Carol La Salle
Academy of Our Lady in Glen Rock, NJ
Carol La Salle brings with her to the Academy over two decades of experience in education: first as an elementary and junior high school teacher for over 10 years, and most recently as a principal for 13. A certified school leader with teaching credentials in both elementary and early childhood education, La Salle earned her Bachelor of Arts in education from Caldwell University and later completed a Master of Arts in educational leadership at Seton Hall.
Unwavering in both her faith and her vocation, La Salle never doubted her calling: “As far back as I can remember, my career path led me to education, in particular, Catholic education. My love for children and my desire to create an environment of spiritual and intellectual formation for [them] led me on [this] path.” With the same sense of purpose and conviction, she has fully immersed herself in her new role, noting how impressed she is by the commitment and dedication of both faculty and parents.
“I am proud to be the new principal at the Academy of Our Lady in Glen Rock. In the coming year, I hope to continue to build upon the active Service Learning [program here].” Looking ahead, she will “work toward linking the school’s mission statement with the traditions the Academy holds sacred.”
Maura Triebenbacher, Principal
Aquinas Academy in Livingston, NJ
Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia where she attended Saint Philomena School and Archbishop Prendergast High School, Maura Triebenbacher knows firsthand how Catholic schools shape the lives and futures of their student.
Her learning experiences, compounded by her Irish Catholic parents’ emphasis on the importance of education, easily explain her life pursuits, which include earning a bachelor’s degree in English and education from LaSalle University and later a master’s degree in education leadership and administration from Immaculata University.
Since starting as a teacher in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Triebenbacher has added experience as a principal, learning specialist, and adjunct professor to her skillset.
Stepping into her work at Aquinas, she notes the existing strength of the community and Catholic values, two things she hopes to build upon. On the academic side, she intends to introduce teaching strategies to promote reflective learning, critical thinking and synthesis to foster students’ ability to self-monitor their learning and achieve a deeper understanding of the content.
Barbara Verdonck, Interim Principal
Academy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Tenafly, NJ
Prior to assuming the role of Interim Principal, Barbara Verdonck had a successful career for over 30 years in Catholic schools, working primarily in math education and later administration. Most recently, she served as a faculty member at OLMC. Verdonck earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In her experience, Verdonck finds that, “if students are engaged, they will love to learn,” and she believes in challenging her students while also “encouraging them to take risks and learn from their successes and their mistakes.” Her decades of experience as a Catholic educator have also given her a deep appreciation for OLMC’s mission of “helping students see God in themselves, in each other and in the world around them.”
As Interim Principal, Ms. Verdonck intends to spark an ongoing conversation around growth mindset, or the idea that we are always growing and learning. In her own words, “Despite obstacles that may arise, we must always believe in our ability to rise above challenges and come out stronger on the other end.”