Longtime Bronx educator Roseann Carotenuto has been named the honorary grand marshal of the 38th Annual Bronx Columbus Day Parade.
The parade, which celebrates the Italian heritage of Christopher Columbus, has honored an educator each year since parade organizer Tony Signorile took over eight years ago.
He said he made it his goal to honor teachers, who he feels are under-recognized.
“You have to have a gift from God to do this, to have the patience,” said Signorile.
The parade committee chose to honor Carotenuto, a regional superintendent for Bronx Catholic Schools, for her commitment to students throughout her 41 years in education.
“She’s always there to help children,” said Signorile. “She puts them on the right path.”
Over the years, Carotenuto has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal and superintendent. She took on each new role because of the opportunity to help influence more children’s educations, and said she’s loved every step of her career.
“This is not a job to me, it’s my way of life,” said Carotenuto.
Her identity as an Italian-American is also important to her, and she said that certain aspects of her traditions and culture, like big Sunday dinners of meatballs and macaroni, have made her a better educator. She said that her expressiveness draws students in, and that she has experience with creating a warm atmosphere that makes them feel at home.
“My nationality, my culture, has made me stronger in the profession I chose,” she said.
Carotenuto, who has also recently been recognized by the Forum of Italian American Educators and by the Bronx Times Reporter as one of the 25 Bronx Influential Women, said that she’s excited to be a integral part of the parade she attends every year.
“It’s a joyous day,” said Carotenuto. “A day of love, a day of celebration, a day of pride.”
She thanked Signorile for all his hard work in creating a day that is enjoyable for everyone, Italian or not.
The parade will take place on Sunday, October 12, starting at noon at the corner of Morris Park Avenue and White Plains Road, and will follow Morris Park Avenue up to Williamsbridge Road.
The grand marshal of this year’s parade is Bronx- born actor Vincent Pastore, know for his role on The Sopranos. Look for an interview with Pastore in a future edition of the Bronx Times.