Leadership change in Bow school district after 17 years


Monitor staff

Published: 08-30-2023 4:16 PM

With an umbrella in hand, Marcy Kelley welcomed students as parents dropped their children off in the parking lot of Bow Elementary School.

After the first bell rang, she walked the halls of the building greeting staff and checked in on classrooms to make sure everything was running smoothly. 

In Heather Glencross’s third-grade class, the new school superintendent crouched down and helped Loralei Roberts with her worksheet.

Wednesday was Kelley’s first day of school in a way too, her first after taking over the superintendent position in Bow and Dunbarton from Dean Cascadden, who held the job for nearly two decades. 

“Sometimes change has this negative connotation to it, but I want us to see this as an opportunity to do new things or to do things differently,” said Kelley, who joined the Bow school district in 2019 as the director of student services for four years.

In sync with change, the ambiance in the superintendent’s office has undergone a complete makeover.

Cascadden’s collection of miniature sailboats and sailing pictures adorning the shelves and walls has been replaced with a vibrant display of ceramics and pottery, many of which were crafted by Kelley’s children.

“I’m in a different role,” said Kelley. “I’m going to be different than Dean and that’s okay.”

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Even as she transitions into an administrative role, Kelley remains eager to foster student relationships.

That’s why on the first day of school, she walked into elementary classes and took a seat among the children.

Kelley’s chosen field was not education, it was athletics. Once she started coaching, she felt more connected to the children she worked with so she decided to enter the field. She started out her career in education as a special education teacher at Franklin Middle School. Before working in the Bow School District, Kelley worked in the Laconia School District for seven years.

Although Kelley doesn’t hope to make sweeping changes, one area where she would like to focus is making Dunbarton feel included in the school district.

“We do need to make sure that Dunbarton feels part of the SAU 67,” said Kelley, pointing to a new painting on her office wall with the district’s logo. “Part of what we continue to do is strive to do a really good job of making them feel welcome.”

Business Administrator Duane Ford, one person at the school district who had worked the longest with the previous superintendent, said it’s a great change to have a woman administrator in the district after a long time.

“I think this is going to be good for us,” said Ford. “But I do think it will be a different perspective on certain things, like maybe doing things differently.”

As she steps into the new position, Kelley sees it as a team effort.

“I genuinely feel like I’m one member of this team,” said Kelley about the school administration. “I have a different role but I’m really one person and we need everybody on that team. We all have our different strengths and need to work with them and build each other up.”