Wagner College education professor Carin Guarasci was named a “Woman of Distinction” by the New York State Senate at a ceremony in Albany on May 14. Guarasci was nominated for the honor by State Senator Andrew Lanza.
The Senate’s “Woman of Distinction” program was created in 1998 to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence or whose professional achievements, acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an example to all New Yorkers.
Guarasci is committed to serving her Staten Island community, most notably through her involvement with Notre Dame Academy and New World Prep Charter School. With more than 25 years of experience as a teacher and administrator, she dedicates herself to inspiring, educating and supporting at-risk children and mentoring new teachers.
Guarasci is a Wagner College professor and the founder and director of the New Educators at Wagner program. Inspired by data revealing that nearly half of all new teachers leave the ﬁeld within the ﬁrst ﬁve years — primarily due to a lack of support — Guarasci singlehandedly put together the NEW program to nurture the community’s teachers who may have otherwise become a part of that grim statistic. In the 5 years since NEW’s inception, not one teacher enrolled in the program has left the profession, and many have excelled in their schools.
In addition to her commitment to NEW, Carin Guarasci shares her time and talents with various community organizations, including Seamen’s Society for Children, Project Hospitality, the American Cancer Society, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the United States Holocaust Museum and many others.
“The Senate’s ‘Woman of Distinction’ program provides a special opportunity to honor women for their achievements and to thank them for the special pride they bring to our communities,” said Senator Lanza. “Carin Guarasci is a remarkable woman whose life, work and special accomplishments contribute to making our community better. I was proud to honor Carin as a ‘Woman of Distinction’ and prouder still to call her a fellow Staten Islander.”
Carin Guarasci was accompanied by her husband, Wagner College President Richard Guarasci, her daughter, Bridget Guarasci, her son-in-law, Mani Potnuru, and three friends and professional colleagues: Evelyn Finn, Fran Hogan Meyers and Joanne Curcuru.
Guarasci said, “Quite a magical evening! I was impressed by the stories of all the talented and accomplished women who were honored.”
Previous honorees in this annual event have included leading women from the worlds of business, academics and civic life as well as those who have performed heroic or selfless acts, made significant discoveries or provided examples of personal excellence in the face of difficult odds.
The Woman of Distinction program was created as part of the Senate’s celebration of Women’s History Month. The 2014 online exhibit of Women of Distinction can be found online.