"I'm honored," Kirmil told the board. "I'm a longtime resident in Newtown, for about 28 years, and my four kids went through Newtown schools. Every one of them is successful, working hard, feeling good -- and we have grandchildren coming."
Kirmil joins the school as its second assistant principal, alongside former Reed Intermediate School teacher Timothy Napolitano. The unique arrangement was made possible by the $1.3 million SERV grant the district received earlier this summer.
The challenges facing Sandy Hook in the coming school year warranted the additional assistant principal, said Superintendent John Reed. As an interim position, Kirmil -- who is retired -- will serve for one year, to be paid for by the grant.
"When we initiated the search, frankly a lot of people were not willing to leave a guaranteed job for a job that could be for just a year," said Reed. "We did a little brainstorming and said maybe we ought to try to get a retired principal."
Reed said Kirmil's experience with full-day kindergarten will be a plus, since Newtown will be implementing the program.As a principal at Bethel's Rockwell School for nearly two decades, Kirmil had time to get to know his counterpart -- incoming principal Dr. Kathleen Gombos, former principal of Bethel's Johnson School.
Kirmil said he'd worked closely with Gombos during his time in Bethel.
"My job will be to support her and take a constant barometer of children in the community," he told the Board of Education. "I hope that's what I can bring to the job for you."
The Board of Education also promoted NHS teacher Matthew Childs to the position of Assistant High School Principal.
"His contribution to the district’s development of a strategic plan highlighted his instructional and program knowledge, his commitment to and positive relationships with students, and his understanding of the community," wrote Principal Charles Dumais on his blog. "Mr. Child’s interpersonal skills and demonstration of strong adaptive leadership skills are examples of the traits that make him highly qualified to assume the responsibilities of Assistant Principal."
Dumais said Childs was one of five finalists selected for the position by a panel of teachers, administrators, staff and a parent.