SPRINGFIELD - Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell of the Diocese of Springfield has appointed Dalton resident Amy R. Gelinas as the new principal of St. Joseph Central High School in Pittsfield.

She will begin her duties immediately with the start of the new academic year. Students return to classes on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Since 1998, she has been a science teacher at Nessacus Regional Middle School in Dalton. Prior to that she taught science for nine years at the former Searles Middle School in Great Barrington.

Gelinas earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the former North Adams State College, now Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She went on to earn a doctorate in the field of secondary education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

She obtained further training in academic administration from the Hampshire Educational Collaborative in Northampton.

Gelinas and her husband, Al, are the parents of five children, and they have utilized Catholic education as parents and grandparents. They are parishioners of St. Agnes Parish in Dalton.

In accepting this appointment, Dr. Gelinas stated that she is "passionate about educating our students with the skills and attributes necessary to prepare them for the 21st century."

A statement from the diocese says Gelinas was appointed after an "extensive summer-long review of candidates conducted by members of the St. Joseph Central High Board of Directors with assistance from the Diocesan Schools Office.


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Franciscan Sister of St. Joseph M. Andrea Ciszewski, diocesan superintendent of schools, thanked interim principal Lillian Quinn for managing and preparing the school for the start of the new academic year.

"We are thankful for her constant devotion, unwavering dedication and outstanding commitment in attending to the responsibilities of interim principal," said Ciszewski.

Quinn will resume her position as academic dean at St. Joe.