Religions and Spirituality

Holy Savior Academy appoints three new board members



The start of the new school year also brings three new additions to the Board of Limited Jurisdiction at Holy Savior Academy, South Plainfield.

The three new board members are Diane D’Ambrosio, of Somerset; Barbara Duggan of Plainfield; and Benjamin West of Piscataway.

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Holy Savior Academy’s Board of Trustees was formed in 2011 concurrent with the founding of the school and was the first governance structure of its kind in the Diocese of Metuchen. Comprised of 13 voting members and three ex-officio non-voting members, the board is responsible for the financial success of Holy Savior Academy. It is a decision-making board, focusing on finances, facilities management, enrollment and strategic planning, marketing and advancement.

The school, located at 149 South Plainfield Ave. in South Plainfield, accepts students of all faiths in pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade.

The new trustees have wide-ranging backgrounds but share a common conviction that a Catholic education provides the foundation children need to become successful adults.

D’Ambrosio, who works for a pharmaceutical research company, added that with Catholic school education students “develop not only their minds, but also their hearts and spirits.”

She wanted to serve on the board, a non-paying post, to ensure Catholic education locally is “a reasonably-priced option so that a Catholic family – or any family – can afford it. I’m committed to it.”

West had no direct connection to Holy Savior until recently when he learned of the opportunity to apply for service on the board through his parish priest.

“I’m a product of Catholic education from kindergarten to high school,” West said. “I feel that was a great environment to develop my character. I know that Catholic school prepared me well for college and even to this day I still use the principles that I learned in school in my life. “


West, who is employed by an investment management firm in New Jersey, is eager to help the board meet its financial goals, especially funding scholarships and tuition assistance.


For Duggan and her family, Catholic education is a tradition. She grew up with devout parents, attended Catholic school and has sent all her four children – Christopher, 25, Tyler, 19, Kyle, 15 and Emily, 13—to Catholic schools. Tyler attends Seton Hall University. Kyle is a sophomore at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen and Emily is an eighth-grader at Holy Savior Academy.

“Service is very important in my family,” Duggan said. “What better way to do that than with your parish?”

Duggan was a clinical dietician for JFK Medical Center, Edison, for 20 years and later served as the food service director at the former Our Lady of Fatima School.

The three new board members began their three-year terms on July 1. They join board Chairperson Colleen M. Gallagher and trustees Ellen Ayoub (Superintendent of Education, Diocese of Metuchen), Marilyn Conte, Rev. George Farrell, (Pastor, St. Joseph Parish), Melinda Hanlon, (School Principal), Michael J. Hober, John Hoffman, Timothy Morgan, Denise Muglia, Donna Shammo, and Michael Van Riper. 

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