‘Coalition builder’ Jennifer Gillis named superintendent of Manchester School District

Jennifer Gillis

Longtime Manchester educator and interim superintendent Jennifer Gillis has been appointed superintendent of the Manchester School District, effective immediately, the Union Leader reported last week. 

The Manchester School Board unanimously approved her appointment at their meeting on Tuesday, May 10. Her contract is for three years, with an option to extend another year. 

“Everything we do — everything we can achieve — will come through our collective efforts.”

 “I’m thrilled to be able to continue to serve our community. We have a lot of important work ahead of us, but everything we do – everything we can achieve – will come through our collective efforts,” Gillis said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to the continued work with our students, district staff, families, elected officials, and community partners.”

In listening sessions, community members urged the school board to appoint someone who has a deep understanding of Manchester, and who is prepared to engage with students, families, school employees, and the community. 

“The Board heard the clear voice of the people of Manchester who resoundingly told us that they wanted a candidate who had local knowledge and who was ready to take up the reins leading our city forward immediately. Dr. Gillis has proven herself to be a great interim superintendent, and I am confident that she will lead us to not just meet but exceed the goals in our strategic plan,” said MSD School Board Vice-Chair Jim O’Connell. 

Gillis has “a deep understanding of our community, a keen eye for detail and process, and a strong commitment to ensuring that all of our students have access to a quality education,” Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig said in a statement. “Since taking on the role of superintendent, she has proven herself to be a coalition builder, who has the trust of students, staff, and parents.” 

An educator for more than 25 years, Gillis served as principal of Manchester’s Southside Middle School for four years prior to taking over as interim superintendent. She also served as co-superintendent in Manchester in 2019 during the district’s last superintendent search. 

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