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Danvers superintendent reaches retirement deal amid hockey controversy

Danvers School Superintendent Lisa Dana, stepping down amid a turbulent period marked by allegations of racist, homophobic, and antisemitic behavior by members of the 2019-20 high school hockey team, will receive a $280,000 lump sum when she retires in August. But she will forgo the final four years of her contract under a separation agreement with the school committee.

Dana was due to earn nearly $197,000 annually through the 2025-26 school year. But a copy of the separation agreement released Wednesday to the Boston Globe states she agreed to accept $280,000 in salary and unused vacation and sick time when she departs Aug. 31 and to terminate the contract that would have run until 2026.


Dana went on medical leave in December, seven weeks after a Globe report that she and other school and town officials concealed for more than 16 months details of the hockey team’s alleged misconduct.

The civil rights division of the state attorney general’s office opened an investigation into the school district’s handling of the case, and many members of the community called for Dana and other school leaders to resign over their response to the allegations.

Under the separation agreement, Dana will remain on leave and “perform no active job duties,” other than to be available to help with the transition to new leadership at no extra expense.

The school committee unanimously approved the agreement and agreed that the board’s two newest members, Robin Doherty and Alice Campbell, will lead the search for a new superintendent.

Doherty and Campbell did not serve on the board while it supported Dana’s decision to conceal details of the hockey team’s conduct from the public. They were among those who called for Dana to step aside.

The separation agreement states that Dana and the school district make no admission they “engaged in any wrongdoing, or violated any state or federal law.”


Dana worked for 32 years in the Danvers school system, the last 18 as superintendent. The agreement gives her seven days “to retrieve her personal belongings and return any school district property she has in her possession.”

Bob Hohler can be reached at