SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy students and staff will be greeted by a new principal on their first day back to school this September.
Theresa Pasqua of Colts Neck, who was appointed to fill the position of retired principal Carol Woodburn, officially began her tenure July 1 and told TAPinto South Plainfield that the preK-3 through 8th grade Middlebrook Deanery school ‘feels like home.’
“The first time I came here, it just felt like home and a place I needed to be,” said Pasqua who comes to the South Plainfield-based school following 17 years as an assistant principal and English language arts and social studies teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle in Old Bridge. “I felt it was time to move on, to do something else, to have a larger impact.”
According to Pasqua, Holy Savior has a ‘very solid foundation built by the former principal’ along with state of the art technology, a terrific faculty and staff, and warm and supportive parents.’ Visually, however, she felt the school was ‘stuck in a bit of a time warp’ and in need of a ‘makeover.’
Top on her to do list was fresh paint, new carpets, and working to create a STREAM lab by combining the school’s Makerspace and science room.“My goal is to drive home the fact that this is a new era for Holy Savior,” she said. “We want our families to feel confident that when they choose Holy Savior Academy, they are getting a quality education in a safe, nurturing, and beautiful environment.”
In addition to cosmetic changes, Pasqua has, in her first month, brought in a resource teacher for both reinforcement and enrichment of skills. She is also working to create an outdoor classroom and learning garden for all grades and feels the ‘school’s outdoor space should be established as a place where students may have lunch and study and teachers may hold classes on a beautiful day.’
“I love being outside and I really believe in the kids spending as much time outside as they can,” Pasqua, who personally enjoys such outdoor activities as watching fireworks, being at the beach, swimming and gardening, said. “You don't have to be in a classroom to learn.”
A native of Brooklyn, Pasqua herself attended Catholic elementary and high school before going on to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Pace University. She spent several years working in the telecommunications industry before joining the faculty of St. Thomas in 2003. Over the course of her career, she also earned masters degrees in both education and educational leadership and administration from Georgian Court University and is also working toward a doctorate in reading and literacy.
During her tenure at St. Thomas, Pasqua worked to implement several fundraising campaigns which raised over $150,000 for school improvements and technology and hopes to put those skills to work to raise the funds needed to install air conditioning at Holy Savior in time for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, when in Old Bridge, Pasqua assisted in leading the school to achieve a National Blue Ribbon in 2018 and helped establish the St. Thomas Learning Garden and Outdoor classroom.
Having spent almost the past two decades in the classroom, Pasqua said she is going to miss teaching, but is looking forward to meeting everyone, getting to know all the students by name, seeing the classes in action, and being available and approachable.
“I feel it is important for a principal to be around the school and visible in the classrooms. I am looking forward to being there when the students arrive in the morning and seeing them off at the end of the day,” she said, adding, “I believe in being involved, partnering with our staff and parents and forging strong bonds with the children and their families.”
Holy Savior’s curriculum includes core classes such as English Language Arts, math, social studies, and science, as well as Religion, which are all taught by certified teachers with many years of experience. Physical education, music (vocal and choir), art, Spanish, and STEM/STREAM activities are also offered, as are a variety of extracurricular activities including drama club, chess club, choir, chimes, yearbook and Mad Science. Holy Savior also offers fall/winter basketball and cheerleading and spring track.
“I want people to know we have so much to offer. We are a forward-thinking 21st Century School [and] the smaller community here at Holy Savior gives you a more personal touch,” Pasqua said, noting that an open house will be held in late August once the school’s interior projects are complete and prospective parents can also call to schedule a tour. “I encourage people to come in and see the changes we have made.”
Holy Savior Academy is located at 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield. For additional information or to schedule a tour, call (908) 822-5890, ext. 155. To learn more about the school, visit www.HolySaviorAcademy.com or follow ‘Holy Savior Academy’ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/holysavioracademy/.
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