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New principal in Amherst

Marisa Mendonsa will be paid $110,000 annually and begins work here July 1, said Kathryn Mazur, director of human resources for the Amherst schools.

Mendonsa, who has been the principal of the John J. Duggan Middle School in Springfield since 2012, will take over for Betsy Dinger who is returning to teaching.

Mendonsa and a second candidate, Selethia Benn, were at the middle school Monday for a day of meetings with staff and students. They each attended a public forum that evening.

Before assuming the principal’s job at Duggan, Mendonsa was assistant principal there for one year. Before that, she was the governing board chair at the Springfield Renaissance School, serving as the innovation facilitator and liaison to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has also taught social studies at Amherst Regional Middle School and in Springfield, Northborough and North Carolina.

After receiving a bachelor of science degree in history from Springfield College, she earned a master’s degree and a certificate of advanced graduate studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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