Harwood Union High School Principal Duane Pierson is leaving his post to become the principal of the Moretown Elementary School.

The Moretown School Board officially offered Pierson the job on May 2 and he accepted it on May 3.

Pierson became principal of Harwood Union during the 2005-2006 school year. He joined the school in 2002 when Robin Pierce was principal. He was hired as a special educator and then became the director of special education and director of student services. When David Driscoll (who replaced Pierce) stepped down, Pierson took on the job.

At Moretown, Pierson replaces Debbie Lesure who became principal in 2009. Pierson will be leaving a school of some 800 students for the 100 or so students at the elementary school and he is looking forward to the change and the challenge.

“There’s a great challenge there and a great group of people to work with. I’m looking forward to being active in the community and in being an educational leader for Moretown. I’m excited about the intensity of this position,” Pierson said.

Pierson and his wife Sarah McNamee live in Moretown and their daughters Zoe and Maya are currently in sixth and third grade (respectively) at the Moretown Elementary School.

“In his unique position as a Moretown resident, MES parent and a current principal in the WWSU, Duane comes to us with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities that face Moretown Elementary School. The board is confident that his commitment, energy and leadership approach are an excellent fit for our school,” said Moretown School Board chair Kaj Samsom.

“His passion for education and progress is well known in the community and MES is fortunate that this passion has driven him to pursue a new challenge where he can focus his energy and commitment to his home school and community,” he added.

While Pierson comes to Moretown with enthusiasm, he is proud of his accomplishments at Harwood.

“I think the thing that makes me happiest about my time at Harwood is supporting student voice in a lot of different initiatives. And I’ve been working with a phenomenal staff that has worked as a team to move the school forward,” Pierson said. “We brought a lot of spirit back to Harwood and I’m proud of that,” he said.

Pierson said he wasn’t actively looking to leave Harwood when he heard about the position opening up at Moretown but said the opportunity to work in his home community was very attractive.

“I really want to be a parent first when my kids come to Harwood. And I think Moretown has a lot to offer there, at the school and in the community. It will be great to put its name on the map,” he said.

Pierson grew up in West Easton, PA, and attended the University of Scranton, the University of Southern Maine, the University of Southeast Alaska and the University of Victoria.  He met his wife Sarah McNamee at the wedding of a college roommate in Alaska. He and McNamee moved to Vermont from British Columbia. Once in Vermont, he attended the University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College and the University of Phoenix to complete his licensing as principal.


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