February 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Academic Dean Francesca Tambone-Puzio to Be Inducted into Bergen Catholic Hall of Fame

Demarest, NJ: The Academy of the Holy Angels is delighted to announce that AHA Academic Dean Francesca Tambone-Puzio will be inducted into the Bergen Catholic High School Hall of Fame. The 5:30 p.m. ceremony will be held at Seasons in Washington Township on Sunday, March 29. Visit for tickets and event details.

“It’s a well-deserved honor and such a fitting tribute,” said AHA President Melinda A. Hanlon. “Francesca is an accomplished educator who is always guided by what is best for the students. She stays current regarding trends in education, and is a strategic thinker. We are so happy and grateful that she is a member of the AHA community.”

Tambone-Puzio, who joined the Holy Angels administration in 2016, has developed a knack for her recognizing and fostering other people’s gifts.

“Nothing can hold you back except your willingness to move forward,” she says.

Her many contributions to Holy Angels include her active role in the successful March 2019 Middle States Colloquium. She also provides oversight of the AHA Fine Art and Performing Arts departments, and works closely with AHA’s international students.

At 16, she immigrated to the U.S. from Italy with her parents, Michael and Rosa, and her siblings. She quickly learned English while she completed high school at Pascack Hills. She continued her education at Seton Hall, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in pre-med biology/modern languages, a master’s degree in education, and a master’s in Catholic school leadership and administration.

She invested 29 years at Bergen Catholic, where she became the first woman to serve as assistant principal. Her roles at BC also include director of the Office for International Students, guidance counselor/special services coordinator, world language chair, Spanish and Italian teacher, and tennis and swim coach. She was moderator of the world language honor societies, student government, and the drama club.

Tambone-Puzio and her students developed Students Helping Inspire Everyone’s Leadership Development. SHIELD, a BC Flagship of Achievement, allows student leaders to create and run activities on topics such as goal setting, time management, and decision-making.

Tambone-Puzio has earned the Archdiocese of Newark’s Outstanding Educator Award and Service to Youth Ministry Award. She was BC’s Teacher of the Year, and had a Crusader yearbook dedicated to her. She also received BC’s Pro Operis award in recognition of her first 20 years of service. Tambone-Puzio is a member of Kappa Delta Pi XI Gamma, an international honor society for educators. In addition, she was listed among the country’s top 5% of language teachers. She has served on the Middle States Accreditation Team.

Her fond memories of BC include the time she devoted to planning and running proms and other activities. She also enjoyed moderating the BC Student Government, through which she and hundreds of students raised funds for activities, equipment, the opportunity for students to learn to use voting machines, and a Catholic School Forum that permitted local student leaders to coordinate their events to minimize competition. She also chaperoned BC ski trips in the U.S., and school excursions to Italy, France, Spain, and Switzerland. She examined China’s education system on a College Board trip to Beijing and Hangzhou, and traveled to South Korea for a BC international parent conference.

This dedicated educator was part of the team that conducted the ACTION Leadership Workshop for the Christian Brother Schools in North and South America. She also served on the Essential Elements Task Force Committee that created a new tool to evaluate how schools live the essential elements: the reason each school can refer to itself as a Christian Brother School.

She is married to fellow BC Hall of Famer John Puzio.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.

Academy of the Holy Angels

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Phone: 201.768.7822

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