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St. Agnes Academy Announces Appointment of Fadia Rostom Makdisi as Principal
Search Committee Names Local Educator to Replace Retiring School Head James Stankiewicz
DALTON, Mass., May 23, 2019 - St. Agnes Academy, Berkshire County’s leading parochial school serving students from pre-school through eighth grade, has announced the appointment of Fadia Rostom Makdisi of Pittsfield as Principal, replacing long-time educator James Stankiewicz, effective July 1.
Rev. Christopher Malatesta, pastor of St. Agnes Church, made the appointment while also reaffirming his unwavering commitment to the Academy. He also announced the formation of an Executive Leadership Council, a group of experienced educators charged with the goal of growing the Academy while maintaining high academic expectations and traditional Catholic values and traditions.
A search committee selected Makdisi from a field of highly competitive candidates in a regional search. “We are confident we have the perfect candidate in Fadia who will bring a high level of energy and commitment to our church and Academy and work well with our teachers, Executive Leadership Council, parents, and students,” said Malatesta. “Under Fadia’s leadership, we will continue to seek new and creative ways to boost enrollment, secure a strong financial base, and grow in the years to come.”
Makdisi will have oversight for school culture and the Catholic School mission and will run the development efforts of the Academy. She will be responsible for budget planning, communications, and discipline and will represent the academy on a Diocesan level, working with the Superintendent of Schools to grow the Academy. Other key duties include scheduling, hiring, compliance, and community outreach. She will collaborate with the Executive Leadership Council to meet and exceed the expectations of parents in regards to academics.
“I am thrilled to be joining St. Agnes Academy and working with such an experienced group of educators, whose energy and commitment to faith, life learning, and academic excellence is boundless,” said Makdisi. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation left by Jim Stankiewicz and exploring new ways to expand the St. Agnes mission.
Makdisi is a collaborative and innovative educator with over 15 years of experience in public and private educational systems. She is a graduate of Damascus University and MCLA and has taught in the computer technology department at Damascus University. Currently, she works in the Pittsfield and Central Berkshire Regional School systems. “Her background and experiences enable her to integrate technologies and a personal approach to enhance teaching and learning in both classroom subjects and life skills,” said Malatesta.
Makdisi is married and has three daughters who all attend St. Agnes. Along with Makdisi and Rev. Malatesta, the Executive Leadership Council will include current faculty members Karen Blefari and Theresa Dudziak as Deans of Academics and Curriculum. Blefari, who has 42 years of experience in elementary and early childhood education, will be responsible for Early Childhood and Elementary Programs, while Dudziak, a former St. Agnes principal and 32-year educator, will oversee the Middle School program.
“The deans will provide the expertise and experience necessary to maintain a program of academic excellence and allow us to continue to grow and exceed the expectations of our families in meeting the needs of a 21st century education,” said Malatesta.
The council also includes Katherine Flanders, an experienced teacher, who will serve as Director of Enrichment. She will provide tailored and well-planned enrichment opportunities for St. Agnes students. .
St. Agnes Academy, founded in 1957, currently has an enrollment of 144 students in pre-school through grade eight.
With a quality of life that’s leaps and bounds beyond our cost of living, it’s pretty near perfection.
The Town of Dalton is located in the central part of Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts. Its population is just under 7,000 residents. The town is largely residential, but is also home to Crane Co., formerly Crane and Co., one of the nation’s oldest manufacturers and the sole supplier of paper for U.S. currency since 1879. The town offers a wide variety of recreational activities and is centrally located to several cultural venues. The median home value in Dalton is $185,000 and the average commute for people in Berkshire County is 20 minutes. The main reasons why people work and relocate to the Berkshires are affordability, work/life balance, and its natural, cultural, recreational attractions.