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Staples Principal Resigns; Search on for Successor

Westport Staples High School Principal James D’Amico has submitted his resignation effective at the end of June and a search is underway for a successor, Superintendent of Schools Colleen Palmer said today.

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James D’Amico: took over July 1, 2016. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

In an email to parents, Palmer said D’Amico has accepted the position of principal of his hometown high school, New Fairfield High School, commencing July 1.

“This transition date will allow Mr. D’Amico to remain in his current position until the end of June, providing an orderly and effective end to our school year,” she said.

“We extend our best wishes to Mr. D’Amico as he moves on to his new role this summer, and thank him for his years of dedicated service to our District.”

D’Amico, 42, former director of secondary education in the district, took over on July 1, 2016, replacing John Dodig who retired a year earlier.

D’Amico informed staff members today after his appointment was announced Thursday night in New Fairfield. He is a 1994 graduate of New Fairfield High School.

He joined the Westport schools in 2001 as a social studies teacher after earning a master’s in education. He took over the director of secondary education post in 2014.

In 2018, he earned $200,369.98 and was the third highest paid administrator in the Westport school system. He will go from a high school of just under 1,900 students to one with about 900 students.

WestportNow.com Image
New Fairfield Schools Superintendent Patricia Cosentino tweeted this picture today after D’Amico’s appointment was announced Thursday night. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) From Twitter.com

In her email, Palmer said: “The position of high school principal is one of critical importance, and we have already reached out to Cooperative Education Services (C.E.S.) to assist us with a search process for our next leader of Staples High School. 

“With almost six months before the start of the new school year, this is a realistic timeline to recruit, select, and on-board our new school leader before the new school year begins. 

“There will be many more details provided about the new search process shared with you over the next few weeks, but we look forward to seeking your input on the attributes of our next principal as part of that process.

“Staples is a nationally-distinguished school with 1,900 amazing students and 200 dedicated, expert staff.

“We expect that our posting for a new principal will attract a strong pool of candidates, and this search process will be a top priority for us as we work to name our next principal to lead us forward in continued educational excellence.”

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