Saint Dominic Academy has announced that Marianne Pelletier, the school’s current director of enrollment, has been named the new principal of the Lewiston (Pre-K through Grade 6) campus, effective July 1. She replaces Donald Bilodeau, who announced his retirement as a full-time administrator in February.
“Marianne has served as an educator and school administrator in locations throughout the country,” said Saint Dominic Academy president Donald Fournier. “In her short time here, she has clearly shown that she has the expertise, knowledge, and passion to work with our families and teachers and bring our strategic plan to fruition as the leader of the Lewiston campus.”
A native of Boise, Idaho, Pelletier attended Catholic grammar and middle schools before graduating from Bishop Kelly High School. She went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Idaho and two master’s degrees in special education and school administration from West Virginia University. In addition, she received a fellowship to complete graduate work at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, resulting in an educational specialist degree.
Pelletier learned the importance of faith and respecting diversity at a young age. Both of her parents were blind. Helping those most in need inspired her to pursue a career in education. She served as a special education teacher and a teacher for the blind in rural West Virginia before moving to Connecticut to become the director of a residential treatment center for emotionally-disturbed children. She later served as a public school principal in both Connecticut and Idaho.
Upon her husband’s passing, Pelletier and her son moved back to Boise, where she was named principal of St. Mary’s School (K-Grade 8), the school she had attended as a child. While at St. Mary’s, she established a collaborative that included two initiatives: one with the University of Notre Dame that aimed to increase cultural diversity within Catholic schools, and another with Boston College that created two-way language immersion programs.
In 2014, Pelletier received the Innovation in Catholic Schools Award, presented by Today’s Catholic Teacher. She has also served on the executive board of the National Catholic Schools Association. Last year, she moved to Maine and was named director of enrollment at the academy prior to the 2015-16 academic year. She is a member of Prince of Peace Parish and attends Holy Family Church in Lewiston.
In addition to the appointment of Pelletier, the school named Shelly Wheeler as the new principal of its Auburn (Grades 7 through 12) campus on May 20.
Saint Dominic Academy will open for its 75th year on August 23.