On Friday, Dec. 11, Wilton Public School superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith announced that the district had named Bernadette Hess as interim principal of Miller-Driscoll Elementary. He made the announcement by email to teachers and parents and also included the announcement in his weekly News From the Schools” newsletter.

Hess, a Wilton resident and parent, has previously worked in a similar function for the district, filling in as an interim assistant principal at Cider Mill when that school’s past principal Ginny Rico was on medical leave in 2011. She will fill the post while Smith and the Board of Education conduct a search to find a permanent replacement. That search, says Smith, will begin next month.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bernadette Hess as Interim Principal of Miller-Driscoll. Bernadette is a Wilton resident and former Wilton interim administrator. She served at Cider Mill for a period of time when Ginny Rico was on leave.

Bernadette has a strong educational leadership background that includes a number of years of classroom as well as educational administration experience in both public and private schools. She holds degrees in economics and educational leadership. Given her many years in town, I suspect a large number of families may already know her and her four children who currently attend the Wilton Public Schools (two at Cider Mill and two at Middlebrook).

Bernadette is a former Miller-Driscoll parent and has strong connections to a number of our staff members there. Beyond her qualifications, experience, and connections to the community, what I find so compelling about Bernadette is her very infectious positive attitude and demeanor. She presents as being genuinely student-centered and I believe the Miller-Driscoll community will find her to be a most welcome presence. Bernadette comes highly recommended and stood out among the other applicants.”

Hess says she’s eager to start her new role.

“Without a doubt, I am most excited about working with the children. I look forward to developing relationships with not only the students but also families, faculty and staff. As a former Miller-Driscoll parent, I know first hand what a talented and dedicated group of professionals we have at Miller-Driscoll. Wilton is a wonderful town which we have called home for eleven years and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve our community as the interim principal at Miller-Driscoll.”

Hess’ first day will be today, Monday, Dec. 14. She will spend the week transitioning alongside retiring principal Cheryl Jensen-Gerner, who will remain with the district until the end of the school year in June 2016, helping to coordinate and consult on the Miller-Driscoll renovation project.