July 2018 Superintendent Message

Dover School Community,

On July 1, I completed my first year and started my second year with the Dover School District, and it has been an amazing year of learning about the District and the community. During my inaugural year, I have encountered the District’s many positive attributes as well as the significant challenges. Yet, I see a bright future for the Dover School District. The following are a few of my observations:

 The District has a five-year strategic plan that will guide and focus the District’s educational work and initiatives during the next five years.

 The District has an invested Board that deeply cares about students and providing the necessary resources for all students and committed is to a quality and highly effective district for all learners.

 The District has a talented, creative, and invested leadership team of principals, deans, business administrator, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, and assistant superintendent of student services.

 The District has talented, creative, and invested teachers that most importantly care about the learning and welfare of all children and invest numerous hours learning and planning for the learning success of all students.

 The District has an amazing support staff that further supports the work of the teachers with students and effectively serves students’ mental and physical health needs.

 The District has dedicated and talented business, office, and technology personnel that support many people at various levels throughout the District and professionally handle the demands of many stakeholders.

 The District has supportive families and community members that care and take great pride in the Dover Schools. Many parent and community volunteers and organizations step forward to provide financial resources as well as provide many volunteer hours to support the schools and school programs. They also deal with the daily well-being of students and their families.

 The District has students that are talented, creative, and dedicated to their learning pursuits and have a need to be known and viewed as unique individuals that have been blessed with their own set of gifts and talents.

The Dover Schools has a solid foundation to achieve great things for all students, and I have great faith and hope in our most important resource – our people. But we must be aware of the enemy of great as described by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great:

Good is the enemy of great.

And that is one key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have a great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good-and that is their main problem.

With a solid foundation established upon the principles of the District’s Strategic Plan, I believe we need to strive to be a great district to reach needs of all students and their families. I have great hope and faith in the potential of the Dover School District. I eagerly look forward to the 2018-2019 school year and with schools and community working together to achieve great things for the students and families of the Dover School District.

As summer continues, I wish you a wonderful and safe summer. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Dover School District – SAU 11.

Bill William R. Harbron, Ed.D. Superintendent

Dover Schools Updates

In the Fall of 2018, be prepared and plan to attend a series of three parent/guardian and student conversations based on issues that young adolescents confront during their middle school years. One of the conversations will be targeted for the fall, winter, and spring. The conversations will be facilitated by trained middle school and high school students. The topics for the conversations are being identified from a survey of the 2017-2018 eighth graders that were asked:

 Looking back on you years bat DMS, what do you wish you had known coming into middle school? What do you wish older students had told you?

 What do you think is important to share with incoming students? What is important to tell incoming fifth graders?

 What do you think is important to share with incoming students? What is important to tell incoming fifth graders?

 What do you wish your family and parents knew about what it is like to be in the middle school (or what it is like to 11, 12, 13, 14 years old)?

 What do you wish your teachers knew about what is like to be in middle school (or what is like to be 11, 12, 13, 14 years old)?

 If you could teach your family and parents something, what would it be?  If you could teach teachers something what would it be?

  What are your hopes and concerns about high school?

During July and August, additional planning and training are occurring for the conversations. Dates on the three conversations are being finalized and when identified will be announced. It is our hope that families will make it a priority to join these conversations.

To start the 2018-2019 school year, Dover Middle School has selected Restart by Gorman Korman as a school wide book reading and conversation. One of the issues faced by middle school students across the nation is “bullying.” The book is being used as a conversation started to assist students in understanding and developing effective strategies to deal with bullying. The summary of the book follows:

A fall from the house roof leaves eighth-grader Chase Ambrose with acute retrograde amnesia. He may not remember names and faces from before his accident, but his classmates certainly remember him, and for the majority of Hiawasee Middle School, the memories are none too pleasant. Chase was the ringleader of a circle of bullying football jocks, who terrorized weaker, nerdier students and even caused talented pianist Joel Weber to transfer to a boarding school. Chase, however, remembers none of this, and his return to school as a perfectly amiable guy is met with understandable skepticism. His football goons want their rowdy, nasty old boy back, but he's perfectly content now hanging with the kids in the video club, where a football player's dexterity translates well to operating a flip-cam. It's not easy, though, for Chase simply to chuck his problematic past and move on to fresher fields—decent friends, new skills, even a commitment to helping the elderly in a local assisted living center—since he's still in possession of a stolen Medal of Honor that he can't remember pilfering but that his old partners in crime know he has stashed away. The pranks of his new crew of "vidiots" and the grouchy outbursts of his new geriatric acquaintance, Mr. Solway, provide ample comic relief, but Chase's very real dilemma—how to remake his life when people (including himself) don't fully trust his character change—is the serious underpinning that holds the goofy episodes together. This is the solid, seriocomic approach that's always worked well for Korman, and his fans will be pleased he's as sure-handed as ever.

Middle school families are encouraged to secure a copy of the book and use it to guide family conversations pertaining to” bullying”. This will also be one of the topics of the middle school parent and student conversations being developed for 2018-2019 school year.

Restart by Gorman Korman is available at Dover Middle School is also working with the Dover Library to have copies of the book available.


Currently, I am reading the book The Good News About Bad Behavior by Katherine Reynolds Lewis. The following is a brief introduction to the book:

The current model of parental discipline is as outdated as a rotary phone.

Why don't our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever. About half of the current generation of children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age eighteen. Contemporary kids need to learn independence and responsibility, yet our old ideas of punishments and rewards are preventing this from happening.

To stem this growing crisis of self-regulation, journalist and parenting expert Katherine Reynolds Lewis articulates what she calls The Apprenticeship Model, a new theory of discipline that centers on learning the art of self-control. Blending new scientific research and powerful individual stories of change, Lewis shows that, if we trust our children to face consequences, they will learn to adapt and moderate their own behavior. She watches as chaotic homes become peaceful, bewildered teachers see progress, and her own family grows and evolves in light of these new ideas. You'll recognize your own family in Lewis's sensitive, realistic stories, and you'll find a path to making everyone in your home more capable, kinder, and happier--including yourself.

I am gaining a great deal of insight from the book and the book is highly informative, realistic, and entertaining. I believe parents, guardians, and educators can gain practical knowledge to assist our children in learning the art of self-control. The book is available on


Christy Prosser has been selected to serve as the District’s Technology Director and began her service with the District on July 16. Ms. Prosser’s most recent position was as Director of Technology for the Hooksett, New Hampshire School District. Prior to that, Ms. Prosser served as a Georgia Public Schools educator and administrator for 20 years serving in director roles for technology, data analysis, budget, school safety and as a member of several Superintendent’s cabinets. She has worked extensively with a multitude of software applications, communications, and problem-solving matters related to software integration and applications and network infrastructures.


Kelly Parker has been selected to serve as the District’s Technology Lead Systems Administrator. Kelly Parker will start his service with the District on July 19. Mr. Parker has 15 years of direct network experience in Information Technology for SAU21, Assistant IT Director for the Farmington School District and network administrator for Cabletron Networks.


The Garrison School renovation project is underway. The first wing is nearing completion with the second wing currently undergoing renovation during the summer and being ready in January of 2019. In addition, the cafeteria and office areas are being renovated and will be ready for the start of school.


The new Dover High School and CTC will open for the 2018-2019 school year. It is a busy summer of construction and moving from the old high school and CTC into the new facilities in late August.


Summer is a busy season in the Dover Schools. Hiring is underway as well as planning and preparation for the 2018-2019 school year. The summer passes too quickly as the District prepares for the upcoming school year with the first day for students on Wednesday, August 29. More information pertaining to the start of school will be released in August. As you prepare for the upcoming school year, it is important for students to maximize their success in school by having good attendance. This is also critical for students in the elementary grades. Any day of school missed has the potential of impacting a student’s learning. It also important for students to be on time to school.

 August 29--First Day for Students for elementary and middle schools, and 11th and 12th grade students (orientation to new high school)

 August 30—First Day for Students for 9th and 10th grade students (orientation to new high school)

 August 31-Sept 3—Labor Day Recess DOVER SCHOOL’S FACEBOOK

Check-out the Dover School Facebook Page at It is a way to stay informed of the current events of the Dover School District. There are many good happenings occurring in your Dover School District.


The District is engaged with Edlio in the design and development of a new Dover School District Webpage. Edlio will enable the District to have an attractive and inviting webpage that will be user- friendly and the design process has been initiated. A decision was made to maintain the current website until the new website is completed in late August. The following is a link that will provide you with an illustration of the new home page for Dover Schools – SAU 11 Webpage. (Note: The new site is not active until late August.)


If you are new to the Dover Community or have a new kindergarten student starting 2018-2019, we encourage you to contact your neighborhood school as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to register your student. If you are unsure as to which school your student should attend or if you have questions, please contact the SAU at 516-6800


During the summer, the Dover School District schools are open to the public from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday. The SAU, located at the McConnell Center at 61 Locust St, Suite 409 is open from 8:00 am -4:00 pm Monday through Friday.


The quotation is from the book A Collection of Brilliant Quotations for a Beautiful Life:

AWARENESS: In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.