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Staples HS Principal Stepping Down To Take Over At Alma Mater, New Fairfield HS

Westport Staples High School Principal James D'Amico. Photo Credit: Westport Schools
Caroline Elizondo, Michele Mechanic, Jim Marpe, James D’Amico, Kathie Bennewitz, Christie Stanger, and David Roth. Photo Credit: Kerry Long

Staples High School Principal James D’Amico has submitted his resignation and a search for his successor has already kicked off, school officials announced on Friday.

In an email to parents, Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer told parents that D’Amico will be leaving Westport in June to take over at his hometown high school in New Fairfield.

D’Amico, 42, the district’s former director of secondary education, took over at the helm of the high school in July 2016, filling the seat of the retired John Dodig. He first came to the district in 2001 as a social studies teacher and worked his way up the ladder. He became the director of secondary education in 2014.

Outside of his work in Westport, D’Amico served as a writer and reviewer of the Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies Frameworks, a member of the Westport 2025 task force, a facilitator for Staples’ Performance Assessment Design Initiative team, co-chair of Staples NEASC accreditation self-study, and currently serves as Westport’s representative to the Connecticut Council of Municipalities Education Policy Committee among his professional contributions.

“The position of high school principal is one of critical importance, and we have already reached out to Cooperative Education Services to assist us with a search process for our next leader of Staples High School,” Palmer said. “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.”

Palmer said that more details are coming, and that she will keep parents and the community apprised of any updates on the search process.

“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,” she added. “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.”

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