"I have been fortunate to be the assistant principal of Holmes Elementary School for six years, and my time in Darien has made a considerable contribution to my personal and professional development," Carley wrote in his March 12 letter of resignation to interim Superintendent of Schools Lynne Pierson.
On March 26, Carley sent a letter to the parents of Holmes Elementary School students explaining why he was leaving at the end of the year.
"Throughout my years as an educator and coach, I have realized that a need exists for at-risk youth to have access to networks that connect the dots between home, school and community in such a way that supports the whole child," Carley wrote. For the past five years, Carley has worked with a group of youth leaders and educators to dive deeper into the issues surrounding at-risk students and developed a non-profit oragnization that supports those students.
Carley, 37, currently serves as the director of REACH Ascension -- Resiliency Empathy Acceptance Confidence Hope -- which seeks to help underprivileged children in Newtown, and plans to expand into the Greater Danbury area. Carley is the director and executive director of PEAK -- Promoting Excellence in All Kids -- a subgroup of REACH, as well as a REACH curriculum co-leader.
The organization develops individual academic programs for students beyond the normal school day.
"Our program has grown faster than we anticipated it would, and at this time I realize that it is now necessary for me to commit to it full time," Carley wrote. "As I have never wanted to feel that I am not giving 100 percent to the people who rely on me, I have decided that it is time for me to make the difficult decision to move on from the Holmes School."
Pierson said that Carley's departure is Darien's loss.
"In the brief time that I have been in Darien, I certainly very quickly came to have profound respect for Mr. Carley and for his work," Pierson, who joined the district in November, said. "He is extremely knowledgeable, in my opinion, is kind, is caring about the children and he communicated well with everyone -- children, parents and teachers."
Carley, who lives in Newtown, joined the Darien Public Schools for the 2008-09 school year. Prior to that, he taught in the Sherman school district.
"Over the years, I have had the opportunity to develop strong relationships with so many of you and your children," Carley wrote. "I so value these relationships and that is why I write to you now with very mixed emotions. I know logically that it is time for me to make my vision happen, but it is not easy for me to say goodbye to a community about whom I care so deeply."
Carley and Holmes Principal Paula Bleakley could not be reached for comment.
It is not known when a posting for the position will be made available on the district website.
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