DARIEN \u2014 Teachers could start getting the vaccine as early as next week, according to the town\u2019s Department of Health and the district\u2019s superintendent. The timing coincides with the last phase of Darien\u2019s secondary students returning to in-person learning on Monday. Despite the change, the leaders of the town and schools, both up for the vaccine in the next phase, say they will take a back seat on the list for those who need it first. Though he will be eligible as an educator and by age for the next round, Schools Superintendent Alan Addley said he will wait as those who work directly with children on a daily basis get vaccinated first. First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, also eligible beginning next week, said Tuesday that as long as there are others who need the vaccine and supplies are limited, she will wait. \u201cI\u2019m putting myself at the end of the line,\u201d she said. Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday the state will expand COVID-19 vaccination eligibility next month through defined age groups and to teachers, shifting priority away from essential workers and those with underlying medical conditions. While state officials touted the new plan as a more efficient way to ramp up vaccinations, the approach deviates from guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the CT Food Association and several labor unions, criticized the governor for leaving behind frontline essential workers and those with medical conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID complications. Under the new plan, people age 55 to 64 will next be eligible to receive the vaccine as of March 1. The state plans to make an exception for teachers, school workers and child care professionals, who will also be eligible to receive the vaccine next month at separate clinics, in schools wherever possible. Darien is running vaccine clinics at the Mather Community Center at Town Hall. Addley said a clinic will be set up there for teachers. He said several school employees have already been vaccinated, either due to their age or because they are medical workers. \u201cFrom what I have gathered, teachers are very excited that we will be eligible for the vaccine next week,\u201d said Joslyn DeLancey, who is head of Darien\u2019s teachers union and is a teacher at Tokeneke School. \u201cI won\u2019t speak for everyone as I haven\u2019t surveyed, but I will say that I personally will feel more comfortable in the classroom after having both doses of the vaccine,\u201d she said. DeLancey said the district has recently had more staff cases. \u201cAlthough we can\u2019t always directly link the cases to school exposure, we do think it to be true in some cases,\u201d she said. DeLancey said a vaccine for teachers and school staff is \u201ca huge step forward in getting back to some sort of normalcy and consistent in person learning for all.\u201d \u201cWe are hoping the town can get a clinic in place for teachers and other school employees in order to get us vaccinated as soon as possible,\u201d she said. Addley said he is working with town health director David Knauf to begin teachers\u2019 clinics next week through March. He said it will be held in the Mather gymnasium where the rest of the clinic is being held. \u201cIt is exciting for our teachers. They will get a bit of understandable security and comfort. It\u2019s also good for kids in the rest of the state who are currently not in school,\u201d Addley said. \u201cI\u2019m so glad the state has now seen teachers as a priority,\u201d he said. Addley said he intends to be \u201clast on the list\u201d though he will be eligible. \u201cI assure you I will not be in the front of everyone who works in the schools or goes to visit the schools,\u201d he said. Addley said he\u2019s glad to see the state has made educators a priority. \u201cThey deserve it,\u201d he said.