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Retired Waterford High principal Macrino named interim headmaster at St. Bernard

By Tess Townsend

Published June 03. 2014 10:06PM   Updated June 03. 2014 11:56PM

Montville — Retirement has been anything but leisurely for Donald Macrino, who departed from his position as principal of Waterford High School at the end of the 2013 school year.

Following stints as interim principal at schools in Norwich and North Stonington, Macrino is taking the helm as interim headmaster at St. Bernard School.

“I’ve been familiar with St. Bernard’s. They have a philosophy that’s very endearing,” said Macrino. He said the school’s desire to serve the community and help others is “enticing.”

A June 3 letter from the bishop of Norwich, the Most Rev. Michael R. Cote, to the St. Bernard community says that the school’s Board of Directors “was not successful in securing a long-term replacement” to fill the head of school position opening July 1, after headmaster Thomas J. Doherty III steps down.

Doherty announced earlier this year that he would be resigning after three years in the position.

St. Bernard’s Director of Communications Michael Strammiello said that while some applicants “came close,” none were quite right for the school so the search for a permanent headmaster would continue.

He said Macrino was an intuitive choice as an interim because of his established relationship with the Diocese of Norwich, the diocese in which the Catholic school is located. Macrino has served on the Diocesan Review Board.

“He knows the church well; the church knows him well,” said Strammiello.

Macrino said he started his career as a teacher at New London High School when he was 22. Since that time, he has served as dean of students at New London High School, principal of Clark Lane Middle School, and most recently as principal of Waterford High School.

Macrino, 63, said that following retirement after 16 years at Waterford High, he spent two months as an interim principal at Veterans Memorial School in Norwich and is completing just over a semester as interim principal at Wheeler High School. He also served one term on the New London City Council.

He has a master’s in education from Sacred Heart University and was named Connecticut Principal of the Year in 2008, according to the June 3 letter.

“I’ve known retired principals who have continued to work 10 or 15 years after they’ve retired, so I’m not sure how to define retirement,” said Macrino.

Macrino said that it is “really preliminary to speculate” about whether his interim position could turn permanent, and said that “as it stands” the Board of Directors has only asked him to serve in an interim capacity.

“I’m just really excited about it. I’ve had a great career that’s given me a lot of pleasure and to be able to continue it in that community is really just a gift,” said Macrino.

Cote states in the letter that the search for a long-term head of school will begin again in late fall.

t.townsend@theday.com

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