Ann Forrest will serve as interim ConVal superintendent

ConVal School Board

ConVal School Board COURTESY PHOTO

By JESSECA TIMMONS

Monadnock Ledger Transcript

Published: 06-06-2024 12:01 PM

Modified: 06-06-2024 12:03 PM


ConVal Assistant Superintendent Ann Forrest will serve as interim superintendent following the departure of Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders, after the ConVal School Board unanimously approved her appointment Tuesday night.

Rizzo Saunders, who has been superintendent of the ConVal School District for eight years, recently announced she has accepted a superintendent position at a school district in Kennett Square, Pa., as of Aug. 23. 

Forrest has been assistant superintendent since 2016. She joined the ConVal School District in 2008 as a literacy coach and served as principal of Antrim Elementary School and Pierce School in Bennington from 2013 to 2016. In 2021, Forrest was awarded an Outstanding Service Award by the New Hampshire School Administrators Association. She graduated from the University of Vermont, has a master’s degree with a focus in reading from UNH and has a doctorate in educational leadership from Boston College. 

School Board Chair Dick Dunning noted that Forrest is welcome to return to the position of assistant superintendent once the search for a new superintendent is complete. Rizzo Saunders outlined the timeline for the search process, recommending the School Board engage with a search firm as soon as possible.

“You will want the search firm to start their work in September. After they go through the process of meeting with the community and determining what the needs are, you will want them to get an RFP (request for proposals) out by December. If you let December go by, there will be a much smaller pool of candidates,” Rizzo Saunders explained. 

Special education question

In the public comment section of the meeting, Dublin resident John Wood brought up the issue of special education costs, and asked if the district could pursue reimbursement from private insurance companies. Jim Kingston, School Board representative from Temple, agreed that this might be worth pursuing. 

“Just doing a quick web search, it indicates that schools should go after Medicaid funds. We may be able to go after private insurance for stuff in IEPs,” Kingston said. 

Dr. Greg Kriebel, a School Board representative from Peterborough and pediatrician, said that physicians have “absolutely no oversight” on special education services in schools.  

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“In order for any services to be billed to health insurance, it has to be billed to a physician,” Kriebel said. 

Rizzo Saunders said while schools do pursue and receive reimbursement from Medicare for eligible special education services, services provided in educational settings are not eligible for reimbursement by private health insurance. 

“Medical services are not  the same as educational services. They are not the sam e and do not align,” Rizzo Sa unders said.