RUMFORD — Jeff Pelletier has known for most of his life that he wants to be in Rumford and working at Mountain Valley High School.

“This school and this district mean everything to me; this is really where I wanted to be. I’ve never really wanted to move away from this area,” Pelletier said. “I wanted to always come back to MVHS and teach, and ideally become AD, in the long run.”

New Mountain Valley athletic director Jeff Pelletier. Submitted photo

Pelletier recently was hired as the school’s new athletic director, seven years after he returned to his alma mater to teach math.

“I graduated from Mountain Valley in 2006, went to the University of Maine, and then came back and worked around here in the mill for a bit,” Pelletier said, “and then Matt Gilbert (the principal at the time) contacted me about teaching math here, so I’ve been teaching math for seven years.”

He’s been involved in the school’s athletics for the past five years as the Falcons’ girls soccer coach, although he’s currently looking for a new coach to fill that position.

It was his experience playing sports at Mountain Valley, though, that really piqued his interest in becoming the school’s athletic director. 


“Some of my best memories throughout middle school and high school came through athletics,” Pelletier said. “There’s nothing quite like winning a state championship, so doing that through wrestling is something that stuck with me for a long time.” 

Pelletier was a three-sport athlete at Mountain Valley — soccer, wrestling and lacrosse — and was part of state championship wrestling teams during his junior and senior years.

He said that he wasn’t the greatest wrestler, but being part of the team meant a lot to him then and had an impact that still resonates today.

“I wasn’t a great athlete myself, but the athletics here meant a ton to me,” Pelletier said. “A lot of the teammates I had are people I’m still friends with to this day, and those memories are something that didn’t really fade.”  

Now, Pelletier is excited to give current and future Mountain Valley student-athletes a similar, rewarding experience.

“I think it’s important to provide that same type of experience to the current students. I want them to be proud to be a Falcon,” Pelletier said. “I want them to create those memories that I was able to. Being an athlete in this district is something to be proud of.”


Tom Danylik, Mountain Valley’s athletic director since 2018, became the school’s permanent principal earlier this year after a few months serving as the interim principal. Jim Aylward, who led the Falcons’ football program to four state championships, filled in as interim AD this past spring. 


One of the things Pelletier is most focused on is increasing participation.

“COVID was pretty tough on participation,” Pelletier said, “so I want to get our numbers back up.” 

Pelletier thinks that he’ll have the time and resources to improve participation — and he has a plan to do so. 

“Now that (the job) is sixth to twelfth (grade), it gives me some unique opportunities to build programs from the middle school up,” Pelletier added. “There’s been a bit of a disconnect between the high school and middle school programs, and I think being a full-time AD gives me a little bit more freedom in getting creative to try to get our numbers back up.”  


Up until this year, Mountain Valley had one role for an assistant principal/athletic director. This year, those roles have been separated, so Pelletier will have more time to focus on the athletic program than past athletic directors have had.  

Pelletier aims to build a connection between the middle school and high school programs. 

“Trying to build our summer programs up to include some middle schoolers. I also think including the high school coach in the interviews for the middle school programs is important,” Pelletier said. “Really, just getting everyone to the same table and working together. Whatever system we run up here (in high school), kids are exposed to at the middle school level. Really leaning on the high school coach to tell me what they need out of the middle school coach.” 

Pelletier also wants to increase school pride, both among students and in the community. 

“I want to build a sense of Falcon pride in this area,” Pelletier said. “I’ve always been proud to be a Falcon, and I hope that everyone who has a chance to compete here feels the same way.” 

Some of this enthusiasm, Pelletier noted, will hopefully come from social media and increased community outreach. 

“Some (pride) just comes from community outreach,” Pelletier said. “Getting our community more connected and getting more people in the stands. Celebrating our athletes on social media and getting the word out as much as possible.” 

That, he believes, will in turn improve the athlete’s experience.

“The more important athletics are for our area, the more pride an athlete will have to take the field,” Pelletier said. “It’s a different feeling to step out on the court or field with full stands behind you.” 

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