South Jersey Catholic Schools welcomes three new principals for the 2018-19 school year. Each brings an impressive resume and a strong desire to serve in a Catholic school community.
Patti Paulsen learned about the open principal position at Holy Angels Catholic School (Woodbury) from a neighbor who is a parent and loyal fan of the school.
“She came to me and said, ‘Patti, we need you,’” said Paulsen. The opportunity took her by surprise. After 30 years in the classroom and as an administrator in the Glassboro public school system, Paulsen had retired and spent the last two years teaching Basic Skills at Saint Mary’s in East Vineland through Catapult Learning.
I feel like it was a calling,” she said of the Holy Angels opportunity. “Everything just fell into place. I love it here.” Paulsen said she is most looking forward to working with kids and teachers, “bringing faith into education.
Good Shepherd’s new principal, Ray Bonnette, taught for nine years at Holy Cross High School in Delran (Diocese of Trenton) after his graduation from LaSalle University. From there he taught math at Pennsauken High School and Cinnaminson Middle School. Opportunities in professional development and leadership led him to pursue a Master’s of Education in School Leadership, which he recently completed at Wilmington University. The father of two early elementary school aged children, Bonnette is no stranger to younger students as well.“I’m looking forward to being a catalyst for Good Shepherd staff, empowering them to do their best for our students … in a 21st century learning environment,” he said.
Educated by Dominicans as a child, Deacon Joe Rafferty has come full circle in his new role as principal at Saint Rose of Lima (Haddon Heights), which was founded in the Dominican tradition. Early in his career, Deacon Rafferty spent 12 years teaching social studies and history at Gloucester Catholic High School. The balance of his career has been spent teaching and serving as an administrator in Catholic and public schools. A former superintendent, Deacon Rafferty said, “It was always my goal, my dream, to get back into Catholic education.”Ordained six years ago, Deacon Rafferty is living his dream in his new role. “We are put here to empower others in the faith,” he said. “Saint Rose of Lima is a great place to be able to do that”