KATHLEEN HUNTER '68 - Alumnae Award
Kathleen Hunter, BA, MA, PhD - Alumnae Award
Kathleen Hunter is a daughter, sister, MSR alumna Class of 1968, wife, aunt, teacher, writer, coach, theater enthusiast, world traveler, friend, and force for good in the world. She is a welcome and worthy addition to Mother Seton Regional’s Hall of Fame.
After receiving her BA from the College of Saint Elizabeth in English with a minor in Secondary Education, Kathleen taught English, Religion, and Driver Education at Marylawn of the Oranges High School from 1972 until 1981. While there, she was also the coach of the JV and Varsity basketball teams, and she served as Athletic Director, Class Moderator, and Moderator of the Liturgy Group. In 1981, she joined the faculty of the English Department at The College of Saint Elizabeth where she remains. She has made many contributions to the College while fulfilling many roles, including Professor of literature and writing, English Department Chairperson, Director of the Learning Center, and Dean of Arts and Sciences. She earned her MA in English and American Literature from Illinois State University in 1979, and her PhD in English/Rhetoric and Linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1993. Kathleen’s areas of doctoral specializations in Composition Theory and Pedagogy, Sociolinguistics, and Applied Critical Theory have served her well and greatly enriched her teaching at CSE.
As a college faculty member, Dr. Hunter has made many scholarly presentations over the years at local, regional, national, and international conferences, and she strives to integrate best practices and current research into her teaching. She has won several awards over the years, most recently as a “Friend of Nursing” from the CSE Nursing Department. She believes, however, that the most valuable reward for a teacher is the success of her students, in learning and in life. Her Department Chair notes her unparalleled commitment to her students’ success as well as her remarkable support of colleagues and staff--all behind the scenes without seeking recognition. Her loyalty, integrity, and sense of humor mark all her endeavors, as she strives to live her life in the spirit of St. Vincent dePaul and St. Elizabeth Anne Seton.
Kathleen is a member of the Mother Seton Regional Consultative Board and she was a founding member of the Advisory Board of Saint Mary of the Assumption High School, Elizabeth, NJ—her mother’s Alma Mater. As a Mother Seton student, Kathleen was known for her intelligence, wit, and vocabulary. She was active in extra-curricular activities, including her positions as Manager of the basketball team and Editor of Sojourn, and she held active membership in clubs galore including the Glee and Drama clubs, Sodality, and Future Teachers of America. Clearly, Kathleen’s impulses for service and involvement began early and continue through today. She is the impetus for the annual Mother Seton Gala Fund Raising Event and is a vital force in the Alumnae Association’s support of our school. She organizes and runs trips and is constantly working behind the scenes at school events. Although a self-proclaimed introvert, Kathleen will refuse no activity or interaction in the name of charity for a beloved institution or friend. Her generosity is boundless and gracious.
AMIRA AMMAR, ESQ. '03 - Alumnae Award
AMIRA AMMAR, ESQ. '03 - Alumnae Award
Amira Ammar arrived at Mother Seton Regional as a transfer student in her junior year. In the time before her graduation, she came to appreciate the blessing that our Alma Mater was for her—a kind of safe haven from the storms of life.
Amira knew even as a high school student that she wanted to be an attorney, and she never took her eyes off of the prize of her Juris Doctor degree. Upon graduation from Mother Seton, she enrolled in Wagner College in Staten Island, NY as a Sociology major with a concentration in Family Studies. Even at that young age, she had already made up her mind to prepare herself professionally to help others. While classmates were seeking out parties at Fraternity Houses, Amira was participating in the Wagner College Honors Program and accepting membership in the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society. Even then, Amira sought opportunities to serve others, devoting her spare time to such organizations as Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, Debating for Democracy, Americans for Informed Democracy, and Project Pericles. While still an undergraduate, Amira participated in the Young Global Leaders Summit Seminar at American University in Washington, and she spent the Spring 2005 Semester at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon as an exchange student. In 2006, she participated in seminars on Congress and Public Policy, Politics in the Media, and International Conflict and Negotiation: The Middle East, The Darfur Crisis, and US-Cuban Relations. Amira was becoming a citizen of the world.
After earning her BA at Wagner, she enrolled in New York Law School, where she was named as an Associate in the Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families, and an Associate with the Justice Action Center. She was selected as a Justice Louis Sangiorgio Supreme Court Law Intern and she received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for the Best Brief. Not content to merely learn about helping others, Amira spent her spare time honing her skills as a volunteer on the Uncontested Divorce Project, the Courtroom Advocates Project, and the Family Justice Initiative, and serving on the Executive Board of the Domestic Violence Project.
In the years since graduation from law school and admittance to the New York State Bar, Amira has held a number of positions, including interning with Family Court Legal Services, with New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Bureau of Special Hearings. For five years, she held the title of Agency Attorney, Level III, Team Leader with Family Court Legal Services, New York City Administration for Children’s Services. In that capacity, Amira looked after all aspects of the lives of children at risk, such as litigating child neglect and abuse cases, and appearing at hearings about permanency, contempt, and imminent risk, in addition to supervising and mentoring staff attorneys. Since June, 2018, she has been the Court Attorney to the Honorable Marina Cora Mundy in Staten Island, where her duties include conducting settlement conferences and drafting judicial decisions.
Amira’s closest friends say the word that best describes her is “generous.” Aside from dedicating her professional life to fighting for the marginalized and the forgotten, she responds to need whenever it reveals itself. This was evident, for example, in her response to the devastation brought by Hurricane Sandy. She organized her neighbors and inspired others to join her in working to meet the needs of those who had lost everything in the storm. Her efforts surprised no one who knows her.
She does all that she does while also being a remarkable mother to her three daughters. Ever the woman for others, she has set the course of her life to walk in the footsteps of St. Vincent dePaul who sought always to do “more.” Truly a daughter of Mother Elizabeth Seton, our sister Amira Ammar ’03 is inducted tonight into the Mother Seton Regional High School Hall of Fame.
KATHLEEN JOSEPH - Faculty Award
KATHLEEN JOSEPH - Faculty Award
Like any good math equation, variables exist to help fuel answers. Mrs. Joseph’s educational career has traveled varied paths bringing her to Mother Seton Regional. A native New Yorker, Kathleen got her BA at Mary Mount Manhattan College, her MA in Secondary Math Education at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and her PD in Education, Administration and Supervision at Saint John’s University.
Her teaching career began at Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica Estates, Queens, an all girl’s Catholic high school of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Kathleen served as the Math chair teaching Algebra, Geometry, Intermediate Algebra and Trigonometry, Sequential Mathematics I, II, and III, Mathematical Analysis, Calculus 1, and Computer Programing. While there, Kathleen met her husband, Leslie, a fellow math teacher at the school. Saint Michael’s School in Cranford next benefited from her teaching skills with Sixth Grade math, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra. Our school hired her in 2008 where she teaches Honors and College Prep math courses.
Mrs. Joseph was named Tandy Technology Outstanding Teacher in 1990, received the Teacher Service Award from the Diocese of Brooklyn 1993, before being named to our Hall of Fame. Kathleen has served on the Our Lady of Angels Sports Council, Brooklyn and won the Our Lady of Angels Governing Board Award. Kathleen is a Eucharistic Minister at Saint Michael’s Parish in Cranford.
Mrs. Joseph views teaching as a vocation rather than an occupation. She is passionate about education and the discipline of mathematics. She holds a tremendous sense of responsibility toward her students and understands that their dealings with her may very well influence their future. Her keen sense of fairness and respect enhances her interactions with all her students and their families. While Kathleen enjoys the administrative aspects of an academic career, the classroom is her true joy. The students at our school have always impressed her with their self-assurance, confidence, and commitment to service. Being the advisor to both the National Honor Society and Junior Class affords Mrs. Joseph continued exposure to the students’ creativity and devotion to good causes. In an interesting complete circle, Kathleen and Leslie’s daughter, Lori, adopted from one of Mother Theresa’s orphanages in Leslie’s native India, is now a math teacher, following her mother’s example.
Mother Seton is proud to have Mrs. Joseph with all her talents and tales as a valued member of our academic staff and new member of our Hall of Fame. Kathleen is a true devotee of Elizabeth Ann Seton’s mission.
KATHERINE SULLIVAN - Faculty Award
Katherine Sullivan - Faculty Award
Katherine Sullivan began teaching Physics at Mother Seton in 1994 after a career at Bell Atlantic and raising her two children, Ken and Katie. A devoted teacher, her goal for her students was not only to learn the mechanics of the subjects, but to learn to enjoy the beauty of the subjects as well. She held that Physics is the study of the world around us and Mathematics is the language of Physics.
Teaching Algebra I, Chemistry, and Physics, including AP, Katherine continued spreading her intelligence and skills by creating the Engineering Design Process Course and lab not only for us, but for the entire Newark Archdiocese. The dedication of the Sister Regina Martin Engineering Lab was the result of Katherine’s vision. During the first year of the program, Mrs. Sullivan’s students created sustainable housing for disaster areas around the world. The award-winning Bangladesh prototype, along with its engineering notebook and marketing poster, included a turbine that would raise the home up one story in the event of a disaster while releasing two fully stocked life boats through an indoor lock. Additional design assignments and projects included musical instruments, robotic arms, and other amazing feats of engineering.
Mrs. Sullivan became a Seton Associate of the Sisters of Charity in 2001. She noted the impact of the Sisters during a difficult time in her life by sharing with her their faith, strength, and comfort. Katherine hoped to give back to the students in her care all of the things the Sisters taught her over the years. She succeeded in being not only a role model for our girls as a woman scientist, but as a woman leading a life of caritas.
Her emulation of the life of Elizabeth Seton was evident in all her endeavors. She coached the Academic and Physics and Science League teams, was the statistician for the MSR Softball team, was an Ellis Island Ambassador, Sophomore Class Advisor, Seton Spirit Club Advisor, and a member of the NJ Science League. Her devotion to our school and the goals of Mother Seton were embodied in her daughter Katie who is a 2004 graduate of MSR. Both a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader, Katherine was a volunteer cook for AIDS patients and also enjoyed gardening, concerts, and summer trips to Ireland with her family.
Katherine Sullivan blessed our school with her grace and gifts, her intelligence, her wit, her joy of learning and teaching, and her wisdom. Her influence lives on each day in the work she created in our STEM program and the example of a life well lived in charity. May she now rest in the Divine embrace and continue to be a source of influence in all matters scientific, technological, and spiritual.
SANTANDER BANK - Friend of Mother Seton High School Award
SANTANDER BANK - Friend of Mother Seton High School Award
This group of financial advisors impressed Mother Seton’s Finance Committee with their clear, honest, and realistic approach. Each member of this team brings their own expertise to the professional services they provide for our school. They are dedicated to the goals and ideals of Mother Seton Regional and our students.