Mary Kociela retires from DA’s office, successor named

  • Maria Zoraida Agudelo, of Greenfield, has been named the new director of domestic and sexual violence projects for the Northwestern district attorney’s office, replacing Mary Kociela, who retired Nov. 4 after 25 years with the office. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Mary Kociela retried on Thursday following 25 years with the Northwestern district attorney’s office as its director of domestic and sexual violence projects. She has been replaced by Maria Zoraida Agudelo. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 11/10/2021 3:10:14 PM

GREENFIELD — The Northwestern district attorney’s office has named the replacement of Mary Kociela, who retired Nov. 4 following exactly 25 years as the office’s director of domestic and sexual violence projects.

Maria Zoraida Agudelo, of Greenfield, has been engaged in domestic violence prevention and advocacy on behalf of survivors of intimate partner abuse since 1997. She worked at the Greenfield-based for 20 years, where she served as shelter director, bilingual domestic and sexual violence counselor and advocate and, most recently, program manager. She joins a staff of seven in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, working out of the DA’s Greenfield office at 56 Bank Row.

Kociela, who turned 63 on Sunday, launched and led initiatives such as the Domestic Violence High Risk Team, the Domestic Violence Intervention Project and the DA’s Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence. She also spearheaded countless prevention projects and law enforcement trainings in intimate partner violence.

In retirement, Kociela said she intends to continue working as a community member in the field of domestic violence prevention. She also plans to spend a great deal of time with her 3-month-old grandchild, and pursue her interests of gardening, quilting and cooking. She would also like to travel when the COVID-19 pandemic lightens up. “That’d be fun,” she said by phone.

Kociela, who left New England Learning Center for Women in Transition shortly before Zoraida Agudelo started there, said she hopes to stay involved in the meaningful work she loves, saying retirement has been exciting but emotional.

“It’s pretty surreal. It really is, after so many years,” she said. “It sort of feels just, like, another Friday. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet.”


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