In early July, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School at 225 Danbury Road in Wilton welcomed Stan Steele as its new principal.
Before coming to Our Lady of Fatima, Steele was a public school principal in Tarrytown, N.Y., for 10 years. An experienced administrator, Steele began his teaching career as a Catholic school teacher and said he was interested in going back into Catholic school education.
When applying to the Diocese of Bridgeport for the Our Lady of Fatima principal position, Steele said, “it turned out I knew one of the people on the search committee from previous experiences.
“I had a team interview and my references screened — the usual interview process,” he said.
Before officially becoming Our Lady of Fatima’s new principal, Steele said, he informally met with parents and members of the school community in the spring.
Steele said getting to know the Our Lady of Fatima community has been a “great” and “fantastic” experience.
“Our Lady of Fatima has been in Wilton since 1962, and it has a long tradition of providing quality education,” he said.
“As I was introduced to the community, I met people who have gone through and loved the school and had such positive experiences here. It’s been humbling.”
Steele said the community is “very supportive” and he has enjoyed getting to know the “great teaching staff, parents and parish.”
“I’m blessed to be here,” he said.
Steele, who lives in Tarrytown with his wife and six children, once lived in Ridgefield for 10 years.
“I’ve always been fairly familiar with the town of Wilton and what a great community it is,” he said. “I’ve even had some interactions with Our Lady of Fatima Church.”
As Our Lady of Fatima School’s new principal, Steele said, he wants to build on the school’s pre-existing strengths, including its sense of community and already strong academic program.
To build on the school’s sense of community, Steele said, he’s started a group for parents of young infants that meets Wednesday mornings.
“It’s open for all parents with young kids,” he said, “and they have time to talk to each other and things like that.”
As the new principal, Steele said, he is also trying to “get a handle on all the different activities” at the school and publishes a newsletter to “facilitate good communication between all the different sections and activities going on on a weekly basis.”
As for academics, Steele said, “the program here is strong and always has been,” but he is working to make it even stronger.
This summer, the school added a STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — component to its second- through fifth-grade curriculum.
“Now, second through eighth graders all have a STEM class once a week, where they work with Lego Robotics, do hands-on activities, and even do a little coding to get the robotics to move,” said Steele.
Making technology a priority is key in equipping Our Lady of Fatima students with the 21st-Century skills needed to prepare them to become global citizens, said Steele.
“Giving our students a range of experiences is a high priority so that they can be ready for these amazing times they live in,” he said.
To learn more about Our Lady of Fatima School, visit olfcatholic.org.