New Canaan High School Principal Bryan Luizzi has been named interim superintendent of schools, the Board of Education announced in a press release Tuesday.

Luizzi will replace Mary Kolek, who is retiring June 30.

"We sought to build upon what Dr. Kolek and the school district have created," Board of Education Chairman Hazel Hobbs said in the release. "We are excited to have an interim superintendent who can lead our high-performing school district in the continuous pursuit of excellence. Dr. Luizzi is an experienced leader with the skills and passion required to lead the district."

The board unanimously approved the appointment at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Luizzi has 18 years of experience in education, serving the last three years as the high school principal.

"I am honored to be chosen by the board for this exciting opportunity," he said in the release. "I feel it is essential for an interim superintendent to engage in a collaborative fashion with the school board, community, administrators and staff to ensure a productive and successful school year. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to the great work that the New Canaan Public Schools will continue to accomplish going forward."

The Board of Education will determine the process to fill the permanent superintendent position in the fall. Director of Human Resources Gary Kass immediately will begin the process to appoint an interim principal for New Canaan High School, according to the press release.

Luizzi, who lives in Brookfield, began his career at Newtown High School as an English teacher, according to the press release.

The board appointed itself as the search committee for a new superintendent March 17, a week after Kolek announced she would retire from the position at the end of the school year. Kolek, who replaced Superintendent David Abbey in July 2012, is moving to North Carolina, where her family lives.

Luizzi progressed through a number of administrative positions in the Brookfield school system, culminating in his appointment as the principal of Brookfield High School, a position he held for five years, Hobbs said in the press release.

"Dr. Luizzi has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the core beliefs and vision that define and guide the New Canaan Public Schools," Kolek said in the release. "His strong working knowledge of the culture and strengths of the district and community will allow him, working in concert with the board and leadership team, to enhance, expand and create initiatives designed to support and grow student well being and success. That Dr. Luizzi is willing to assume this responsibility on behalf of the community says much about his professionalism, work ethic and dedication to New Canaan. I am confident his leadership will invigorate and inspire students, staff and families as together all pursue next generation educational goals."

-- Nelson Oliveira