ELIZABETH, NJ - It was a standing room only event for the much beloved, retiring principal, Deacon Joe Caporaso of the Our Lady of Guadeloupe Academy in Elizabeth.  

Joe Caporaso, a Roselle Park resident, was born and raised in Elizabeth and Ordained as Deacon in the Catholic Church.  He was a retired educator and principal for the Elizabeth Board of Education for 30 years. 

However, his retirement ended in 2009 when three Catholic Schools in Elizabeth merged into St. Anthony School location in the Petersontown section of Elizabeth to form Our Lady of Guadeloupe Academy.

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As many of the presenters acknowledged Deacon Joe, the first principal of the new academy, demonstrated the consistency the school needed to carry out the challenges of change.  However, the Deacon, in his presentation, spoke about “his calling” out of retirement and back to his home church school, the same school he graduated as a child.

The dinner began with an opening prayer from Bishop Dominic Marconi and lead into a host of speakers including Mayor Elizabeth Bollwage and Councilman Manny Grova from Elizabeth, Joe Papetti, former assistant Superintendent of the Elizabeth Public Schools, Carole Cascio, Member of the OLGA Advisory Board and Barbara Dolan, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Instruction and Assessment of the Archdiocese of Newark.

Mayor Bollwage best noted Deacon Joe’s character as “someone whose commitment to the children is immeasurable.”

Presentations were made by teachers for their students as well as a special resolution presented by friend and former Roselle Park Mayor Joe DeIorio for Senator Tom Kean Jr. Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz on behalf of the Legislature accentuated the vastness of Deacon Joe dedication and commitment to the education and care of the children of Our Lady of Guadeloupe Academy.

The room was filled with staff, family, friends, clergy and parishioners whose support for the Deacon during his career was displayed with love and affection.