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Retired principal in charge at Manchester's Webster Elementary; no word about Principal Sarah Lynch

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 08. 2018 12:01AM
Webster School in Manchester. (UNION LEADER FILE)

MANCHESTER — Sarah Lynch remains the principal at Webster Elementary School and continues to receive her full salary and benefits, but a substitute principal is on the job, top school officials said Friday.

Lynch, the principal at Webster Elementary School for the last two years, was not on hand when school began Wednesday, but numerous parents said she was greeting parents and children the previous week at kindergarten orientation.

On Friday afternoon, Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas said Lynch is a school district employee and remains principal at Webster. She is receiving her full salary and benefits, he said.

But school officials have not explained her absence, and Vargas was reluctant to comment about who is in charge at Webster School.

Located on outer Elm Street, Webster Elementary School serves much of the North End and is also a magnet school for elementary-aged students who do not know English.

A veteran educator has apparently stepped into Lynch’s role.

At-large school board member Richard Girard said Elinor Murphy, who retired in 2012 as principal of Beech Street School, is filling in for Lynch in a substitute capacity.

Previously, Murphy worked as a long-term interim at Webster Elementary School before Lynch took over the job in 2016.

Vargas said Murphy works as a substitute throughout the district.

“This is a typical situation, having a substitute. It happens in every district when people have to be out,” he said. But Vargas would not give further comment.

Girard said he could not say anything about Lynch. A message sent to Lynch via social media was not returned.

On Friday, Lynch was listed as the principal on the school’s website.

This is the start of what would be Lynch’s third year with the school district. She was an administrative mentor for the Lawrence, Mass., school system when she started at Webster Elementary School on July 1, 2016. She was hired after a community forum featuring two finalists. Such steps are rarely taken before a principal is hired.

“Ms. Lynch is a great match for the children of Webster,” said then-superintendent, Dr. Debra Livingston, in announcing Lynch’s hiring. “I am confident she will be an asset to every aspect of the school community.”

Last year, Lynch launched a public campaign to raise $62,000 to renovate the library at the school.

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