New principal named at Orange Avenue School

Joseph Apicella, an administrator with the Ansonia school district, has been named the new principal of Orange Avenue Elementary School. He will begin July 1.
The position became available when current Orange Avenue Principal Carole Swift was appointed director of pupil personnel services/special education in the Milford Public Schools.

Apicella has been a professional educator for the past 12 years, serving for six years as a teacher and six years as an administrator in the Ansonia Public School district. Apicella began teaching Grade 3 at Mead Elementary School in Ansonia, according to Milford school officials.

“He established strong relationships with his students, worked collaboratively with colleagues, and continually reached out to parents, aiming always to do all he could to help his students succeed,” according to a school press release.

In 2009, Apicella served for one year as a teacher on special assignment. During that time, he became deeply involved in gathering and analyzing school and district level student performance data. He coached teachers in using the data to implement new curricula, and choosing appropriate and effective instructional strategies linked to student needs, school officials said.

“He also facilitated the integration of technology into classroom instruction providing training and support in using technology to enhance learning, for example, Discovery Science Elementary,” states the school press release.

Apicella was appointed in 2010 to the position of assistant principal at Prendergast School, also in Ansonia. As assistant principal, he was deeply involved in the school’s intervention process, using the state’s Scientific Research-Based Intervention (SRBI) protocols to assist in providing students with appropriate instructional and behavioral supports.

In 2012, Apicella was promoted to the position of principal of Prendergast, a post he has held for the past four years.

“As the leader of a K-6 school of 700 students and 100 staff members, he has been the catalyst for significantly raising student achievement, and for establishing a culture wherein students, staff and parents are valued,” Milford school officials said. “Student learning is his central focus. He conducts daily walkthroughs in every classroom, often talking with teachers about their practice. Collaboration of teachers around instruction is paramount for him, as is how best to meet the needs of every student.”

School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser announced the appointment Wednesday.

“I am excited to have Mr. Apicella join the Milford Public Schools as Principal of Orange Avenue School,” said Dr. Feser.  “He brings expertise in K-6 education, and a proven record of working collaboratively with his staff to raise student performance and developing strong relationships with parents in support of their children’s education.”

Apicella received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 2003 with a major concentration in psychology and a minor in English. He received a Master of Arts degree in Teaching/Elementary Education from Sacred Heart University in 2004. He also received his 6th Year Administrative Certificate from Southern Connecticut State University in Educational Leadership.