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Mendonsa

PITTSFIELD — A search committee has selected two educators with local ties as the finalists for the role of Pittsfield Public Schools deputy superintendent.

The district announced Tuesday that Marisa Mendonsa and Beth Gannon are the finalists for the position after almost a week-and-a-half of interviews and consultations with the search committee. The School Committee is expected to interview the finalists within the next two weeks.

Officials had planned to announce finalists July 23, but they took an additional business day to finalize their decision. The date of the next step in the search process is set to be announced Friday.

The deputy superintendent position is currently filled on an interim basis by Pittsfield High School Principal Henry Duval, who assumed the position in November.

Mendonsa is the principal at Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Shelburne Falls. In April, Mendonsa was considered as a finalist for the superintendent’s position, which School Committee members ultimately awarded to Joseph Curtis.

School Committee members said at the time that they liked Mendonsa’s application but were concerned that she wasn’t yet ready for the superintendent role.

Mendonsa, a graduate of Pittsfield High School, is pursuing her doctorate of education at American University. She has a certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership and a master’s in education in multicultural, bilingual and English as a second language from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Her accolades include a 2017 Education Policy Fellowship with the Institute for Educational Leadership and an award for the New England Multicultural Teacher of the Year in 2010. Along with the position at Mohawk Trail, Mendonsa has served as the principal at Amherst Regional Middle School and John J. Duggan Middle School in Springfield.

Mendonsa started her career as a Teach for America teacher in Rocky Mount, N.C., in 1997.

Gannon is a former principal of St. Mark Middle School in Pittsfield.

Beth Gannon

Gannon

She is the principal at Margaret L. Donovan Elementary School in Randolph. Alongside that role, Gannon has worked evenings as an adjunct professor at the American International College in Springfield and at UMass-Boston, focusing primarily on teaching future educators about math curriculum.

Gannon started her career in 1999, as an applied math and reading teacher in Philadelphia Public Schools. Gannon’s resume says that she received the Catholic Schools Principal Award in 2004 and the Catholic Schools Alumni Award in 2003.

Gannon has a Master of Education in educational administration from UMass-Amherst. She is a doctorate candidate in educational administration at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The candidates were selected after multiple days of interviews and discussions with the 14-member deputy superintendent search committee.

The district received 11 applicants, five of whom were men. Nine of the applicants self-identified as white.

Meg Britton-Mehlisch can be reached at mbritton@berkshireeagle.com.