The Bronx is losing a long-time educator.
Roseann Carotenuto, most recently a regional superintendent for the Archdiocese of New York, has retired after a 42-year career in Bronx Catholic schools.
Carotenuto’s love for education goes back to when she was a kid, she said, when she would rather read or play ‘school’ than play with dolls.
“I always knew I was going to teach,” said Carotenuto.
Carotenuto began her career teaching third grade at St. Frances de Chantal in 1974.
In 1986, after getting a Masters in Guidance and Counseling, she taught fifth grade and counseled at Villa Maria Academy before transitioning to counseling full time at the Academy of Mt. St. Ursula in 1989.
Her administrative career began in 1994 when she was appointed principal of St. Mary School on Carpenter Avenue, where she increased enrollment from 208 to 317 students in three years.
After nine years she left to become Dean of Academics at Cardinal Spellman High School.
In 2006 she was named superintendent of Bronx Catholic elementary schools, overseeing 62 schools and 28,000 students.
When the Archdiocese regionalized the schools, she became regional superintendent for the Northeast-East region of the Bronx.
When she retired in July, colleagues honored her career with a celebration at Villa Barone Manor.
Although Carotenuto loved being in the classroom, she also enjoyed the leadership and collaboration that came with her later roles.
She especially cherished the opportunities to implement innovation into the schools, such as a pilot computer program at St. Mary School in the 1990s.
“You can’t be afraid to try something,” she said.
Her other strength has been listening to the needs of the school’s community, teachers and administration, learning about the situation before making changes and remembering that she was ultimately working in service of them.
“I served the teachers when I was their principal, and I served the principals when I was their superintendent,” she said.
Her teaching philosophy comes from a similar place of listening to and believing in students.
“If you capture that child’s heart, or make them know you care, they’re going to learn for you,” said Carotenuto.
Over the years, she’s gotten immense joy out of watching former students turn into successful adults.
“I have been rewarded so many times,” she said.
As much as her career has given her, Carotenuto’s joy also comes from her family and watching her two daughters grow up.
“I think that Dana and Gina are amazing women, they’re smarter than their mom,” she said.
And although for the moment she’s happy to be able to spend more time with her husband, Vinny, and her new granddaughter, Francesca Rose, she’s not totally done with education yet.
“I’m hoping in some way, shape or form I can still contribute to something in education,” she said.