Suitor's resignation went into effect on June 30 and was "the result of a mutual agreement based on professional, personal and institutional goals," according to a press release issued at the time of his departure.
Suitor's tenure began in 2007 following the retirement of Dave Wilson, who co-founded the school with his wife Rene in 1975 and also served as its headmaster.
Dear will be serving as an interim headmaster
As of press time, Long Trail School's enrollment for the coming school year stood at 156 students - eight fewer than they had last year at this time. However, last year the school graduated 34 students - their largest graduating class to date. By comparison, Dear said that in an average year the school typically would graduate somewhere between 24 to 25 students.
Though 156 students are currently enrolled at the school, Dear said somewhere between 170 to 185 students could be enrolled in the school given their
"[We] like eight to 11 [students] in a class because that's the way they get the individualized attention," Dear said.
Last year's graduating class was also the first that had been part of the International Baccalaureate program, which is offered to students in grades 11 and 12. Out of the 36 students that the school graduated, Dear said 13 had been enrolled in the program - all of whom he praised in the interview on Monday.
"We had the first group who did fantastically," Dear said. "In fact our pass rate for the first group through was 63 percent, which is above the national average and the top in New England. I mean we're ecstatic about how well they've done."
Twenty students are going through the program this year and Dear said some people have already begun to ask when the program will be offered to students in the lower grades.
Going into this school year, Dear said that there three areas in particular that he would like to focus on.
"What we want to do is continue to build the professional development of our teachers. Therefore the training that we started as a board, that we started focusing on after the 2008 strategic plan, will continue and that's one of my three major focuses for this year," said Dear. "Number two is support services. Some groups call it special services. We're going to continue to build that group. There's a real request [for that] from our parents. Thirdly it's important to ensure that we continue the financial structure that we have ... that's sustainable."
Dear said the school has had success fund-raising in the past. Although the school still has many of the same supporters, Dear said the school began experiencing a decline in the amount of money being contributed to the school beginning in 2008 - a trend that did not begin to turn around until the last year or two.
The school has talked to their donors about new initiatives that the would like to implement in the near future. While the school has talked about beginning a capital campaign to raise funds, Dear also said that they were "going to do things differently" this year in terms of fund-raising.
Long Trail also has a new Marketing Director this year in Courtney Callo. Callo will continue to work as Head of Admissions, Dear said.