SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – It’s a bittersweet time for Holy Savior Academy Principal Carol Woodburn who will officially retire – for the second time – next month. A special assembly honoring her will be held on Wednesday, June 5.
“This was my vocation and Holy Savior has been home for the past four years, but it’s time,” said Woodburn, who will celebrate her 70th birthday in a few weeks. “I want to spend time with my husband, Ned, who has been retired for 10 years, and my family, including my nine grandchildren who range in age from 5 to 18.”
Woodburn earned a degree and certification in elementary education from New Jersey City University and, after raising her three daughters, secured a position at Saint John Vianney School in Colonia. She taught middle level English language arts for 13 years and went on to earn a masters degree in supervision from Fordham University. In 1996, Woodburn was named assistant principal at the Pre-K through eighth grade school and, the following year, earned her supervisory certification. In 2004, she was appointed principal at Saint John’s and served in this capacity until the end of the 2014 school year when she retired – the first time – and relocated to South Plainfield.
In February 2015, at the request of the Diocese of Metuchen and Board of Limited Jurisdiction, Woodburn was asked to take on the principal position at Holy Savior on a ‘temporary’ basis but, when the person she was filling in for did not return from maternity leave, Woodburn was asked to stay.
“It is such an intimate and close-knit community and I love the children here. We have such talented and diverse students and faculty and the parents are great,” she said.
During her tenure at the school, Woodburn said enrollment along with the school’s science program have grown. The school now boosts a science lab and, with help from the faculty, developed a new science program that includes a makerspace. She also worked to strengthen the school’s language arts program.
“We’ve seen nice progress,” she told TAPinto South Plainfield, noting that while the school has always been involved in the community, a stronger social media presence and marketing of programs and events over the past few years has made the school more visible. “More people are now aware of Holy Savior and what a great place it is,” Woodburn said, adding, “I feel I am leaving the school at a good time and in good hands.”
Woodburn's last day as principal will be Friday, June 28 and her successor Theresa Pasqua, the current assistant principal at St. Thomas in Old Bridge, will officially take over as principal July 1. “She has a lot of experience and will bring with her good ideas and a lot of background in fundraising,” Woodburn said. “She’s a lot like me, calm and positive. I think she will be a good fit here.”
Although she will ‘retired,’ Woodburn said she ‘isn’t one to sit at home’ and hopes to come back to Holy Savior as a volunteer. She is also open to new opportunities should they arise. “If something comes up and I’m interested, who knows. I am not one to limit myself,” Woodburn said, adding, “God has a plan and wherever God leads me is where I will go.”
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