Virginia A. Connelly '73
What is your official title and workplace now?
I’m actually retired, after 38 years in the Education field, serving in both Washington, DC and NYC. Over the course of those years I have served as a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, director of services for students, principal, mentor/coach of aspiring and new principals, central office administrator for leadership development, and deputy superintendent in the Bronx. My favorite job was being a middle school principal at IS 123 in the Bronx. I am still working, part time, as an Educational Consultant for schools in NYC and with Teachers College at Columbia University in NYC.
What do you consider your main objectives?
To create schools that will listen to the voices of the children they serve and that will establish the environment and opportunities that empower children to achieve the bright future they deserve.
What have you seen that keeps you motivated to help even more students, teachers and principals?
The indefatigable hope and trust in the eyes of children everywhere…
How has your work in education evolved over the past few decades?
I grew up…and came to understand that when we don’t know what to do for kids, we should probably have started by asking them…
How did you go from Pius X to NYC?
I went away to Cornell University for college and fell in love with NY
How does your faith play into your role?
My faith sustains me in my moments of weakness, worry and doubt, challenges me to be more and to give more than I ever believed possible, and reaffirms my belief in the dignity of all people.
When not working, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing?
Good movies, good reads, good company and good times (preferably at the beach, in Paris, or on any golf course), and good wine.
What initiatives or projects are you hoping to start or finish in the coming years?
I’m working with some TC colleagues on a principals retreat to refresh those in the “hot seat” and help them keep their “eyes on the prize”. I’m also working with some colleagues on a leadership retreat for kids, and I’m also starting up a new vocal ensemble of high school students called “Vocem in Pacem” (The Voices for Peace) that will focus on music across all religions and cultures.
What memories do you have of Pius X High School?
Wow, so many, it’s hard to pick just one – the camaraderie, the football games, band trips, musicals, classes with inspiring teachers and classmates, woodsies… just really am grateful for the truly well-rounded education I received at Pius and the deepening of my faith that began there and continues…