Filippini sister assumes helm of St. Jerome School

Filippini Sister Elizabeth Seton Dalessio


By Christina Leslie, Correspondent

The new principal of St. Jerome School, West Long Branch, is Filippini Sister Elizabeth Seton Dalessio, a servant of God with more than 40 years of service to the Church and her people. The religious, who holds a doctorate and numerous certifications in the field of education, stands ready to enrich the lives of the students of the Monmouth County school, both now and in their future as strong Catholic men and women of faith.

Sister Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown; a master’s in religious education and liturgy from St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoody; a master’s in educational leadership from Georgian Court College (now University), Lakewood, and returned to the College of St. Elizabeth to earn her doctorate in organizational leadership.

After two terms in Villa Walsh Academy, Morristown, during which she served as athletic director and theology, economics and math instructor, Sister Elizabeth taught biology, biochemistry and physical science in Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing, from 1984 to 1994. Holy Trinity Parish was her next assignment; there she served the Long Branch school and church as principal, pastoral associate, director of religious education, choir director and science coordinator.

The religious also has a wealth of experience from assignments in the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission, including roles as assistant superintendent of schools, executive director for the New Jersey Virtual Charter School, and director of adult education, of programs for at-risk students and of technology for the commission’s schools. Sister Elizabeth also was co-founder of the virtual school, which provided educational opportunities for more than 100 students at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution to earn their GED. 

Sister Elizabeth has been an adjunct professor of organizational leadership and ethics in Seton Hall University, South Orange; St. Peter’s University, Jersey City, and with the Colorado State University Global campus.

During weekend Masses last month in St. Jerome Church, a worship site of Our Lady of Hope Parish, Sister Elizabeth introduced herself to the congregation and laid out her goals and ideals for the newest chapter of the 62-year old school, which was named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

Noting that “the Catholic faith that we knew growing up is not the same today,” the new principal pledged to “provide the environment where children develop into strong Catholic women and men who will carry our hopes and dreams into the future” by nurturing faith via example and worship, as well as providing the best education possible upon the foundation of the STEM model.

“Contribute your time and talent,” Sister Elizabeth encouraged the parishioners. “Help through your support of the [Sister Angelina Pelliccia] Legacy fund to ensure that St. Jerome will always be the beacon of learning here in this corner of Monmouth County.”

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