The School of Education celebrated its ninth annual Leaders in Education Awards Dinner (L.E.A.D. Awards) on Monday, Nov. 28 in the D’Angelo Center Ballroom.
Alumni and friends gathered to honor Jerrold Ross, Ph.D., the dean emeritus of The School of Education; Linda Faucetta ’75Ed, former recruitment director of the Oakdale site and Theresa Cantarella ’73NDC, ’77GEd, former director of the Office of Student Enrollment Services on the Staten Island campus.
The three educators received recognition from the School of Education for their extensive work over the years at St. John’s University.
Ross, who received many congratulatory remarks from all in attendance including the two honorees, said he was “tremendously excited” to receive an award he helped create many years ago. He has been retired for two years now, after working 19 years in the University, and says he misses working with the students the most.
“I miss the excitement of watching students as they grow both at the undergraduate level, when they first become teachers, to the graduate level where they become administrators, principals, superintendents,” Ross said. “That long span of growth that you witness when students grow up is the most wonderful thing in the world.”
Faucetta enthusiastically thanked her colleagues for the recognition, remembering how important the University is to her growth and cultivation as an educator. She retired a year and a half ago from the University, and is now a member of the Board of Directors of the Carol Pufahl Literacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing early childhood literacy.
Faucetta spoke about her dedication to the University and how important its Vincentian values are to her until this day. “I enjoyed every inch of being here, it’s a great place to be,” Faucetta said.
Cantarella reminisced on her time at the University, both as a student and as one of the people who helped make the Financial Aid office, on the Queens and Staten Island campuses, what they are today. Cantarella worked over 20 years at the University and retired in 2014. She said that without the University’s scholarships and financial aid assistance, she wouldn’t have gone to college.
“[I] absolutely loved working at St. John’s,” Cantarella said. “Initially, I took the job because I wanted to thank the University for what they gave me, and then I found that it was so rewarding to help other young people get their education through financial aid and scholarships, so I never left.”
The three honorees expressed their gratitude to the University during their acceptance speeches. They each received a standing ovation after their speeches as well.
Michael R. Sampson, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education, said he was “thrilled to see so many School of Ed. alums to celebrate three of our great graduates, to support the School of Education.”
Peter P. D’Angelo ‘78MBA, ‘06HON and Margaret LaRosa D’Angelo ‘70Ed were among the attendees of the night. Margaret was given thanks for helping organize this year’s L.E.A.D. Awards. She, like many, credited Ross for helping her be involved with the event.
“Tonight is very special because we’re honoring Dean Ross, who is the person who started the L.E.A.D. events several years back and he was a wonderful dean of the School of Education, he was the person who got me involved in these dinners and the School of Education’s leadership board,” Margaret said. “So I’m indebted to him and I’m delighted that he’s being honored tonight.”