A veteran human-services professional for the town of Westport has been named to be Fairfield's next Director of Human Services.

Teresa Giegengack will assume the post March 1, succeeding Claire Grace, who is retiring. Her appointment was announced Monday by First Selectman Mike Tetreau.

Giegengack has been assistant director of client services for the Westport Department of Human Services since 2001, Tetreau's office said. Previously, she was Westport's social services coordinator and caseworker in the same department.

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in social work from The College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Mass., and a master of arts in counseling from Fairfield University

"I would like to thank Claire Grace for her tremendous dedication to Fairfield's seniors and her service to our town," Tetreau said in a news release. "I wish her all the best in her retirement."

Of her replacement, Tetreau said, "The town is fortunate that such a qualified and experienced incoming director of Ms. Giegengack's caliber will help meet the needs of our seniors and oversee our social services division."

Geigengack said she grew up in Fairfield and is eager to start her new job.

"The position as Fairfield's Human and Social Services Director offers a wonderful opportunity to use my experience and to grow professionally," Giegengack said in the news release.

As she prepares to leave the job, Grace said she will take with her fond memories.

"The Fairfield Senior Center is a very special place for me," she said in the release. "I will never forget all of the wonderful staff and clients who I've had the privilege of knowing and serving."