Larry Schmiegel, principal of Key West High School for the past few years, is leaving at the end of the month to take a superintendent job in Watertown, New York.

Dave Perkins, a longtime assistant principal, teacher and track coach at Key West High School, has been appointed interim principal, Superintendent Theresa Axford announced this week.

“We greatly appreciate Dave Perkins’ willingness to assume the role of Interim Principal of Key West High School,” Axford said in a statement. “His extensive experience at the school guarantees that we will have a successful completion of the school year. 

“We wish Dr. Schmiegel great success in his new role and appreciate his service to the Monroe County School District,” Axford added.

Schmiegel came to the Florida Keys in 2016 from New York state, where he earned two master’s degrees, a doctorate,and state certifications to be both principal and superintendent.

He was principal of Poinciana Elementary School in Key West from 2016 until 2021, when he was tapped to lead Key West High School.

A report from ABC50 , a northern New York-based news outlet, states that Schmiegel was selected from among three finalists for the Watertown City School District superintendent position.

“Each candidate participated in a series of sessions with the Watertown City School District’s staff, students and community during the recruitment process,” the report states.

“Schmiegel is currently a high school principal at Monroe County School District in Key West, Florida. He previously served as an administrator in the Syracuse City School District and Oswego City School District,” the New York report states. “He is originally from Chittenango, New York.”

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.