MONTAGUE — Turners Falls High School and Great Falls Middle School have all new administrators this year, whose goals include making themselves more accessible to students and giving students a voice in how their school is run.
“All this boils down to relationships,” said Principal Joanne Menard (pronounced like “Joanie”). “Without relationships between students and staff, staff and staff, you can’t go forward with much of anything.”
Along with Menard, the four-person administrative team is made up of Assistant Principal Tom Gaffigan and Deans of Students Mike Duprey and Rebel McKinley. All four are new to Turners Falls, but have previous experience in education and other lines of work.
n Principal Menard worked for the last four years as principal of Petersham Center School. Before that, she taught science and math at Medway Middle School for 11 years, and had previously worked as a sales manager.
n Assistant Principal Gaffigan worked as assistant principal at Greenfield High School for five years, a history teacher at Pioneer Valley Regional School for eight years and, most recently, a substitute teacher at Franklin County Technical School last year. He worked in construction before going into education.
nDean of Students Duprey was brought in partway through last year to fill the unexpectedly vacant assistant principal position. Previously, was principal of preschool through eighth grade in the Winchester, N.H., public school district. He has also been assistant principal of Pioneer Valley Regional School, an elementary physical education teacher at Pioneer, and was the original owner of the Body Shoppe Health and Fitness Center in Greenfield.
n Dean of Students McKinley was, for the last five years, the principal and program director of the Robert F. Kennedy Academy in Springfield, a therapeutic school for students with disabilities. Before that, she directed various nonprofit organizations in youth development and disability services for 22 years