Fourteen retire from Wilton schools

A number of employees will not be returning to Wilton’s public schools next year.

Fourteen Wilton Public School employees have retired as of June 30, including Ann Paul, the district’s first-ever assistant superintendent of special services, who worked in the school district for more than 20 years.

The 13 other retirees include two from Miller-Driscoll, three from Cider Mill, three from Middlebrook, and five from Wilton High School.

Miller-Driscoll and Cider Mill

Miller-Driscoll retirees include classroom teacher Robyn Reeves and Assistant Principal Sheelah Brown , who retired in November after nearly 30 years at the school.

Cider Mill reading teacher MaryEllen Higgins and classroom teachers Francis Coomaraswamy and Kathy Wilson have retired.

Coomaraswamy said it has been his “good fortune” to have had the opportunity to work with children and families in Wilton and “an incredible group of colleagues.”


Middlebrook’s three retirees are speech-language pathologist Sharon Jaffe, paraprofessional Beverly Tartaglia and language arts teacher Heather Candels, who will be retiring from school teaching and moving to Minnesota to focus on writing.

“I needed a new challenge and some time and space to explore other facets of myself,” said Candels, who worked at Middlebrook for 30 years.

While she will not miss standardized testing, Candels said, she will miss the students at Middlebrook.

“The kids have been so much fun to work with. I especially loved watching them discover their own voices through poetry,” she said.

“Middle school kids — believe it or not — are a blast to be with, even when they are driving you crazy.”

Thanks to her time at the middle school, Candels said, she made “incredible friends” and will miss being part of such a “wonderful” community.

Wilton High School

Two of the high school’s retirees are from the music department — musical director and choral conductor Betsey DeGroff and music teacher Marshall Meade.

Other retirees include instructional leader Eileen Foley, math teacher Steve Bell, and art teacher Mildred “Rusty” Hurd.

Bell retired from teaching in Connecticut, but is taking a teaching position in a small town in Colorado.

“I love the teachers and students at Wilton High School and I will miss them all,” he said. “Wilton High is a wonderful school.”

Bell has lived in Wilton with his wife for 18 years and his children have gone through the school system.

“We love Wilton, but all our children have graduated and departed for the wide, wide world,” he said, “so my wife and I have decided to have a new adventure in Colorado.”

Hurd said she “thought it was time” to retire after 42 years in the Wilton school district.

When she was first hired, Hurd taught at Miller-Driscoll School for six years. Then, after “several years of parental leave,” she started working at Wilton High School.

While she won’t miss the stress of work, Hurd said, she will miss “the wonderful art students, the supportive community who felt that the arts were a vital part of a Wilton education, the administration who supported the Fine and Performing Arts Department and all of our initiatives, the wonderful talented and creative teachers at Wilton High School, and my art staff.”