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Staples HS Welcomes New Principal

Stafford W. Thomas, Jr.
Stafford W. Thomas, Jr. Photo Credit: Westport Public Schools

The Westport Board of Education has named a veteran educator to take over at the helm of Staples High School.

The Board announced on Thursday that Stafford W. Thomas, Jr. will succeed Principal James D’Amico, who announced earlier this year that he was resigning to take over at his hometown high school in New Fairfield.

Thomas will take over on July 1, when D’Amico’s resignation officially takes effect. He was unanimously approved by the Board at a meeting on Thursday, June 20. He comes to Westport after serving as the principal at Hillcrest Middle School in Trumbull for eight years.

Under Thomas’ guidance, Hillcrest was celebrated as the 2018-2019 Connecticut Middle School of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Schools.

Thomas was among more than three dozen candidates who applied for the principal’s position at Staples High School in recent months. A 16-person panel of parents, educators a student and members of the Board of Education unanimously recommended and approved Thomas to take over.

Prior to his time as principal in Trumbull, Thomas served as an administrator in Mystic and Rhode Island. He also taught at the renowned South Side High School in Rockville Centre and is an adjunct professor in the graduate school of education at Sacred Heart University.

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Georgetown University with a master’s in teaching social studies from Brown University. He also holds a dual degree in law (Juris Dictor) and Educational Administration from Boston College.

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.

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