New Milford High School's loss will be Brookfield High School's gain when Marc Balanda, an NMHS assistant principal, takes over soon as principal at Brookfield High.

Balanda, who was hired in March, said he is ecstatic to join the Brookfield school system.

He will finish the school year in New Milford and start his new position July 1.

"When I started my administrative career years ago in Watertown, I knew I wanted to be a principal some day," Balanda said. "Then when I was interim principal for a while in New Milford this school year, it cemented my goal."

New Milford's superintendent of schools, JeanAnn Paddyfote, has high praise for the soon-to-depart administrator.

"In less than three years in New Milford, Mr. Balanda has made enduring contributions to our district," she said. "He is a highly visible, approachable administrator who is well respected by students, staff and parents."

In Brookfield, Balanda will replace Mark Jewett, who took a one-year assignment as interim principal in September after Joseph Palumbo left at the end of the 2013-14 school year to take a job in New York.

Palumbo was Brookfield's principal for three years.

Balanda came to NMHS in 2012 as assistant principal. In December 2014, he served as interim principal during Principal Greg Shugrue's absence.

Brookfield interim Superintendent of Schools Ralph Iassogna said he believes Balanda "will be a very good match for Brookfield given his eight years' experience as an assistant principal."

Iassogna said he views New Milford as a similar community to Brookfield.

Brookfield Board of Education Chairman Scott McCarthy said Balanda "rose to the top" of the candidate pool.

"We were very impressed with his background and experience," McCarthy said. "He seems to be a good fit for working with our school and our board."

Balanda started his career at Danbury High School as a science teacher. In 2007, he was hired as an assistant principal at Watertown High School.

"Brookfield is a great community," Balanda said. "I'm a Danbury resident, so this is a home run for me."

Balanda said working with Shugrue has been an "excellent experience."

The outpouring of congratulations and support he received from his colleagues at New Milford High School reinforced his belief it has been a great place to work, he said.

During his tenure at NMHS, Balanda has served as co-chairman of the local New England Association of Schools and Colleges committee to help prepare for NMHS' May accreditation visit.

He also served on the teacher and administrator evaluation committee.

Balanda received his bachelor's degree in secondary science education and master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Connecticut.

He received his sixth year certificate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Bridgeport.

Balanda also holds a provisional educator certificate in intermediate administration and supervision from the state Department of Education.

"This is the next logical career move for Mr. Balanda, and we have mixed emotions: happy for his appointment and sad about his departure. He is most deserving of this principalship," Paddyfote said.

stuz@newstimes.com; 203-731-3352