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NPS Names New SoNo Neighborhood School Principal; K. Asmani, DeVellis and Jackson Announce Departures

NPS Names New SoNo Neighborhood School Principal; K. Asmani, DeVellis and Jackson Announce Departures
Emily Morgan

Norwalk Public Schools Names Amaris Melendez As the New South Norwalk Neighborhood School Principal; K. Asmani, DeVellis and Jackson Announce Departures

Norwalk Public Schools is happy to announce Amaris Melendez as the new principal of the South Norwalk Neighborhood School. She most recently served as Norwalk Public Schools’ Director of Early Childhood.

During its first year, Melendez worked closely with families and staff at the South Norwalk School, helping to establish a warm and welcoming environment for the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. The school will add one more grade level this fall, enrolling students up to first grade.

“We are excited to see Ms. Melendez transition into this new position following her great work for the district and her prior experience. She has shown great enthusiasm for the South Norwalk Neighborhood School and has worked well with the students, staff and families to make them feel welcome and appreciated,” said Dr. Alexandra Estrella, Superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools.

Melendez brings 15 years of educational work experience to her new role. Prior to her arrival in Norwalk, Melendez worked in several districts across the New York City Department of Education. 

From 2018 to 2021, she served as the Early Childhood Education Administrator in District 4, an underserved community in East Harlem, Manhattan. She piloted New York City’s first-ever initiative to provide full-day quality care to students as young as 2.9 years old. Melendez also served as the Pre-K Site Coordinator for District 2, located in Manhattan, from 2016 to 2018.

Melendez began her teaching career at P.S. 094, an elementary school in Brooklyn. She taught for seven years then served as an instructional coach her final year. The school offered dual language programs in Spanish and Chinese, both designed to promote biliterate, bilingual and bicultural student communities.

Melendez received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She then earned a master’s degree in Childhood Urban Education from Long Island University, Brooklyn and a master’s degree in School Leadership and Supervision from College of Saint Rose.

Norwalk Public Schools will also begin a search for a new principal at Nathan Hale Middle School following an announcement by Eric Jackson on Thursday, July 6 that he is leaving the district. Jackson had served as the principal since 2021.

In a message to his school community, Jackson said he’s been “fortunate enough to work alongside some fantastic teachers, staff, students and families and, together, we have been able to accomplish some incredible things. I would like to thank everyone for all their hard work and dedication to each other and hope to see the Nathan Hale community continue to grow and make strides in the future.”

Norwalk Public Schools also wants to thank the assistant principals at Roton Middle School and Rowayton Elementary School, Joe DeVellis and Katina Asmani, respectively, for their service to the district. The district wishes a happy retirement to DeVellis, who dedicated 25 years to Norwalk Public Schools, and congratulations to Asmani on her promotion to a principal role outside of Norwalk.