Sprague superintendent accepts new job after months of turmoil with parents

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SPRAGUE – The superintendent of schools in Sprague is resigning effective December 1, something some residents have been clamoring for.

Dr. Judy Benson-Clarke informed the Board of Education that she has accepted another position.

Her resignation comes after months of efforts by a parent-led group called the Residents of Sayles School Committee to have the superintendent removed. Last summer, the group filed a petition over a number of concerns and their fight has continued ever since.

“On behalf of the Board of Education we thank Dr. Benson-Clarke for her long and tireless efforts for the children of Sprague,” said Board of Education Chairman Michael Smith. “I know that I speak for countless children, parents and residents who are appreciative of her work and her longstanding and deeply felt commitment to our children and community.”

In her letter of resignation obtained by FOX 61, Dr. Benson-Clarke wrote, “I have enthusiastically accepted a new position which will afford me continued opportunities for growth and new learning.”

Chairman Smith said the board will immediately begin the process of appointing an acting superintendent.

He wrote in a press release, “As we thank Dr. Benson-Clarke for her service and move forward to select new leadership for our district, I hope and expect that our community will come together to work to ensure the best possible educational experience for our children and community.”

In response to the superintendent’s resignation, Residents of Sayles School Committee parents committee wrote:

The parents and Residents Committee join the Board of Education in wishing Dr. Benson-Clarke good luck in her future endeavors. We look forward to working together with the school and the town for the students of Sayles School. We have a wonderful school, an excellent staff of teachers and a new principal that the community respects and is eager to work with. With a new superintendent we feel sure that our school will shine as it has in the past.

We thank the parents/residents committee for their continued hard work. It is difficult and not popular to speak out but what was right and just prevailed in the end. We will continue to stay involved in our community. We owe it to our children.

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