Carol J. Simone
Ever since she was a child, Carol J. Simone's life has
been linked with St. Joseph School of All Saints Parish.
She has been a member of the church all her life, graduated from St. Joseph, and after college returned to teach under a string of principals.
In addition to teaching, she was director of religious education, has been coordinating church events and
activities and was even the president of the Parent Teachers Organization.
"I've done a lot," she says with a passion for the school and church she loves.
Miss Simone is now in charge of the school as principal. She is the fourth lay principal in the school's history.
Miss Simone made a difficult decision to leave full-time teaching, but there was a need to build a stronger bond with public school students attending our religious education classes.
She gave up her duties as director of religious education in 2003.
"After my father (Joseph Simone) passed away, my mother became my sidekick at the school and in the world of religious education. She would be here for all of our celebrations. After my mother passed away, the job didn't feel right anymore.
In 2003, Miss Simone told the Rev. Dennis Nason that she still needed to maintain a connection with children and that she wanted to continue touching their lives. She handed over her duties and began teaching full time again.
Leaving her students to become principal was also a difficult decision, although the support and encouragement of teachers and staff helped in the decision.
After morning Mass, her first week as Principal, she broadcast over the school's intercom the 1979 disco classic "We are Family," by Sister Sledge, telling children it would be their theme song.
"I asked children to put their hands over their heads and sing along," said Miss Simone, whose goals include creating the same sense of excitement, enthusiasm and spirit that she felt when she was a pupil.
One youngster left a drawing in her office that reads, "You rule as principal," and "You rock the school."
Miss Simone proudly tacked it to the wall in her office.
"I'm an extrovert and love being out there shaking hands and getting to know children and their parents by name," she said. "That's what gives me a zip in life and that's what I want to do."
"Although I love teaching, I don't see myself returning to the classroom," she said. "This will probably be the last thing I do."