The founding principal of Danbury’s alternative high school, the Alternative Center for Excellence, has died. Joe Pepin passed away January 14th at age 85. He also taught math, and was named Teacher of the Year in 1996. Pepin served on community groups, including Danbury Common Council, Exchange Club of Danbury, Catholic War Veterans Post and Beaver Brook Volunteer Fire Company, among others. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He will be laid to rest today. ACE was created after the race riots at Danbury High School in the 1970s to better support the individual needs of students who face challenges or trauma that prevents them from succeeding at the traditional high school. The school opened in 1977.