ConVal residents, students speak out in favor of Kevin Proctor

ConVal students Garret Rousseau (displaying sign) and Eliot Dumas (in CV cap) were some of the more than 100 supporters who turned out in support of ConVal Athletic Director Kevin Proctor. 

ConVal students Garret Rousseau (displaying sign) and Eliot Dumas (in CV cap) were some of the more than 100 supporters who turned out in support of ConVal Athletic Director Kevin Proctor.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

ConVal student-athletes hold up signs at Tuesday night’s meeting. 

ConVal student-athletes hold up signs at Tuesday night’s meeting.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

ConVal students hang a banner in the SAU conference room stating “We Want K-Proc!” prior to the the public comment session of Tuesday night’s school board meeting. 

ConVal students hang a banner in the SAU conference room stating “We Want K-Proc!” prior to the the public comment session of Tuesday night’s school board meeting.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

From left, Brian Cisneros, ConVal business manager; School Board representatives Tom Burgess of Peterborough, Erin Pils-Martin of Antrim; Jim Kingston, newly elected representative from Temple; Bill Bryk of Antrim; and Dan Harper of Hancock listen to a statement by Ben Michaud, a student from Peterborough. 

From left, Brian Cisneros, ConVal business manager; School Board representatives Tom Burgess of Peterborough, Erin Pils-Martin of Antrim; Jim Kingston, newly elected representative from Temple; Bill Bryk of Antrim; and Dan Harper of Hancock listen to a statement by Ben Michaud, a student from Peterborough.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMOMS

A ConVal mother shows her support for Athletic Director Kevin Proctor. 

A ConVal mother shows her support for Athletic Director Kevin Proctor.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

 ConVal students pack the SAU conference room Tuesday night to show their support for AD Kevin Proctor. 

 ConVal students pack the SAU conference room Tuesday night to show their support for AD Kevin Proctor.  STAFF PHOTO BY JESSECA TIMMONS

By JESSECA TIMMONS

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 04-03-2024 11:48 AM

Modified: 04-05-2024 10:21 AM


An overflow crowd of more than 100 parents, community members and students filled the SAU1 conference room during Tuesday night’s ConVal School Board meeting to protest the non-renewal of ConVal Athletic Director Kevin Proctor’s contract.

On Friday, after learning that Proctor’s contract would not renewed, parents and community members started a change.org petition stating their support for the athletic director. By Tuesday, the petition had nearly 1,700 signatures. 

On Monday, ConVal Superintendent Kimberly-Rizzo Saunders stated that “The district does not issue comments about personnel matters, including non-renewals, unless there are extenuating circumstances which make it appropriate.  There are no such extenuating circumstances here and therefore, there is no public statements at this time.”

Proctor, who became ConVal AD in 2022,  had served as head’s women’s basketball since 2017 and had previously served as the varsity and junior varsity boys basketball coach at ConVal. As board members withdrew to a brief nonpublic session prior to public comments, a group pf ConVal student-athletes hung a handmade banner reading “We Want K-Proc!”  in the conference room.

On return from the nonpublic session, School Board Chair Dick Dunning thanked members of the public for coming to share their views and outlined the standard procedure for the public comment session of the School Board, which limits comments to two minutes per speaker. 

About 20 members of the public spoke on behalf of Proctor, with many stating that not renewing his contract was a mistake. Speakers supporting Proctor received applause from the large crowd.

Charlie Savage, a senior at ConVal and student body president, spoke on behalf of the students of ConVal High School.

“I encourage you to look around you,” he said. “When was the last time a group of teens took such an interest in a School Board issue? Kevin Proctor has gone above and beyond to build students up. He is an asset to the school, and we think he should stay. We believe not hiring him back is a mistake, and we ask you to listen to us.” 

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ConVal sophomore Ben Michaud of Peterborough said,  “I’m a baseball player, and I’m in the theater program. It wouldn’t be possible for me to do what I love most in the world without Kevin Proctor. I implore you to reinstate him. He’s a great man.” 

JP Bernier of Hancock, who spoke in the public session after the regular meeting, expressed his concerns about district leadership.

“Kevin is ConVal. Period,” Bernier said. “It seems to me that over the past few years, ConVal has become a shadow of what it once was. We have lost a lot of great teachers and administrators in the past years – people who were important to the students. This starts at the top and rolls downhill, and I think it is time that leadership is examined.”

Scott Daniels of Hancock echoed Bernier’s sentiments. 

“Too many good staff have seemingly been let go without cause in recent years. I am a former teacher and school administrator, and I understand cause does not need to be given. Many see Kevin Proctor as the perfect person for this job. In my experience , he was similar to Mark Swasey, who was also let go.  I feel that decisions like these don’t help the district garner support for other initiatives,” Daniels said.

Eliza Bull of Francestown, captain of the ConVal girls’ soccer team, spoke on behalf of the soccer team and “most of the student body.”

“While we do not know all the details, it is impossible to say how much Kevin Proctor does for the school. He has built a positive relationship with all the students. He makes people feel safe. He has showed the girl’s soccer team that we matter as a team, when previous ADs have not. He embraces our school ‘CARES’ motto. Letting him go is a mistake,” Bull said. 

Douglas McPhee of Peterborough echoed the sentiments of most of the other speakers. 

“I’ve coached for many years, and I’ve seen ADs come and go, and I’ve worked for all kinds of coaches. I have to tell you that Kevin Proctor is just an exemplary person. He is an outstanding man of character, and I cannot speak highly enough of him. Letting him go from this community would be a shame.”