Hess named interim principal of Miller-Driscoll

Wiltonian Bernadette Hess has been named the interim principal of Miller-Driscoll School. She will replace Cheryl Jensen-Gerner, who announced her Dec. 13 retirement as principal of the elementary school in October.

Hess is a former Wilton interim administrator, who served as interim assistant principal at Cider Mill when the late and former principal Virginia “Ginny” Rico was on leave.

She has four children currently in Wilton's public schools — two at Cider Mill and two at Middlebrook — and numerous years of classroom and educational administration experience in public and private schools.

Hess has a bachelor's degree in economics and elementary education from the University of Richmond and a master's in educational leadership and administration from New York University.

According to her LinkedIn, Hess recently served as an admissions associate at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in Bronx, N.Y., where she also served as interim assistant principal from 2000 to 2001.

She was assistant principal at Saxe Middle School in New Canaan, from 2001 to 2003; a first grade teacher and staff developer at William Fox Model Elementary School in Richmond, Va., from 1997 to 2000; and a kindergarten teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, from 1994 to 1997.

Hess has participated in long-range planning for the Wilton school district and even worked part-time in the special services department at one point.

As a former Miller-Driscoll parent, Hess has connections to a number of staff members at the elementary school.

“Beyond her qualifications, experience, and connections to the community, what I find so compelling about Bernadette is her very infectious positive attitude and demeanor,” Superintendent Kevin Smith stated in this week’s News from the Schools newsletter.

“She presents as being genuinely student-centered and I believe the Miller-Driscoll community will find her to be a most welcome presence.”

Smith said Hess was “highly recommended” and “stood out among the other applicants.”

Hess began her first day as interim Miller-Driscoll principal on Monday, Dec. 14.

On Tuesday, Dec. 22, students and staff at Miller-Driscoll will say good-bye and celebrate their retiring principal at 9:15 and 10:15 a.m.