Amy Sansone brings experience, passion and faith to her new role

By Eileen Jevis
Staff writer

Amy Sansone’s credentials show extensive experience in education, administration and leadership. A teacher, mentor, coach and academic dean are just a few of the positions she has held throughout her career. However, her strong Catholic faith is what guides her each day to nurture the children she serves and collaborate with fellow teachers and administrators in offering an exceptional faith-based education to the students in the Diocese of Syracuse. Sansone was hired in 2021 as the director of Leadership Development and Mission Effectiveness for the Catholic Schools Office. She started her new assignment as superintendent of Catholic schools last month.

With colleagues at a Cathedral Academy at Pompei event. From left: Don Mills, deputy superintendent; Tracy Dowd, schools office controller; Joan Spector, director of Christ the King Retreat House; and Dr. Amy Sansone.

Sansone attended the State University of New York at Geneseo, received master’s degrees from the College of New Rochelle and Fordham University and an Ed.D. in instructional leadership from Western Connecticut State University. While her degrees prepared her for a career in education, she said that being a self-appointed leader of her younger sisters taught her that executing plans without consulting others will fail every time. “Through various experiences on sports teams, Girl Scouts, dance troupes, orchestras and ministry, I have learned that listening to others is indispensable,” she said. “No amount of knowledge or strategy can supplement building relationships and getting to know the people who you serve and those with whom you work.”

Derek Tremblay, headmaster at Mount Royal Academy in New Hampshire, worked with Sansone before she was hired by the Diocese. He said Amy is a consummate professional who is motivated by her passion for her faith. “Amy is an exceptional listener and is very adept at receiving information from the lived experience of others and then discerning how to best support everyone,” he said. “She established the respect and admiration of her colleagues so well that she became our school’s first academic dean.” The faculty and staff of the schools in the Syracuse Diocese can expect Amy to model the life of faith, explained Tremblay. “She is a daily communicant and knows where to receive nourishment that truly satisfies the sacred liturgy. I have always admired how she strives to be a disciple in a very unassuming … manner.”

Sansone said she will continue the work done by retired Superintendent William Crist. The goals she will focus on are refined versions of what her office has always treasured. “We seek to evangelize, educate and engage our communities,” she said. “Our immediate and long-term goals are to continue forming our students in virtue via Catholic social-emotional learning alternatives, increase the literacy capacities of students, and instill a growth mindset in students, staff and families.”

Taking advantage of inspiring artwork at Cathedral Academy at Pompei.

Sansone said these goals reflect a three-year-long process that includes all stakeholders — parents, students, teachers, administrators, pastors and parishioners —  and is based on a clear process, research and prayer. “Prayer is perhaps the most important aspect. We need to keep God and our faith at the core in order to have a real impact and reach these goals,” she explained.

In addition to the challenges that exist in education across the country — teacher shortages, declining enrollment, and financial constraints — Sansone said students are under unprecedented pressure from social media, peers and themselves. She and her colleagues will put the school’s mission into action each day — teaching values and ideas in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church and empowering students to live their faith with compassion and integrity while focusing on academic excellence that will enable them to meet the lifelong challenges and demands of a rapidly changing world.

“As the outside world grows louder in terms of relentless communications and advertising on varied platforms, our students are inundated with messages counter to the teachings of the Church and that of their homes and parents,” she said. “Catholic schools offer a consistent home away from home, a place where they can find acceptance and a place to safely become the person Jesus desires.”

“Amy will take it one day at a time, knowing that all our work glorifies God in ways we can’t immediately intuit in the moment,” added Tremblay. “Most of all, I think she will tackle the challenges with the grace of her spirit and the grace in the sacraments. That is what she has always done!”

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