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New principals named for several schools in the Paterson Diocese

There will be new principals at several elementary schools in the diocese when the doors open for the 2010-11 school year in September. Following are brief biographies on the new principals:



St. Therese School, Succasunna

Lisa Hirschfeld is the new prin?cipal at St. Therese School. She received her bachleor's degree in biology and education (K-12 Science) from Caldwell College and her master's degree in educational leadership from the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station. For the past two years, she served as the vice principal at St. Therese. Prior to that, she spent 26 years teaching at St. Anthony School, Passaic; St. Philip and St. Andrew School, Clifton; and St. Therese School, Succasunna. She was involved in the Middle States Accreditation process in all three schools, and was on the steering committee for re-accreditation at St. Therese. She was instrumental in writing the science curriculum for the diocese. She and her husband, Bill, are extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at their parish, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in Sparta.




 Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Wayne

Frances Alberta is the new principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Wayne. She began her education ministry in 1968 at St. Anthony's in Passaic. She taught math and science in grades 6-8 for 10 years before becoming the principal at St Joseph School in East Rutherford for the last 14 years. She received her bachelor's degree in Humanities from Thomas Edison College and her masters' degree in administration and supervision from Manhattan College. Alberta is married with three sons and is the grandmother of nine. She is also a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion in her parish St. Joseph, East Rutherford, and serves on the parish administration committee with her husband.




 St. Mary's Prep, Denville

John R. Giacchi is the new principal of St. Mary's Prep in Denville. A product of Catholic education, he most recently spent two years as the vice principal of Immaculate Conception Regional School (ICRS) in Franklin. Prior to ICRS, he was a math teacher and coach at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta. He received a bachelor of science degree in math and physics from Moravian College and earned a master's degree in educational leadership, management and policy with a focus on Catholic schools from Seton Hall University, South Orange. Giacchi is married with two children and is a lifelong parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church in Franklin, where he is a member of the Pre-Cana team.




 St. Virgil Academy, Morris Plains

Gerard Fazzio is the new principal of St. Virgil Academy in Morris Plains. He earned his bachelor's degree in Social Studies from Montclair State University and graduated from Caldwell College with a master's degree in education. For the past 28 years he was a teacher and coach at DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne. He mentored students both in the classroom and on the athletic field. He is the father of two daughters, Ali and Kristen and said he "is excited to be a part of St. Virgil's Academy and is looking forward to continued excellence in education."





 Morris Catholic Junior School, Morris Plains

Debbie Duane is the dean of students at the new Morris Catholic Junior School located at the St. Virgil Campus in Morris Plains. Duane comes to this position after serving the students at St. Vincent de Paul School in Stirling for the past 13 years. Serving as both teacher and assistant principal,  Duane has prepared junior high students for the demands of high school by providing students with a rigorous curriculum and a deep faith in God. Catholic education has offered her the perfect opportunity to share her love of learning and spirituality with the children she serves. She said she "is delighted to be part of this new educational model by providing a challenging curriculum that is purposeful and developmentally appropriate."


 Blessed Sacrament School, Paterson

Lelia D. Pappas is the new principal of Blessed Sacrament in Paterson. She earned her bachelor's degree from Fairfield University in Connecticut and her master's degree from the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership. She has taught at the elementary and high school levels and also served as principal at Belvidere High School. Pappas is an active parishioner of Our Lady of the Lake in Mount Arlington and the mother of four children.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy, Wayne
Eugene Hewitt, former principal at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in the Hewitt section of West Milford, is the new principal of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy. He has been a Catholic educator for more than 20 years and holds undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in education as well as professional certification in the field. He feels that a values-infused curriculum enables children to understand the teachings of the Church and become exemplary models of the Christ example. He fosters and encourages students to have an active prayer life. Born and raised in Rockland County, N.Y., he and his wife, Alicia, and their five children reside in Orange County, N.Y.

Academy of St. Francis, Totowa
Linda Kostenko is the new principal at the Academy of St. Francis in Totowa. Previously, she had served for many years in the Diocesan Schools Office as an assistant superintendent for elementary education. Prior to that she was the principal at St. Joseph School in West Milford.

St. Mary School, Pompton Lakes
Carol LaSalle is the new principal at St. Mary School. She returns to Pompton Lakes after serving as the principal at the Academy of St. Francis, Totowa. Prior to being named principal there, she was the vice principal at St. Mary School for several years.



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