked about what attracted her to become an educator and her future with SAU 49.

Working as a youngster at her parents convenience store in Manchester brought Cuddy-Egbert in touch with other youngsters. "I got to know some of the kids who had brains, but no hope for their future. I started informally to support them, to encourage them to finish school," she said. That empathy led to a career as an educator, but she also obtained her business sense from working at the store.

"When I started out, I never planned on being a superintendent, but I think all my experience has prepared me for this role. Working with Jack for all these years, I've learned a lot. He's a great person, a mentor and a coach," she said.

With the $43 million renovation/building plan completed at the Kingswood High and Middle school complex, other challenges lay ahead for school districts across the state. Cuddy-Egbert noted that one challenge is keeping young people in New Hampshire after they finish school.

Another challenge is dealing with decreasing state education funding, compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and maintaining high quality education in the district.

"We've got a great school system here," she said.

School safety was on the minds of educators following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut last month. Cuddy-Egbert said that the district's schools have emergency management plans, which are confidential, that all school personnel reviewed in September.

"School safety is always priority number one," she said. "Statistically speaking, school is the safest place you can be."
lmulkern@newstote.com


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