Mount St. Ursula welcomes new leadership

Academy of Mount St. Ursula’s outgoing principal, Sr. Mary Beth Read, welcomes Dr. Joseph S. Fusco as the school’s first lay principal for the 2008-2009 school year. - Photo courtesy of Cecilia Granda

Beyond the religious realm, for the first time in Mount St. Ursula’s more that 150-year history of educating Bronx youth, the school’s first lay principal will soon take the reins.

Dr. Joseph S. Fusco, a highly recognized and celebrated educator, will assume the position of interim principal for the 2008-2009 school year on July 15.

As a recent recipient of the National Catholic Educational Association Secondary Schools Department Award, outgoing principal Sr. Mary Beth Read said she’s confident in Fusco’s abilities to lead the school successfully into the future.

“From meeting Dr. Fusco and from hearing how his former colleagues describe the blend of professional master teacher and compassionate leader, I feel he will be a good fit for the Ursuline spirit and tradition that have formed the backbone of Mount St. Ursula for 153 years,” Read explained.

Fusco’s resume, complete with a pair of Master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from New York University and various teaching positions around New York State, has everyone singing his praises.

“The Board of Trustees is very grateful to the search committee’s efforts that yielded such a strong, experienced educational leader,” Jean Moran, chair of the board said.

In a recent meeting with the school community Fusco explained it was in his deepest interests to maintain the school’s rich history by leading the students into the future with MSU’s traditions and vision.

“I accredit the success of the principal to a dedicated and committed faculty and staff that collaborate to ensure the best interests of the students are at heart,” he stated.

A search committee comprised of board members, faculty and students unanimously recommended Fusco for the position.

“We are very lucky to have attracted an academic leader with a long, successful administrative track record and deep commitment to Catholic education,” Moran said.

Sr. Read agreed that Fusco’s limitless vision will surly enhance the quality of education at MSU.

The sister dedicated 28 years to the school, first teaching religion and organizing youth ministries. She transitioned to the role of assistant principal for six years and finally principal for 16, before she decided to take sabbatical.

“I just felt it was time to take some time for myself,” Sr. Read explained.

She added her new abundance of time would allow her the opportunity for spiritual renewal and study.

“I hope to maybe study some theology,” she said. Also enhancing her passion for writing, she explained, “I would like to learn some more strategies for teaching writing.”

Of course even with her new schedule, Sr. Read said she never would or could forget MSU. “I will truly miss the school community.”

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