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New Schools Boss Brings Experience

Stephen Falcone decided to go into education because he is "fascinated" by schools and their role in a town. "That's something that was important to me in being an educator," he said. "Being part of a community, not just showing up to work 9 to 5."

It's not surprising that the Board of Education tapped Falcone to be Darien's superintendant of schools when Don Fiftal retired in June. As assistant superintendant of secondary education since 2005, Falcone had a hand in many of the duties in his new job: setting goals for the school year and filling staff positions.

But now that he's got the top job, he's had to turn politician, working with the Board of Education and the rest of the town government. "I'd always worked with them, but now I'm their direct contact," he said.

This is Falcone's third tour with the Darien schools. Seven years after graduating from Amherst College, Falcone went to Darien High in 1992 as a history and social studies teacher. After four years, Falcone started climbing up the administrative ladder. He served as dean of Wilton's Middlebrook School, then returned to DHS in 1998 for three years as assistant principal. Next, he went to Fox Lane High School in New York state for four years as principal and landed back in Darien in 2005 as assistant superintendent.

In 2010-11 and beyond, he plans to focus on student development by encouraging collaboration between grade levels, syncing the town's special education and standard programs, and understanding how Darien students approach schoolwork.

Falcone said this would make a great district even better. "The constants have always been: students who are interested in learning, students who come ready to learn and teachers that are passionate," he said.

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