Ridgefield wins ‘principal jackpot’ in hiring Darien educator for Ridgebury Elementary School

Mary Scalise

Mary Scalise

Contributed

RIDGEFIELD — The Ridgefield schools have hired a new principal from Darien for Ridgebury Elementary School.

The new principal, Mary Scalise, comes to Ridgefield from Middlesex Middle School in Darien, where she served as assistant principal for nearly four years.

Scalise has worked for Darien Public Schools since 2006 in other roles, including department chair for special services and school psychologist in the elementary and middle schools.

“My resume may not portray my deep passion for meeting children where they are and helping them move in a positive direction,” Scalise said in a statement. “I pride myself in my dedication to meet the needs of the whole child while supporting teachers, service providers, and specialists to create learning environments that allow each individual to grow, be challenged, and nurtured.”

Scalise, who will replace Principal Jamie Palladino, will begin her new position Aug. 1. Palladino, who has been principal for 11 years, is moving on to another position within the district.

“I am excited and humbled to be selected as the next principal of Ridgebury Elementary School. Through the comprehensive interview process, it became clear that the Ridgefield Board of Education, district leadership, building-based staff, and community value social and emotional learning, supporting all learners, and ensuring academic rigor. My professional interests and beliefs align with these values,” Scalise said in a statement.

Scott McCarthy, program director for special education and student services for Darien Public Schools, praised Scalise, as well.

“Ms. Scalise is a consummate educational leader and holds the distinction of being one of the most talented, hard-working, and student-centered administrators with whom I have had the privilege to work with in my career,” he said in a statement. “She is respected and adored by the many families and colleagues with whom she works, and her ability to be a system-based thinker and leader while compassionately addressing the unique needs of every learner is unparalleled. The Ridgebury Elementary School community has won the principal jackpot.”

Ridgefield Schools Superintendent Susie Da Silva recognized Scalise’s experience.

“Ms. Scalise’s four years as an assistant principal, five years as a special education leader, and eight years as a school psychologist make her uniquely qualified to lead Ridgebury Elementary,” Da Silva said. “She has so much experience and shares the district’s commitment to students and families.”