FITCHBURG — Dayana Carlson, longtime vice principal of Montachusett Regional Technical School, has made history as the school’s first alumnus to be named principal.
Carlson, a 1996 Monty Tech graduate, succeeds Thomas Browne, who became superintendent-superintendent on July 1 and named director on June 23.
“As a graduate of Monty Tech, I am extremely proud to be its next principal,” Carlson said in a statement released by the school. “Monty Tech helped pave the way for my success. I was lucky to have a school and teachers who believed in me. As the new director, I want to do the same.
A search committee vetted 12 candidates for Browne’s former position, which he held for eight years, and handed over the finalists, including Carlson, to Browne.
Browne’s predecessor as superintendent-director, Sheila Harrity, was named coordinator of the extended campus program run by the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators in December.
Browne knew Carlson from their time at Monty Tech and Leominster High School, where Browne was principal and Carlson was guidance counselor at the Center for Technical Education Innovation, vocational division of Leominster High, until 2014.
“I have personally worked with Dayana for two decades now, and we are extremely fortunate to have such a talented professional taking on the role of director,” Browne said. “Dayana cares deeply for this school and its students, and her leadership skills will continue to drive the district forward. There is simply no better person for the job.
Carlson immigrated to Fitchburg from Uruguay as a young child. She trained in Monty Tech’s drawing program, and in her senior year was a dual-enrollment student at Fitchburg State University. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1999 and her master’s degree in 2006, both from Fitchburg State.
Carlson’s educational career began as a Spanish teacher before becoming a guidance counselor for more than a decade and joining Browne at Monty Tech as an assistant principal.
Among Carlson’s responsibilities was managing the school’s COVID-19 pandemic mitigation efforts, including the Test and Stay program and distributing home test kits.
“I want to continue to empower students and staff to reach their best potential,” said Carlson, who lives in Westminster with her husband and two children. “We have an incredible school with exceptional students and staff committed to excellence and the continued growth of all students.”
Monty Tech serves students at Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Barre, Fitchburg, Gardner, Harvard, Holden, Hubbardston, Lunenburg, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Sterling, Templeton, Westminster and Winchendon.