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Darien Appoints Royle Principal, Middlesex Vice Principal

Photo Credit: File

DARIEN, Conn. -- The interim principal at Royle Elementary will stick around for another school year, and Middlesex Middle School will get a new assistant principal soon, the Darien Board of Education announced after its meeting Tuesday.

The school board voted unanimously to extend the contract of John P. Grasso as interim principal of Royle Elementary School for the 2015-16 school year.

Grasso is currently serving in this role, after many years as a building administrator in the Greenwich Public Schools.

The Board of Education said it is delighted that Grasso has agreed to remain at Royle for the coming school year, which will continue to provide stability and experienced leadership to staff, students, parents and the school community.

The Board of Education also unanimously appointed Michael O'Neill as the assistant principal of Middlesex Middle School.

"I would like to thank the Board of Education and the Middlesex Middle School community for the opportunity to serve as assistant principal," O'Neill said. "I am excited to begin work at the school and meet the students, staff, and families. My goal is to help carry on the tradition of excellence in the Darien Public Schools and support the growth and development of each student."

O'Neill will begin his work at Middlesex as soon as a mutually agreed-upon release date can be finalized with his current employer.

For the past two years, O'Neill has served as a school improvement consultant with the State Education Resource Center, where he developed strategic partnerships with districts, schools, teachers and administrators across the state providing training and technical assistance for prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Before that, he served as an elementary principal with the Wallingford Public Schools. He spent the first nine years of his career in Palo Alto, Calif., as an intermediate elementary grade teacher. That district then appointed him to positions of middle school assistant principal and elementary school principal.

O'Neill also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Joesph, where he teaches a graduate course in educational technology.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and legal studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He holds a master of education degree in elementary education from Boston College and a master of arts degree in educational administration from Santa Clara University.

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