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Greenwich Educator Drops Out Of Race For Principal At Staples

Shelley Somers will remain in her past as principal at Greenwich's Central Middle School.
Shelley Somers will remain in her past as principal at Greenwich's Central Middle School. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- An educator from Greenwich who was a finalist for the job of principal at Staples High School in Westport unexpectedly dropped out of consideration for the post a week after a premature announcement said she had taken the job, according to the Greenwich Free Press.

On Tuesday, May 19, the Greenwich Public Schools released a statement congratulating Central Middle School Principal Shelley Somers on accepting the position at Staples.

But the next morning, Westport Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon said the Greenwich schools had jumped the gun and released the statement in error .

The Westeport search committee had unanimously advised Landon to recommend Somers as the replacement for John Dodig, who is retiring.

As part of the hiring process, Somers met with members of the community and the Westport Board of Education on Tuesday, May 26.

According to WestportNow.com , Somers faced harsh questioning from parents and others at that meeting. She came under fire for an incident 15 years ago when she accidentally left a sleeping child alone in a van for 45 minutes while other children from the day care center she operated attended a stage performance.

Somers was briefly suspended from her position at Central Middle School in 2011 after media reports brought that incident to light. She was reinstated after an investigation.

In an email to Central Middle School parents Wednesday, Somers said she had withdrawn her application in Westport, according to the Greenwich Free Press . The email, in part, said:

"After a long day yesterday at Staples High School, I have withdrawn my name for consideration for the principal position. As I talked with the various groups of stakeholders in Westport, I realized how important Central and Greenwich are to me," according to the Free Press.

Somers, who has been principal at Central since 2009, was recently named Connecticut PTA Middle School Principal of the Year .

Dodig, who has been the principal of Staples High School for the last 11 years, is retiring at the end of the school year.

Click here to read the full story from WestportNow. Click here to the read the full story from the Greenwich Free Press.

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