Schools Chief Jones Appoints New Principal at ISD

On Tuesday Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones announced the appointment of Dana Firmender as principal of the International School at Dundee, effective July 1.

Firmender replaces Teresa Ricci, who announced her pending retirement in February after 43 years of devoted service, including 19 years as ISD principal.

Firmender is currently the assistant principal at Trumbull Public School’s Hillcrest Middle School, a position she has held since 2019.

“Ms. Firmender will be a wonderful addition to Greenwich Public Schools and the entire International School of Dundee community,” Dr. Jones said in a release. “Our students and staff will find her to be a responsive, mindful, and dynamic administrator, continuing to uphold the culture of leading students toward becoming life-long learners and responsible citizens of the world.” 

As an assistant principal at Hillcrest MS, Firmender has a wide-array of responsibilities leading and supporting the entire school community, including teacher evaluation, managing student behaviors, scheduling, co-leading the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program, and administrating the Response to Intervention process.

“I am overjoyed and honored to be joining the Greenwich community as principal of the International School at Dundee,” Firmender said in the release. “I look forward to meeting our wonderful students, their supportive families, and the talented staff of ISD in the days, weeks, and months ahead. I am excited to begin working together to cultivate academic excellence and foster social-emotional wellness for all.”

Firmender has served in a variety of roles over the past 16 years in K-12+ education, including as a Grade 5 literacy program coordinator, a Grade 3 Extended School Year special education instructor, and a K-12 vocabulary coordinator. In 2021, she was selected to serve as an interim principal at Booth Hill Elementary in Trumbull on a short-term basis and has been actively involved in Trumbull serving as team member of the Student Intervention, School Climate, and Professional Development/Teacher Evaluation Committees.

For 12 years, Firmender was an English teacher at Monroe Public Schools’ Masuk High School, where she taught both Advanced Placement and Remedial Language Arts. In addition, she has served as an adjunct instructor for Housatonic Community College.

Firmender is a certified K-12 special education teacher, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from Central Connecticut State University, a master’s in British Literature from Southern Connecticut State University, a Sixth-Year Degree in Educational Leadership from Sacred Heart University, and a K-12 Professional Educator Certificate in Special Education from the Capitol Region Education Council.