Kennett Schools to name Rizzo Saunders as new Superintendent

Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders

The Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) Board of Directors will vote on the appointment of Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders as its next Superintendent of Schools at a Special Meeting scheduled for Monday, May 20 at 6 p.m. Rizzo Saunders brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of educational leadership to the district.

Having served as Superintendent of the Contoocook Valley School District in Peterborough, NH, since July 2016, Rizzo Saunders has demonstrated exemplary leadership in overseeing a school district comprising nine towns and eleven schools. Her responsibilities have included supervising daily operations, managing the operating budget, developing strategic plans, evaluating staff performance, and fostering collaborative relationships with various stakeholders.

David Kronenberg, President of the KCSD Board of Directors, remarked that “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders to the Kennett Consolidated School District. Her experience and visionary leadership made her our ideal candidate to lead KCSD forward. We are confident that she will bring outstanding results to our students, staff, and community.”

Rizzo Saunders has held various leadership positions throughout her career, including Assistant Superintendent, Principal, Assistant Principal, and Curriculum Coordinator. Her commitment to innovation and collaboration has resulted in numerous awards, including being recognized as a finalist for the 2024 National Superintendent of the Year by the School Superintendents Association (AASA) and receiving the Superintendent of the Year award from the New Hampshire School Administrators Association.

Rizzo Saunders’ recent professional achievements include leading and serving as an expert witness in the New Hampshire school funding lawsuit, driving positive change for education funding throughout the state. She also implemented the final phase of Preschool for All and led the collaborative development of the district’s strategic plan. Her innovative initiatives, such as the district-wide Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) and the implementation of full-day kindergarten, have positively impacted student learning and community engagement.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next Superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District,” said Rizzo Saunders. “I am excited to work alongside the dedicated educators, staff, and community members to ensure that every student receives a high-quality education that prepares them for future success.”

The Kennett Consolidated School District superintendent search process was facilitated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit. The district received 50 applications from a diverse candidate pool that included 23 superintendents as well as assistant superintendents and lifelong educators. The candidate pool was also diverse geographically with applications received from candidates from 13 states.

In a search process that lasted over two months, the Board took feedback from several focus groups and from over 300 individual survey responses from parents, staff, and the community to confirm stakeholder priorities and themes. The Board completed rigorous interviews using in-depth questions developed from the feedback. The process identified both the candidates’ fit to the community criteria as well as the candidates’ professional experiences and expertise.

From the applicant pool, eight highly qualified candidates were invited for a first-round interview and four candidates were invited to a second, final round of interviews. The Board conducted a thorough reference and background check as part of the process.

The criteria established through community engagement and the ideas brought forth by the candidates lead to Rizzo Saunders as Kennett Consolidated School District’s next superintendent.

Kronenberg, KCSD Board President, continued that during the interview process, Rizzo Saunders distinguished herself with her dedication to public education and to students, with her comprehensive plans to get started and move our students and schools forward, and with her desire to be a part of the Kennett community. “She shares our mission, and we are excited to have her at KCSD,” he said.

Reflecting on her new journey with KCSD, Rizzo Saunders shared, “As your new Superintendent for the Kennett Consolidated School District, I am committed to fostering an environment where every student feels valued, supported, and empowered to achieve their fullest potential. Together, we will uphold a standard of excellence in education, prioritizing not just academic success, but also holistic growth and development. Our journey ahead will be one of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity, working hand in hand with parents, educators, and the community to create a brighter future for our students. I look forward to embarking on this exciting path together, shaping tomorrow’s leaders and change-makers, one student at a time.”

Rizzo Saunders will attend the Special Meeting on Monday, May 20 virtually and will say a few words. Later in the week, she will meet with the Board of Directors and KCSD leadership and staff and will tour some of KCSD’s schools on Friday, May 24.

Rizzo Saunders is expected to assume her duties as Superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District on August 23, 2024. The Board of Directors looks forward to partnering with her to advance the district’s mission of excellence in education. To view a welcome message from Dr. Rizzo Saunders, please visit

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