Retiring principal Costantino hopes Hamilton school’s legacy of family will continue
By Rose O’Connor | Trenton Monitor Correspondent
When he became principal of Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton, in 2011, Donald Costantino felt “he had come full circle.”
And while his 40-year career in education had ventured in various directions, he is certain that it culminated exactly where it was supposed to – serving in a Catholic school.
Now looking forward to retirement, he reflected on his six years at Our Lady of Sorrows School saying, “There is a family feeling here, and I want that to continue to be the legacy of this school. I want it to continue to be a place where graduates want to return and still feel like family. That is what I am most proud of, and I want it to continue to be invigorating and inviting when prospective parents and visitors come to the school.”
“That inviting atmosphere and feeling of being part of a family is truly the spirit of Catholic education; knowing your child is going to be cared for, that everyone gets what they need to be successful is certainly what carried me through [my own] 13 years of Catholic education and is something that I want to see continue at Our Lady of Sorrows School,” he said.
A lifelong Hamilton Township resident, Costantino and his wife, Genevieve, both attended St. Anthony Grammar School and St. Anthony High School (now Trenton Catholic Academy). Upon his graduation from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), Ewing, he spent 40 years as a teacher and administrator in public education in Hamilton Township before he arrived to Our Lady of Sorrows School.
“Getting to know these children and their families has been wonderful,” he said, acknowledging the staff for their dedication to the students. “The cohesiveness and longevity of the staff makes this a special place. Many of these teachers have been here for a number of years.”
Reflecting on his years as principal, Costantino said what he would miss most are the students, “without a doubt.”
“They are the lifeblood of the school community,” he said.
In retirement, Costantino said he looks forward to spending time with his family, including his children and grandchildren who live out of state.
“These have definitely been the six most wonderful years in education,” he said. “I feel as though I have come home to the education that my wife and I experienced while growing up.”