By Lisa Scagliotti, Waterbury Roundabout
Harwood's athletics and activities director Chris Langevin is stepping down later this month.
The search is on to fill a key administrative position at Harwood Union Middle-High School after athletic and activities director Chris Langevin announced he will be stepping down at the end of this month.
Langevin shared his news in a message to colleagues and on social media earlier this month. He said the decision was made “with a heavy heart” to leave the post he’s held for the past 5 ½ years. A resident of St. Albans, Langevin noted that he’s had an hour-plus commute each way while working at Harwood which until recently, “has honestly never felt long, taxing, or grueling.”
Last summer, Langevin was married and he explained that working a more regular schedule closer to home has become a bigger priority. “My desire to be home and be closer to home really weighed heavily on me. As I embark on my next adventure of starting a family with my wife, I determined that the athletic director lifestyle is not something I can keep up with anymore,” he wrote.
Langevin told Waterbury Roundabout that he’s decided to take a position in sales at Kevin Smith Team Sports & Corporate Apparel in St. Albans. “So, moving to the other end of the sports world into equipment, uniforms, etc.,” he said. “They needed someone now and the allure to be at home with my family grew too big for me to ignore.”
Meanwhile, the Harwood athletic and activities director position has been advertised. The position oversees high school and middle school athletic and extracurricular programs. Harwood Union co-principal Laurie Greenberg this week said school leaders are receiving applicants.
“We are formalizing our hiring committee and hope to hire a qualified athletic director in a timely manner. Harwood's athletic program is highly valued and this will remain one of our priorities as we transition to a new athletic director,” Greenberg said in an email.
Like many school administrative positions, the athletic director position over the past several years has been key to managing athletic programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Frequent changes in public health and state guidance demanded many adaptations to programs and schedules.
This fall, as pandemic restrictions and illnesses eased, Harwood experienced an unexpected challenge to athletic programming when an accident during a physical education class broke a fire sprinkler, causing a flood in the high school gymnasium. The damage and persisting moisture beneath the wood floor led to an emergency replacement project that’s nearing completion now.
The timing came just before basketball season. Langevin worked to rearrange practice and game schedules for girls’ and boys’ high school and middle school teams to use facilities at Crossett Brook Middle School and Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield. The current schedule has the first home games of the season listed in early February. As a result, the remainder of the season will have Harwood teams playing many games at home.
Langevin said he thinks he’s stepping away with ongoing programs in a good place now.
“Harwood's community is truly special and the students [who] go here are the best in the state,” he said. “It is incredibly tough to be leaving, but I know I am leaving this program in a wonderful spot for the next [althetic director] to lead for many years to come. Please know this was a supremely tough decision for me, but I will always have a special place in my heart for being an AD and specifically for doing so here at Harwood – and with working with all of you. Thank you all and go Highlanders!”