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New Canaan Teacher Is Named Principal of Bethel Elementary School

New Canaan Public Schools' K-5 math coordinator Danielle Legnard has been named principal of an elementary school in Bethel.


By Aaron Boyd.

Danielle Legnard, a longtime Bethel resident and 18-year veteran of New Canaan Public Schools has been appointed as the new principal of Frank A. Berry Elementary School, effective July 1.

Forty-six candidates applied for the Berry School principalship after the former principal, Dr. Kristen Brooks, was named assistant superintendent in May. After a review of applications, nine candidates were put forward for three rounds of interviews, with Legnard eventually coming out on top. 

Legnard began her career as an elementary classroom teacher. Recognized for her exemplary work in the classroom, she was promoted in 2001 to Literacy Specialist and then to Math Specialist. In these roles, Legnard was responsible for developing the curriculum, providing professional development to staff, and supporting teachers in the classroom.  

In 2012, she was promoted to K-5 Math Coordinator for New Canaan Public Schools. Legnard expanded her responsibilities and supervised the district Elementary Mathematics Team, supervised the district mathematics specialists, provided coaching and support to classroom teachers and also served as a member of the district Student Study Team and Response to Intervention Team. She was instrumental in improving New Canaan’s practices for examining student work and developing protocols to implement interventions. She was responsible for aligning the mathematics curriculum to Common Core Standards and participated on the State Network of Educators Digital Library Team for the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  

Legnard is an accomplished author. She has published several articles including “The Math Promise: Celebrating math at home and school;” “Mathematical Mind Journeys: Awakening minds to computational fluency;” “Empowering Teachers;” and “Math Workshop: The recipe for every young mathematician’s appetite.”  

She was a nominee for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and serves as an adjunct professor and program developer at Sacred Heart University for the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Mathematics and Science program. 

Legnard earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Manhattanville College, a Masters of Arts in Elementary of Education from Sacred Heart University, and a Sixth Year Degree in Educational Leadership also from Sacred Heart.  

“Danielle’s passion, values, expertise, and very clear and evident desire to serve children here in Bethel lead to her selection as the candidate for the Berry School principalship,” outgoing Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith said. “Throughout the selection process Danielle kept returning to the theme of collaborating on behalf of children. She demonstrated a commitment to do whatever it takes to help all children succeed and an openness to life-long learning that is critical for any school leader in today’s world. Ms. Legnard will be a strong fit for Berry School and for Bethel Public Schools.”

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