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A former engineer will guide Catholic schools in the Berkshires

Maria Wagner portrait photo

Maria P. Wagner will oversee Catholics schools in the four western counties of Massachusetts. 

SPRINGFIELD — A former engineer who changed careers has been appointed superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Springfield by Bishop William D. Byrne.

Maria P. Wagner, principal of St. Bernadette Catholic School in Hollywood, Fla., for nine years, has served in a variety of professions, including logistics, engineering, education and administration.

“I am very grateful that Ms. Wagner has accepted this new role as superintendent of Catholic schools,” Byrne said in a news release. “Her credentials, work experience and Catholic faith will no doubt continue our mission of providing a quality, faith-based education.”

She is expected to begin work by mid-April.

The diocese lists Daniel R. Baillargeon as its current superintendent of schools.

Wagner, who has also taught in Saudi Arabia, has served the archdiocese of Miami as a curriculum specialist, standardized testing coordinator, math subject leader and as a member of the Principals Action Committee. 

She was involved with accreditation team reviews for the Florida Catholic Conference and led the reaccreditation of St. Bernadette School in 2021.

Her teaching career began in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where she taught sixth grade, helped develop the science curriculum and presented at the Near East South Asia Teaching Conference in Istanbul. She has taught in northern Virginia and south Florida as well as online for Florida Virtual School as a tutor. A mother of three, Wagner is fluent in Spanish.

Earlier, Wagner worked as an engineer for Pratt & Whitney and TRW.

The diocese serves 3,168 students in the four counties of western Massachusetts in 12 elementary schools, three early childhood centers and two secondary schools. In the Berkshires, the diocese operates schools in Adams, Dalton and Lee. 

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