Two assistant principals and six academic department supervisors have been appointed over the past month by the Darien Board of Education, the town school district has announced.
All will begin in late August in time for the new school year. Two other administrative positions remain to be filled.
The department chairpersons are new to the district and are responsible for providing instructional leadership, supervision and articulation in specific content areas.
In an announcement, the school district provided this information on the new administrators:
Kate Dimoulas, DHS Assistant Principal
Kate Dimoulas will join DHS as assistant principal, replacing Ellen Spark. Dimoulas currently serves as a critical literacy coach for the Newtown Public Schools, a position that she has held since 2015. Before that, Dimoulas taught English at Newtown High School.
A past supervisor said this about Dimoulas:
“I have worked with and supervised many fine teachers and aspiring leaders in my 26 years in education. However, Mrs. Dimoulas is one of the finest teacher leaders I have had the good fortune to work with in my career. She is extremely intelligent, collaborative, and professional. Her work with students, staff, and families has garnered her the reputation of being trusted, respected, and admired.”
Garan Mullin, Assistant Principal at Middlesex Middle School
Dr. Garan Mullin was hired as the assistant principal of MMS. Mullin will replace assistant principal Michael O’Neill. Mullin currently works in the Fairfield Public Schools as the coordinator for middle school special education. Before joining the Fairfield school district, he worked as a Middle School guidance counselor in Westport.
Mullin has been described by her administrators as a “leader of leaders” and an educator who advocates for “the whole child and who identifies strengths and uses a strength-based approach to developing solutions.”
Maria Scalise, MMS Special Education Chairperson
Maria “Mary” Scalise will return to Middlesex, this time in the role of Special Education Department chairperson. Scalise has contributed to the Darien school community, both as a school psychologist at the elementary and middle school levels, and in the capacity of a SESS facilitator at Royle Elementary School.
Scalise has been described as
“indefatigable in her effort and support for students and families in realizing shared goals. Mary brings with her a depth of knowledge in the area of cognition and instruction that will support students, faculty, and clinicians.”
Kristen O’Reilly, DHS Special Education Chairperson
Kristen O’Reilly will join DHS as the Special Education Department chairperson. O’Reilly is currently a special education teacher at Staples High School in Westport. Ms. O’Reilly also has experience teaching at the middle school level in the roles of an academic support and special education teacher.
O’Reilly has been described by her supervisors as
“someone who always exceeds already high expectations and proves herself to be an outstanding educator […] someone who has an understanding of students with special needs and is dedicated to all students.”
Mrs. Christina Mauricio, World Language Chairperson
Mrs. Mauricio is currently a Spanish teacher and World Language coordinator for Grades 9 to 12 at DHS.
Mauricio has been described as an educator who
“possesses the innate ability to set clear and consistent guidelines all the while being a trusted colleague, valued resource, and steadfast advocate for her department. Her likeability, determination, and honesty make her a colleague of great worth and value to the Darien Public Schools.”
Felicia Bellows, Mathematics Chairperson
Similarly, Dr. Felicia Bellows, teaches Mathematics at DHS and serves as the Mathematics Department Coordinator for grades 9-12.
Bellows has been described by a supervisor as someone who “employs a proactive approach to leadership and teaching, always making informed and well thought-out decisions.”
“I find working with Dr. Bellows to be a continual exercise in personal growth as her vast background knowledge of pedagogy and her caring nature make her a model to aspire to and a joy to work with. Her intelligence, passion for education, and thoughtful approach to problem-solving will serve her well in this new endeavor.”
Keith Keeler, Social Studies Chairperson
Mr. Keith Keeler, social studies teacher at DHS and department coordinator will also transition to the new role of department chairperson for Grades 6 to 12.
Keeler has been described as
“the quintessential educational leader — smart, grounded, hardworking and ethical. Keith’s calm demeanor, impeccable judgment, and compassion for others make him a role model within the school community. He puts students at the center of every decision he makes and his content expertise and exceptional teaching record will serve him well in the role of instructional leader within the 6-12 Social Studies Department of the Darien Public Schools.”
Francis Janosco, MMS-DHS English Chairperson
Francis Janosco has been appointed as the English Department chairperson, for Grades 6 to 12. Mr. Janosco has contributed to the Darien Public Schools in the role of an English teacher at DHS.
Janosco has been described by his supervisors as
“an outstanding English teacher who has dedicated himself to promoting the intellectual and emotional growth of his students and all students at Darien High School.
Whether it be through breathing life into the Senior Internship Program or establishing a collaborative group to examine a reimagined high school, Francis sees a need and dedicates his full energy, scholarship and intellect to the endeavor. His creativity and vision will invigorate teaching and learning in the 6-12 English Department of the Darien Public Schools.”