New Canaan Principal Tony Pavia has announced he is taking a job as the principal of Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

"An opportunity has presented itself which, in a sense, brings me back to my roots," Pavia said in a letter to students today. "Today it will be announced that I have accepted a job as the principal of Trinity Catholic High School."

In the letter, Pavia recalled his time as a student in Trinity Catholic, from where he graduated in 1972. His reasons for taking the position involve certain tragedies and hardships the school as suffered over the past year.

"Within the past year [Trinity Catholic] suffered the passing of a well-respected assistant principal and then, shortly after, a beloved principal," Pavia said. "It is now time for me to repay a debt and give back to the school that did so much for me. This is not a decision simply to continue working. It is a special opportunity for me to give back to a place that has played such an important part in my life."

Trinity Catholic itself is a small private school with only 400 students comprising the student body. Pavia says in addition to being Principal he may even have the opportunity to teach a class.

On Nov. 12, Pavia announced he was leaving his post as principal of New Canaan High School at the end of the year. With more than 34 years in education and 15 years as a principal, nine of which were in New Canaan, Pavia did not rule out the possibility of being principal somewhere else in November but he did sound doubtful.

"I do not intend to quit working, stay at home and golf or knit all day long," Pavia said in a letter to parents in November. "If an opportunity arises where I can help a school through a tough time, I will pursue it but I do feel that my days as a full-time principal are over."

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The Board of Education has been hard at working searching for Pavia's replacement since then but has not yet made a decision. Students, parents and faculty alike universally praised Pavia's tenure in New Canaan all year.

Barb Achenbaum, president of the PFA, then took the podium at a Board of Education meeting last year to honor Pavia. Besides stating the fact that the students love him and that test scores have increased, she stated another fact that she enjoyed the most.

"One thousand three hundred and fifty-one is the enrollment number at New Canaan High School this year, the most it has been in years," Achenbaum said. "Yet somehow, he still knows every single one of them by name."

Still, while Pavia will be starting as the new principal of Trinity Catholic this fall, he will still finish out the school year here in New Canaan and plans on maintaining the relationships he has developed here once he is gone.

"The good news is that I will be close by and easy to contact. Please be assured that my commitment to you does not end just because I am no longer in this building," he said. "There is not a week that goes by that I do not have contact with students in all of the schools in which I have worked. Maintaining these relationships has meant the world to me. Please be assured that I will always consider you an important part of my life."