Claremont Superintendent Ousted After Rough Budget Year

May 25, 2018

Middleton McGoodwin, the Claremont superintendent of schools, says he believes the board wants him to resign over the budget dispute. (NHPR file photo)
Credit Britta Greene / NHPR

Claremont Schools Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin will be out of a job this summer.

In a letter to McGoodwin this week, the district’s school board notified him of its intent to terminate his contract unless he chooses to resign in the coming weeks.

The move comes after a bitter budget fight this year. The board proposed steep cuts in an effort to keep local taxes in check. McGoodwin fought that proposal, saying he'd have to lay off teachers. The cuts would ultimately damage the quality of education the district was able to offer, he said.

The board did not explain its rationale in the letter, but McGoodwin said he believes the decision was prompted by the budget dispute. “There are different types of superintendents,” he said. “I am a superintendent of schools who has the wherewithal to stand up and say, ‘you know what, this is not in the best interests of students.’”

Several members of the school board declined to comment Friday.

Former Chair David Putnam, who led the board when McGoodwin was hired, said McGoodwin cared deeply about maintaining resources for students and teachers. Too often, Putnam said, these decisions came down to a lack of funds, creating tension between the superintendent and board members. 

“I know there was a lot of frustration,” he said. “Unfortunately, in the state of New Hampshire, money’s always an issue."

McGoodwin, 71, has led the district for seven years.