Sister Lisa Gambacorto and the assistant directresses provide leadership in the areas of academics, student life, and buildings and grounds.  Their dedication to the Academy and to each student and faculty member ensures that great things happen here every day. 

Directress - Sister Lisa Gambacorto

Sister Lisa D. Gambacorto, RSM, Ed.S. assumed the role as ninth Directress of Mount Saint Mary Academy in the summer of 2000. She has a wealth of academic credentials as well as professional accreditations and experience in varied fields of education and counseling. All of these enrich her ability to serve as an effective administrator, spiritual role model, and nurturing head of school.

Sister Lisa earned her B.A. in Sociology from Georgian Court University, her M.A. in Counseling Psychology, Ed.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling and her M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University. Early in her career, Sister served at the Mount as a teacher of history and theology, Social Studies Department Chair, Campus Minister, and Student Assistance Counselor. Following her years at the Academy and just prior to becoming Directress, Sister Lisa worked for seven years as an individual marriage and family therapist and the Clinical Director of the Bloomfield Counseling Center.

Sister holds numerous certificates in counseling, family therapy, psychotherapy, and student personnel services. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the McAuley School for Exceptional Children and also serves as the Catholic School Commission Advancement Chair of the Diocese of Metuchen.  In 2010, Sister Lisa was inducted into the Georgian Court University Hall of Honor.

Assistant Directresses 

Karen Calta

Mrs. Karen Calta is the Assistant Directress for Faculty and Curriculum.  She just completed her nineteenth year at the Mount.  Prior to serving as Assistant Directress, Mrs. Calta was an English and theology teacher and English Department Chair.  She has coached the Mock Trial team since 1995.  Mrs. Calta has a B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an M.A. from Georgian Court University.  She is a member of the Professional Development Committee for NJAIS, serves on the Board for the Network for Mercy Education, and chairs Middle States evaluation teams for private and religiously-sponsored schools. 

Denise Materia

Ms. Denise Materia is the Assistant Directress for Athletics, Security, and Facilities.  She has served as the Mount's Athletic Director since 1985. Under her leadership, the Athletic Department added 16 new programs, including nine new sports, five junior varsity teams, and two freshman teams. Ms. Materia also served as Health and Physical Education Department Chair and taught Physical Education, Health, and Driver Education. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Montclair State University and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Kean University.  

Michelle M. Walezak

Ms. Michelle Walezak is a graduate of the Academy and acts as the Administrative Dean. Ms. Walezak began her career in education as a mathematics teacher in 2001. She taught a summer STEM program with the New Jersey Institute of Technology for six years with a focus on promoting young women in engineering. Since 2010, she has been an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics for Essex County College. Ms. Walezak has earned her Supervisor Certificate and Principal License in the state of New Jersey. She holds a B.A. from Drew University and an M.A. from Saint Peter’s College.


Administrative Assistant

Sister Mary McAuley Ronan

Sister Mary McAuley Ronan, RSM is the Administrative Assistant in charge of special projects.  She holds a B.A. from Georgian Court University and an M.A. from Villanova University.   Sister McAuley served as principal of Red Bank Catholic in Red Bank, New Jersey prior to becoming Assistant Directress of Mount Saint Mary Academy in 1995.  She has served on numerous Middle States accreditation teams and the National Catholic Educators Association.

World's Finest Principal

In 2011, Sister Lisa Gambacorto was named one of only three "Exceptionally Fine Principals" in a nationwide search for the World's Finest Principal.  She was nominated by the students and faculty of the Mount who submitted personal testimonials expressing their gratitude for her contributions to the school.

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