Principal of Deans Mill School in Stonington takes job in Guilford

Stonington — Deans Mill School Principal Doug Hammel announced Tuesday he is leaving the school to become a middle school principal in Guilford beginning in August.

In an email to families of students, he said he accepted the job Monday night to be the principal of Baldwin Middle School.

“Like (Stonington Public Schools), Guilford Public Schools has a reputation for excellence in the educational experience it provides to their students. I am looking forward to bringing the experience and skill I have developed at Deans Mill School over the past five years to this new position,” he wrote.

He wrote that his time at Deans Mill has been “absolutely fantastic.

“I can truly say that I have enjoyed being part of the Deans Mill School community each day for the last five school years. I have been blessed to work with some amazing and very talented, hard working people,” he wrote. “In addition to the excellent staff, the students and families I have worked with have been truly outstanding. The level of parent/family support at DMS is something that is special and unique. You cannot ask more of a parent community.”

Hammel, who began at the school in 2009, said Tuesday that the new position allows him to be closer to his home in Clinton and gain experience with a different grade level. Baldwin Middle is a fifth- and sixth-grade school.

“Guilford, like Stonington, has a great reputation as a very progressive district,” he said. “It was a good fit both ways.”

He said he’s loved working in Stonington.

“Deans Mill has been fantastic. It’s been a great five years,” he said.

Hammel is known for his collection of colorful ties as well as for being a hands-on administrator who enjoys spending a lot of time with students.

Hammel, a 1985 New London High School graduate who graduated with a business degree from the University of Connecticut, spent the first part of his career working in New York City’s financial district before making a career change.

He began his teaching career in Stonington, completing his internship at Stonington High School in the 1994-95 school year.

He then taught eight years at the Juliet W. Long School in Gales Ferry before becoming a principal at Salem School. He later spent one year as a principal at an elementary school in North Branford before replacing Kelly Spooner at Deans Mill.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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