Staff Directory

Faculty and Staff Profiles


Principal John J. Salatto, Ed.D.                         Email

17 years teaching experience (English and Literature in both parochial and public schools); School Principal since 1990 (parochial and public schools). Educational career has spanned over 31 years in Catholic education and10 years in public schools.

B.A. in Psychology, Gannon University Graduate CTP, University of Hartford M. Ed. in Administration and Supervision, Boston College Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, NOVA Southeastern University

Secretary Mrs. Linda Vecca                               Email

Prior to joining the parochial school system, Mrs. Vecca was a secretary to vice president in banking for 10 years. She also held the title Business Manager of a property management company for 14 years. Within the school system, Mrs. Vecca has served as a substitute in the Waterbury School District for 5 years and has held a secretarial position in this school building since 2004.

Associate Degree in Secretarial Science, Mattatuck Community College

Faculty –  Early Childhood

Pre-K 3 Instructor Mrs. Carlene Russo       Email

Over 32 years experience teaching young children including Pre-K 3 and 4 year olds. Mrs. Russo has also served as a substitute teacher at both St. Francis of Assisi School and St. Hedwig School. She is a proud mom of 2 sons, both graduates from St. Francis of Assisi School. In 1993, Mrs. Russo was given the “Super Early Childhood Teacher Award” from St. Mary’s Hospital Child Development Program.

A.S. in Early Childhood Education, Mattatuck Community College

Pre-K 4 Instructor Mrs. Karyn Rappi                          Email

Over 22 years experience teaching preschool; proud mother of 3 children.

B.A. in Child Psychology, St. Joseph College Masters credits in Early Childhood Education, St. Joseph College

Pre-K 4 Aide Mrs. Melinda Buza                   Email

A parent volunteer for many years, Mrs. Buza began serving as the St. Francis of Assisi School librarian in 2003. In 2005, she took on the role as a Pre-K aide. Mrs. Buza is the mother of two St. Francis of Assisi School students. Outside of the school system, she has extensive experience as a business technical writer.

B.A. in Professional Writing and History (double major), Carnegie-Mellon University M.A. in American History, University of Virginia

Pre-K 4 Aide Mrs. Mary Macchio                   Email

Prior to Mrs. Macchio joining the parochial school environment, she was a tax accountant for 8 years. She joined St. Hedwig School 6 years ago as a Pre-K Aide.

B.S. in Public Accounting; PACE University

Pre-K 4 Aide Mrs. Terry Wade                       Email

For several years Mrs. Wade has been an active substitute and took on the role of Pre-K aide in 2009. She is the mother of two – a soon to be graduate from St. Francis of Assisi School and a middle school student of the new St. Francis – St. Hedwig School. She has been a very active volunteer and a HOPES Award recipient.

Kindergarten Miss Deborah Pisciotti             Email

22 years teaching experience, exclusively in this school building. Miss Pisciotti has been teaching Kindergarten for the last 17 years and was recognized as the 2005 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. She currently serves on the Archdiocese of Hartford – Office of Catholic Schools Curriculum Commission.

B.A. in History with an English Minor, Trinity College of Vermont M.S. in Elementary Education, University of Bridgeport

Kindergarten Aide Mrs. Joan Neth                 Email

Mrs. Neth has been in this building for over 16 years serving in many different capacities – Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade aide, gym teacher and also librarian. As a parent volunteer, she has also coached softball and served on many school committees. Many members of her family, namely her parents and children, are all graduates of St. Francis of Assisi School

Faculty –  Primary

1st Grade Mrs. Abigail Cervone                       Email

9 years teaching experience, of which the last 6 years at St. Hedwig School. Mrs. Cervone has taught both Kindergarten and Grade 1.

B.A. in Psychology, Post University M.S. in Elementary Education, University of Bridgeport

2nd Grade Mrs. Donna Lawlor                       Email

With 32 years of teaching experience in Catholic Education, Mrs. Lawlor has spent the last 24 years educating second graders in this building. She currently holds a Professional Teaching Certificate from the State of CT.

B.A. Elementary Education and English, Annhurst College

3rd Grade Mrs. Vicki LoRusso                        Email

26 years teaching experience, exclusively in this school building teaching 3rd grade students.

B.S. in Elementary Education, CCSU

4th Grade Mrs. Leslie Biggins                         Email

Over 7 years experience at St. Hedwig School teaching Grade 4; Administrative Assistant/Teacher at St. Lucy School for 3 years; three years at Children’s Community School in Waterbury; 10 years in the Torrington Public School System.

B.S. in Education, St. Joseph College Masters degree credits, St. Joseph College

5th Grade

Faculty – Middle School

6th Grade

7th Grade Mrs. Louise Stack                             Email

29 years experience at St. Hedwig School teaching grades two through eight, of which 21 years teaching middle school math; Grade 2 teacher in the New York City Public School System for over 6 years.

B.S. in Elementary Education, St. John’s University

8th grade Mrs. Valerie Petrillo                         Email

With 28 years teaching experience, Mrs. Petrillo began her career teaching grade 6 at Saint Lucy’s in Waterbury. She then moved onto grade 7 science in both Portland and West Hartford public schools. Mrs. Petrillo joined St. Francis of Assisi School six years ago as the grade 6 homeroom teacher and middle school science teacher.

B.S. in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Syracuse University

Support Staff

Spanish Mr. Michael Petruzzi

Mr. Petruzzi joined the faculty in 2012, and enjoys immensely the challenge of teaching Spanish to all grade levels from kindergarten through eighth grade. Before coming to St. Francis-St. Hedwig, Mr. Petruzzi served as a substitute teacher in the Waterbury and Wolcott public school systems. An avid musician, he serves as a substitute organist for local churches, as well as assisting with the SFSH Children’s Choir and annual Drama Club production.

B.A. Spanish, Southern Connecticut State University

Art Mrs. Terry Wade                       Email

For several years Mrs. Wade has been an active substitute and took on the role of Pre-K aide in 2009.  In addition to her duties in the PK program, Mrs. Wade is also an accomplished art teacher serving students in PK- Grade 8 She has been a very active volunteer and a HOPES Award recipient.

 Physical Education Miss Shannon Dunn

Miss Dunn is a graduate of St. Francis School, Naugatuck.  She is a certified physical Education teacher holding a B.S. degree in Exercise Science… Miss Dunn has experience working with students in health and exercise to build a positive life style.

B.S. in Exercise Science, Southern Connecticut State University

Library/Music Mrs. Susan Light

Mrs. Light has taken over the library and music positions after an internship of working with both programs last year. She has extensive experience in the music field and has supported our school library and reading programs.

Ashworth College, Georgia

Academic Support/After School Program Mrs. Barbara Santos                 Email

Mrs. Santos is a Registered Dental Hygienist serving in patient education. She has served St. Hedwig/St. Francis-St. Hedwig School for the past 12 years in many capacities: Pre-K Aide, Secretary, Substitute Teacher, Music and Art Teacher. Currently, Mrs. Santos is serving as an Academic Support instructor and covers the Before and After School Program. As a previous officer of the HSA, she has been an active volunteer and a Hopes Award recipient.

A.S., Tunxis Community College