Durso preparing Goretti for future

July 08, 1997


Staff Writer

A change in leadership won't mean a change in direction for St. Maria Goretti High School, said new principal Anthony M. Durso.

"I think what we have to do is ensure that those characteristics that have made this school such a strong example of Catholic, Christian education in our community are preserved," said Durso, 59, who took over the post early last month.

The school - with about 250 students in grades 9 through 12 - has been successful academically and in achieving the "unique objectives" of Catholic education, including creating a community environment fostering positive choices, he said.


But there's always room for improvement, said Durso.

"We must look at new avenues of enhancement to be ready for the second millennium," he said.

One thrust has to be in technology, Durso said.

Durso's intention is to create a new "learning center," including a library, computer lab, conference facility and rooms where students can use computer tutorials, he said.

The plan is to convert an old convent on the school campus into the learning center, said Durso.

Another major push will be to look for ways to improve the spirituality of the school "to provide an environment for our children that teaches moral values and fosters correct choices," Durso said.

Students can expect to see a more formalized community service program requiring students to earn 100 hours of "truly meaningful" community service to graduate, Durso said.

The purpose is "to teach our children that the real gift is to serve others and not just take," he said.

Durso said he wants the school to provide an environment in which students know the rules and in which the rules are implemented fairly and consistently.

Durso has both business and academic experience.

After spending several years as a public high school social studies teacher, Durso held executive positions in insurance, banking and health care.

He took over as principal of Mount Carmel Catholic High School in Houston in 1992.

Durso said his belief in Catholic education was cultivated during his own Catholic school days from elementary school through graduate school.

He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees at Seton Hall University, a Catholic university in South Orange, N.J., then took additional course work at Harvard and Dartmouth universities.

Durso replaced interim Principal Kenneth Simcox, who filled in while the school conducted a national search for a replacement for Sister Susan Albert, who left the principal's post late last year.

He and his wife, Vicki, have relocated to Hagerstown.

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