MANCHESTER, NH — School Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas has given notice that he is resigning his post.
In a letter dated Jan. 4, [see below] Vargas first laid out accomplishments made over the 2-plus years since he was hired and ends the letter saying he is declining the Board of School Committee’s offer to renew his 2-year contract. He has given 90 days notice.
In a statement issued Friday morning, Mayor Joyce Craig said she is prepared to assist the district in transitioning to new leadership, and commended Vargas for laying a foundation for the future.
“I want to thank Dr. Vargas for his service to the Manchester School District. In his time as superintendent, he worked with the Board of School Committee to develop a foundation to lead our district, and our students, forward. I wish him all the best on his future endeavors,” wrote Craig in a statement released Friday.
“In the next 90 days, I am committed to working with Dr. Vargas, District staff and the Board of School Committee to ensure a smooth transition. By working together, I know we can continue to help our city set up current and future generations for success.”
Vargas was hired in September of 2016 to replace Dr. Debra Livingston, who retired in Oct. of 2016. Vargas was the only one of three candidates for the job that remained after the other two candidates dropped out of the running abruptly. He was voted in by the board with only one dissenting vote, that of former committee member Connie Van Houten, who said that while she didn’t doubt Vargas would do a good job, she felt there should have been a slate of candidates to choose from.
Vargas did not offer any particulars in the resignation letter as to why he has decided to leave the district. However, there have been some notable tensions of late. Vargas has expressed frustration toward the Board of School Committee regarding its inability to focus in on meeting district needs against budget constraints, even requesting that they read books on good governance to assist them in working together more fluidly.
Most recently, Vargas was named as a defendant, along with Assistant Superintendent Amy Allen, in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed in December by former Webster Elementary principal Sarah Lynch, who was placed on administrative leave in September and terminated in November. Although the district at the time did not give specifics on her firing, in the lawsuit filed by Lynch, she says she believes she was fired for threatening to expose the district’s mishandling and shortcomings in administrating the Emotional Disorder Program, which is run out of Webster.
Vargas attached a 30-page school district progress report card with his letter, which is posted below.