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February 05. 2013 10:14PM

Separation agreement sheds little light on Raymond superintendent's departure

RAYMOND - The separation agreement reached between Superintendent Jeannie Richards and the school board was released by the Raymond School District this week thanks to a right-to-know request filed by the New Hampshire Union Leader, but offers no insight into why Richards was placed on administrative leave last fall.

Richards will resign as superintendent effective June 30.

According to the agreement reached Jan. 2, Richards shall have no further day-to-day administrative responsibilities during the remainder of the contract, but shall make herself available for consultations as "reasonably necessary," not to exceed three-hours per week, through June 30.

Iber Holmes Gove Middle School Principal Ellen Small has been serving as interim superintendent since Richards was abruptly placed on leave by the school board in September with no explanation.

Richards' salary will continue through June 30 and her health and dental benefits will continue through June 30, 2014 at the expense of the district.

Richards' salary for the 2012-2013 school year is $120,253.

If Richards becomes employed in a position with comparable salary and benefits during the period of the agreement, the district's obligation to continue salary and benefits payments will end.

There is also a "non-disparagement clause" in the agreement.

"The parties agree they will not disparage each other. Disparagement shall include any and all communications by one party regarding the other, including those within the context of discussions with professional colleagues," according to the agreement.

The district will also provide a mutually agreeable letter of recommendation for Richards and any inquiries directed to the district concerning her employment shall be directed to school board member John Harmon.

The agreement stipulated that neither side is to comment to the media or anyone else regarding the terms of the agreement except for a statement that Richards resigned effective June 30 "to pursue other educational and professional opportunities."

Both sides have honored that agreement. Richards has declined to comment further and Stewart has not returned calls seeking comment on the issue.

gmacalaster@newstote.com


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