School principal appointments: Some new faces, some familiar ones

When Milford students return to school in the fall, they will find some new leaders in their buildings.

New principal appointments have been confirmed for the 2019-20 academic season in Milford and the district this week released a summary of the new principals.

Several meet and greet events will take place with the school communities before the next school year begins, school officials said.

Calf Pen Meadow School

Jamie Whitaker has been named the new principal at Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School.

For the past year, Dr. Ginger Vail was the school’s interim principal because Dr. Amy Fedigan - the former principal - was tagged as the district’s new assistant superintendent in August, 2018.

“Mrs. Whitaker has been a vibrant member of the Milford Public Schools community for many years - and has collected a vast amount of experience at every level in our district: elementary, middle and high school,” according to a press release from the school superintendent’s office.

Prior to being named principal, Whitaker served as the assistant principal at Harborside Middle School.

Whitaker received her bachelor of science degree in English from Albertus Magnus College in 1985, with a minor concentration in art. After receiving her certification in elementary education, she later completed and received a master’s degree in reading from Southern Connecticut State University (1997). She received her 6th year certificate in educational leadership, also from SCSU, two years later.

She has served on various instructional committees for the district, including the District Data Team, Secondary Literacy Team, facilitated the Reading For Success program for grades 6 - 12 and the Instructional Framework Committee.

John F. Kennedy School

Sean Brennan has been named the new principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School.

Brennan has served in a wide range of roles in the Milford Public School system, as a teacher, department head, dean of students and assistant principal.

For the past year, there were two interim principals at Kennedy School, Carol Scaramella and Cindy DeCarlo.

Brennan received his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Southern Connecticut State University in 2005 with a minor concentration in education. In 2007, he received a master’s degree in special education, also from SCSU, focusing on the education of children with autism spectrum disorders. He also received a master’s degree in holistic thinking from the Graduate Institute in 2009. He later received his intermediate administrator certificate in educational leadership 2014 from SCSU.

“The opportunity to develop leadership skills was ever-present for Mr. Brennan and he eagerly engaged in this work during the past 13 years,” school officials said. “He has extensive experience in writing and revising curriculum, analyzing data, and serving on a variety of school and district-based committees, such as the Student Assistance Team and the district’s Professional Learning Committee.”

He was involved in planning common learning experiences for all schools in the district, K-12, and is currently a member of the PDEC Evaluation Committee - a group of administrators and teachers who are reviewing the district’s teacher evaluation system.

“Mr. Brennan is a firm believer in setting the bar high and — through building an environment of trust, support and positivity - all will be supported to meet that bar,” school officials said.

Pumpkin Delight School

Sherrod McNeill has been named the new principal at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School.

The position became available when current principal Carrie Keramis was named the new principal of West Shore Middle School.

“Mr. McNeill’s background, credentials and experience are nothing short of exceptional,” school officials said. “Having served as an elementary school principal in the Stratford Public School system, Sherrod knows what it is like to handle the day-to-day work of the position, all the while going above and beyond in making sure his learning community is supported and encouraged to continually improve. His impressive career, thus far, will surely be put to good use here in Milford as we continue to move the district forward.”

Sherrod received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut in 2001. He continued his education, receiving a master’s degree in education in 2003 from the University of Bridgeport, followed by the completion of his 6th year certificate in educational leadership from Southern Connecticut State University in 2010.

He received administrative experience as assistant principal of Prendergast Elementary School in Ansonia from 2012-2015.

For the past four years, Sherrod has served as principal of Franklin Elementary School in Stratford. There he developed a school climate “that is mindful of academic, physical, social and emotional growth for all school community constituents,” Milford school officials said.

“In addition to the expertise he developed as an assistant principal in Ansonia, Sherrod has honed his professional leadership skills even further, with a keen eye for special education services, instructional intervention, speech and language services, and others,” the school district’s press release states. “We are, indeed, lucky to have him on our team.”

West Shore Middle School

Carrie Keramis has been named the principal at West Shore Middle School.

The position became vacant due to the resignation of Paul Cavanna, who recently accepted a position with the Fairfield Public School system.

“Ms. Keramis has had a long and vibrant career with the Milford Public Schools, beginning as a special education teacher in 1994,” school officials said. “During the past 25 years, she has served in Milford as a teacher and an administrative intern, later serving as principal of Calf Pen Elementary and Pumpkin Delight Elementary.”

Keramis received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Castleton State College and a master’s degree in education from Sacred Heart University. She received her advanced certificate in educational leadership, also from Sacred Heart University, in 2008.

Keramis began her career in 1994 at Simon Lake Elementary School - first as a special education teacher and later as a grade 4 teacher. In 2008 she served as an assistant principal in Stratford for one year, and then returned to Milford the following year to become principal at Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School in 2009. In 2012, she became the new principal at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School.

“Over the years, Carrie has been deeply involved in collaborative development of school continuous improvement plans, and the implementation of high quality professional development,” school officials said. “She has experience in cognitive coaching, literacy coaching and leadership. During her time in Milford, she was very involved in data analysis and currently is working on the HQI (High Quality Instruction) program taking place throughout the district.”

“Given the fact that Pumpkin Delight students move into West Shore for their middle school years, Carrie already is familiar with many of the students and families there and we believe that will help in her transition over the summer,” states the school district press release.