Dr. Mike Leichliter, superintendent of the Harwood Unified Union School District, and the members of the committee tasked with finding a co-principal for Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury have chosen three finalists from the 17 candidates who were interviewed.

The search for a new co-principal yielded 17 candidates for consideration. The committee reviewed all applications, scored the applications, and collectively narrowed the field to five semi-finalists who were interviewed on Tuesday, March 21. 

The three finalists are:

  • Jennifer Clark Durren (an HUUSD resident and high school math teacher in a Vermont school district).
  • Katelyn Liptak (an HUUSD resident and associate principal in K-4 and 7-8 schools in a Vermont school district).
  • Tom Drake (an HUUSD resident and current CBMS principal. Note: Mr. Drake applied for the co-principal position after his resignation was accepted by the HUUSD Board).



All finalists will visit the school for a half day on either Monday, March 27, or Tuesday, March 28. The visit will include an opportunity to meet with teachers/staff, visit classrooms to speak with students, tour the building, and observe general school operations. The committee will then be meeting with each candidate for a final interview. A final recommendation will be made to the school board and shared with the community by Friday, March 31, in advance of the special school board meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4.

Drake, longtime principal at CBMS announced his resignation in mid-January, intending to step down at the end of the school year.  He was principal there for 14 years. On January 27 the school district announced that Duance Pierson would succeed Drake as principal at CBMS as of July 1, 2023. Pierson is a 20-year veteran of the school district who has servd as an administrator at Harwood Union and Moretown Elementary School. Most recently he has served as assistant principal at Harwood.

In addition to Drake’s position being open at CBMS, the assistant principal position at that school is vacant as well after a newly-hired assistant principal left the job two months into the school year.

In January, Leichliter told the district that Pierson requested to serve as co-principal at CBMS in order to attract an excellent candidate who would share the administrative duties.