The Bethel Public Schools is pleased to announce our newly appointed Principal of Bethel Middle School, Mr. Nicholas DaPonte. Mr. DaPonte was appointed to the position left vacant by Mr. Derek Muharem who recently has accepted a position in another district.
Mr. DaPonte was selected from a pool of over 40 qualified applicants. The following qualities distinguished his candidacy:
- knowledge of curriculum and instruction
- strategic thinker who has a clear vision of what an effective middle school model should be to ensure our students are college and/or career ready
- expertise in the intervention process; standards based grading; implementation of a 1:1 (1 student to 1 devise) model; effective academic and social emotional programs for the middle school student
- experience in providing teachers effective feedback on instructional practices in a coaching and supportive manner
- professional presence, communication skills, and attention to detail
- rapport with staff, students, and parents
For the past four years, Mr. DaPonte has worked as the Assistant Principal and Interim Principal of Dag Hammarskjold Middle School in Wallingford, Connecticut. Previous to that he taught Social Studies at Amity Middle School for nine years where he also held several leadership roles. Mr. DaPonte’s experiences at Dag Middle School enabled him to shape educational policy to the betterment of students and staff. Some of these experiences included working with the Parent SEE program, being awarded the 3M Ingenuity Grant, implementing Rachel’s Challenge programing, coordinating SBAC testing, providing professional development for the new teacher evaluation system, implementing the use of wallingfordschools.org (Google Drive and Chrome Books), rolling out mastery-based learning, and most recently working to implement Responsive Advisory based on the philosophies of Responsive Classroom.
Mr. DaPonte has earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music with a Minor in History from Western Connecticut State University, Master’s Degree in Teaching from Quinnipiac University, and lastly a 6th Year Degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University.
We are confident that Mr. DaPonte will continue to move Bethel Middle School in a positive direction with a goal of continuing to foster excellence in curricular and extra-curricular programs and look forward to having him join the Bethel Public Schools, effective July 1, 2016.