September 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Sister Carole Tabano, SSND, Concludes Teaching Career

Demarest, NJ:After 58 years at the head of the class, Sister Carole Tabano, SSND, (AHA ’59) has officially retired. She concluded her teaching career as a Spanish language teacher at her alma mater, the Academy of the Holy Angels.

This is a milestone year for S. Carole, who is marking 60 years since her graduation from Holy Angels (Fort Lee campus) and her decision to enter the School Sisters of Notre Dame. She will celebrate her jubilee in 2021.

The Holy Angels community will install a Walk with Angels paver inscribed in her honor, recognizing S. Carole for her three decades of service.

S. Carole was involved in all aspects of life under the iconic Holy Angels dome in Fort Lee. She was a celebrated athlete who played softball, served as co-captain of the varsity basketball team, and belonged to the Athletic Association Board. S. Carole also participated in the theater program, was active with the Sodality of Our Blessed Mother, and wrote for the school newspaper.

The fall after her graduation, Carole entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the Holy Angels Chapel in Fort Lee. She spent two years training in Baltimore. In 1961, she was sent to Aguas Buenas, a mountain village in Puerto Rico. Carole knew no Spanish, but quickly learned the language. In addition to teaching 65 fourth graders, she was responsible for the church music, the volleyball team, and the boys' track team. She remained in Aguas Buenas for the next five years.

Carole then moved to Caguas to work at Notre Dame High School. She taught English, served as moderator of an award-winning Forensic League Club, produced and directed musicals, and was featured on TV and radio.

After three years in Caguas, Carole moved to Garden, City, Long Island, where she taught Spanish to seventh and eighth graders. She also continued to produce and direct musicals. During this time, Carole pursued her undergraduate degree at Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in Spanish at Iona College.

When she realized she missed teaching the less fortunate, she requested a new assignment. Carole was sent to Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she taught religion and Spanish, and was moderator of the successful drama club. She created ways to keep the inner city students involved and remain safe after school. One Kolbe class that was celebrating its 25th reunion invited S. Carole as their guest of honor. Her former students shared their memories of her years at that school, and told stories about how she had enriched their lives.

After her father had a stroke in the late 1980s, Carole returned to New Jersey and began teaching at Holy Angels, which had moved from Fort Lee to Demarest in 1965. Over the past 30 years, she taught all levels of Spanish. She spearheaded the Spanish Club and National Spanish Honor Society’s fundraisers, which netted thousands of dollars for the education and care of students at an SSND-sponsored school in Honduras. Each year, parents and students built a sense of community while working on the fundraising effort.

S. Carole was an Advanced Placement Teacher of Year for helping Spanish AP students master the language and achieve top scores on the exams for 10 years. She earned the coveted National Sponsor of the Year for her work with the National Spanish Honor Society, community building, fundraising for those in need, and for her students' publications in the Spanish magazine, Albricias. She was inducted into the AHA Athletic Hall of Fame.

“I want to let you all know how I will miss you and all that we have shared together over these many years at AHA,” S. Carole wrote to the members of the school community. “Our faculty has exhibited so much dedication to the education of our students and is so very talented. You are a true testimony to what teaching and learning are all about. To our staff and all workers who hold an important responsibility in the growth of our students, please realize how your presence is integral to the entire school community.

“Thank you for your friendship, support, and love over the years. I am eternally grateful.

“I walked the halls in Demarest for 30 years and have wonderful memories mixed with some difficult times, as any person would experience. As a graduate of 60 years from the Fort Lee campus, I stand tall and honor my alma mater. I promise to hold all of you in heart and prayers. To our students, I wish you amazing years at our distinguished school and hope you use your talents and gifts to grow and to reach out to those in need.”

S. Carole remains involved in her church, and volunteers at the Upper Saddle River Library as a teacher of women and students who want to learn English or Spanish.

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.

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Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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