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Friday, November 16 News

Darien principal put on leave, interim named

DARIEN — Hindley Elementary School will start this year with a new principal.

“It’s with sadness that I must report to you that your Principal, DJ Colella will be on leave at the beginning of the 2018-2019 year,” wrote interim Superintendent Elliott Landon in a letter to parents and guardians Aug. 17.

Landon did not go into further detail about his dismissal, but said Droller will serve until her services are no longer needed.

“I will update you on Mr. Colella’s status as more information becomes available,” Landon wrote to parents.

Julie Droller was appointed the new interim principal for the school year. Droller holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Connecticut. She also has a Masters in Education from Sacred Heart University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Business from the State University of New York in Albany.

She previously served as a first and third grade teacher in Ridgefield and then served as K-5 Literacy Coordinator for the Darien Public Schools. In 2006, she became principal of Veterans Park Elementary School in Ridgefield.

“Julie is a visionary and lifelong learner with over 20 years of experience in education,” Landon wrote.

Droller came to Westport in 2011 as Principal of Saugatuck Elementary School and took on oversight of the elementary literacy program. In 2014 she became Director of Elementary Education in Westport, where she was responsible for PreK-5 teaching and learning, assessment and professional development.

Droller will replace Colella, who was appointed in July 2016. Board of Education Chairman Tara Ochman said they are excited to welcome Droller to the district.

“She has worked in Darien before and we’re happy to welcome her back,” said Ochman. “We are looking forward to a great school year with her.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com, 203-842-2568

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