Montpelier High School’s principal Renee Devore will be leaving her post at the end of this school year. She announced her decision in a newsletter to families dated Jan. 12. “I write this letter to you with some trepidation and sadness knowing that this communication will finalize my decision to leave Montpelier High School prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year,” she wrote. “Please know that the students have been my greatest joy over these past few years, and I’m thankful for each of them and all that they have taught me. There’s no doubt I will shed many tears in my ‘goodbyes’ when the time comes.” Devore said she did not have any answers about what she will be doing after her stint as principal, but she will be fully present for the remainder of the year. She also vowed to support the new administration and the transition to ensure the high school is in good hands. The Bridge reached out to her Jan. 18 for some further information on the departure.Interview with Devore: The Bridge’s Carla Occaso: What is your most memorable experience at MHS? Renee Devore: Well, there’s no doubt that the biggest challenge has been the pandemic and probably the most memorable. I got six months under my belt before COVID hit, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride ever since. The Bridge: How did your time in Montpelier change you as a person? Devore: I’m not sure Montpelier changed me. I think the pandemic has had a lot to do with how I’ve evolved in my thinking about what’s most important to me as I journey through life, and in the end, I’ve learned that my well being is most important. The Bridge: Anything you can share about your future? Reason for stepping down – health, personal, family, new career, message from another planet, etc? Devore: There ‘s more than one reason for stepping down, but … being a principal is not in my game plan for the future. I’m not sure what my next chapter will hold. I’ll open my arms to the universe, put an idea or two out there, do some leg work and the rest often takes care of itself. I’ve always been open to new experiences as I believe every opportunity opens new ways to learn and grow. Vermont has definitely treated me well. Not only have I found a new hobby in kayaking, but I also found love and that’s the greatest gift. In the midst of all of this craziness, I’m so grateful that I am here and not anywhere else during this time. Our families and caregivers have been incredibly supportive, and I know that I could be navigating a whole lot of other crises that many other districts are facing. The Bridge: What will you miss most and why? Devore: The students will be those who I will miss most. They are the reason I got into this profession and they are the ones who make me saddest about leaving a career I started 25-plus years ago. They are my daily dose of joy, even in moments of maniacal stress, they can bring a smile to my face. And of course there are a number of adults across our district that I will continue to stay in touch with when I leave. We’ve been through a lot together, and there’s no way that we can put aside that we went through the most tumultuous time in educational history. That’s a connection that lasts a lifetime. The Bridge: What do you look forward to? Devore: I always look forward to new experiences for the purpose of growing myself, and now, I have a partner to share in that time together. The Superintendent Responds: As for the sentiments from Montpelier Roxbury Public School district Superintendent Libby Bonesteel, she weighed in saying, “Renee has been such an asset to the Montpelier Roxbury School District. We have loved having her with us and wish her nothing but the best in whatever adventure she takes on next.” Devore replaced former Montpelier High School principal Mike McRaith in 2019.