Maintaining a Good Balance
by Mary Kate Mahoney
Last year, St. Joseph’s College Magazine reported that Brooklyn District 22 Superintendent Marianne Traviglia Ferrara ’69 was inducted into the Commission for Independent Colleges and Universities Alumni Hall of Distinction for her dedication to the students and staff in her district.
While she has devoted her career to improving the opportunities of her students, she also deserves recognition for her commitment to another resident of Brooklyn — St. Joseph’s College.
“I stayed connected [to St. Joseph’s],” Ms. Ferrara said.
That’s a bit of an understatement. She did much more than just stay in touch.
She’s a member of the SJC Alumni Association. She’s chair of the Alumni Scholarship Committee, which rewards the scholarship to incoming freshmen of the relatives of SJC alumni. And she also sits on the Alumni Admissions Board, offering her advice and experience at open houses and other recruitment events.
She’s a consistent asset to the College, and she values the benefits of being an active member in the SJC community. Staying connected with her fellow alumni, on both a personal and professional level, is a favorable byproduct.
“There are many wonderful people who graduated from SJC,” she said. “I’m very loyal and proud to be an alumna.”
As superintendent, Ms. Ferrara often encounters SJC students and alumni when they enter the district as educators. She embraces this relationship, stating “the schools look forward to student-teachers from St. Joseph’s.”
She’s also humbled and grateful for how the College molded her into a dedicated educator.
“I owe the College an awful lot,” she said. “St. Joseph’s has enabled me to have a wonderful career in education.”
Ms. Ferrara’s career has been quite successful, and she continues to promote achievement in her schools. As of December 2009, District 22 was the only district in Brooklyn that has been consistently recognized by the Department of Education as being in good standing since Congress ratified the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002. Only two other Brooklyn districts are currently considered to be in good standing.
Along with her responsibilities as superintendent and her work with St. Joseph’s, Ms. Ferrara also serves as a senior achievement facilitator for the New York City Board of Education, gathering data and opinions to advise the chancellor of schools on how to best serve students in the New York City school system.
Even with such a demanding schedule, Ms. Ferrara maintains a balance by staying committed to the calling she loves.
“The common thread that has connected all the roles I have enjoyed in my professional and private life is something I learned many years ago as an undergraduate student at St. Joseph’s College — to be and not to seem,” she said.