Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to more accurately reflect enrollment trends in the district.
Great Barrington — In its search for a new principal for Monument Mountain Regional High School, the Berkshire Hills Regional School district has turned to a leader with a nontraditional background.
Superintendent Peter Dillon, who has hiring authority for principals, said this morning he had appointed Douglas Wine to lead Monument at a critical juncture in its history.
Dillon said Wine comes to Monument with 28 years of teaching and administrative experience. Wine is currently principal at Bishop Dunne Catholic School in Dallas, Texas. He was hired for that job in 2016.
Wine has also worked as a principal, curriculum director and English teacher in public and private schools in New Mexico, Virginia and Georgia. His salary at Monument will be $125,000 per year, Dillon said.
“I’m looking forward to Doug joining the Monument community,” Dillon said in a written statement announcing the hiring. “Doug’s range of experiences, clear thinking, his interest in supporting student and teacher growth, and his desire to listen and respond to our needs will build on Monument’s strengths and help us move forward.”
Wine has a bachelor of business in accounting from Pace University, which he attended from 1983 to 1987; a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook; and a master’s degree in liberal studies from St. John’s College in Santa Fe. He later earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Wine will take over for Amy Rex, who had been on the job for less than a year when she accepted a superintendent’s post in Vermont in April. Rex had replaced longtime Monument Principal Marianne Young, who announced her retirement last year after leading the school for a total of 16 years.
Before being appointed in 2016 to head Bishop Dunne, Wine was principal at Moriarty High School, a public school in Moriarty, New Mexico. As recently as June 2014, he was principal at East Mountain High School, a charter school founded in 2000 in Sandia Park, New Mexico. Wine has also taught English at the Santa Fe Indian School, a boarding school established by the federal government and funded by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“I was impressed and excited by the number of programs available to students,” Wine said in a statement. “Then I met a significant number of community members and got a feel for what a special place I will have the privilege of leading. I am looking forward to getting started and to working with everyone to bring Monument Mountain to its next level of excellence.”
Wine will lead Monument at a challenging time. In-district enrollments have been declining, though tuition and choice students have made up the difference. The high school building, which opened in 1969, is showing signs of considerable wear. A $56 million proposal to reconstruct the high school failed in 2013 when voters in Great Barrington refused to authorize an override of Proposition 2½, a state law that limits municipal tax levies.
A similar proposal was shot down 12 months later. A new panel, Monument Next Steps, was formed earlier this year to explore yet more alternatives to fix the high school. The school committee has authorized the administration to draft a statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for possible funding.
This is the second principal Dillon has hired this spring. Last month, he hired Timothy Lee, the current superintendent in Lenox, to head Muddy Brook Elementary School, replacing Mary Berle, who after four years at the helm will move to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, where she will assume the newly created position of chief educator.
Wine will start his new position at Monument effective Sunday, July 1, though he will be in the area from Sunday to Wednesday next week for meetings, Dillon said.