Foundations In Education To Honor Business Leader And Educators

July 24, 2017 | Foundations in Education | News

BRIDGEPORT—Foundations in Education, which benefits Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport, will honor business leader George F. Landegger, Sister Joan Magnetti, executive director of the Catholic Academy of Bridgeport, and Tony Pavia, Stamford educator and principal, at a gala on May 11 at Woodway Country Club in Darien.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will present the awards at the event, which will bring together business, political and charitable leaders throughout Fairfield County. Proceeds will benefit the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund, a major source of financial aid for families who wish to enroll their children in Catholic schools. The Fund, which awards more than $2.2 million yearly, is administered by Foundations in Education.

The evening will get under way with a private reception, followed by a 6 pm registration and cocktails and 7:00pm dinner seating. The formal program will begin at 7:15pm.

Mr. Landegger of Ridgefield, who is chairman and president of Parsons & Whittemore Enterprises Corp. in Rye Brook and director at Cobalt Technologies, Inc., will be recognized for “extraordinary philanthropy and personal commitment to Catholic education.” He has served as chair of the Commission on Higher Education in Alabama and chaired Reading Alabama, which provided interactive computer reading education to 70 percent of the students in all public school kindergartens and first grades. He was honored as one of the most outstanding individuals for the advancement of education and commerce in Alabama’s history.

He is also founder and primary supporter of Destin Harvest, which provides food to soup kitchens and others serving the needy. As the primary supporter of Karuna Niwas, he financed and established a K-12 grade school for girls in Midwest Pakistan.

Mr. Landegger graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and served for 22 years as chair of Georgetown University’s Foreign Service School, where he is now chairman emeritus.

Sister Joan Magnetti, RSCJ, executive director of the Catholic Academies of Bridgeport, will be honored for “a lifetime of exemplary service to Catholic education.” A Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart, she was named executive director of the Catholic Academies of Bridgeport in 2010 and has led the effort to build support for the four Bridgeport schools. She served as headmistress of Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich for 19 years and as headmistress at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, N.J., for 13 years.

A native of New Jersey, Sister Magnetti graduated from Manhattanville College with a bachelor’s in government. Upon graduation, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart, an international religious congregation dedicated to the education of youth. She earned a master’s in theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 2008, she received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Manhattanville College.

Tony Pavia, a native of Stamford and graduate of Stamford Catholic High School, will be recognized for “inspiring personal and professional commitment to Catholic education.” He has more than 40 years of experience in education, including six as principal of Stamford High School, and nine as principal of New Canaan High School.

His service to the diocese began in March 2011, when Bishop William E. Lori appointed him principal of Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford. During his tenure, he developed a comprehensive needs assessment of the campus and drew up preliminary plans for school improvements. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and sixth year degree from Southern Connecticut University. He and his family are members of St. Bridget Parish in Stamford.

Foundations in Education is an independent, non-profit organization working to create resources that will transform diocesan Catholic schools into competitive, sustainable, 21st century learning environments that are faith-filled and academically exceptional. Almost 9,000 students from Pre-K to grade 12 attend 31 diocesan-sponsored schools: 25 elementary schools, five high schools and one school for students with special needs.

Barbara and Peter Ripp of Greenwich are serving as event chairs. Committee chairs include Christine and David Cappiello of Newtown, Jody and John Meyers of Fairfield, Pat and Jim Ruane of Bridgeport, Janet and Joseph Tatuski of Southport and Christine and Jim Woods of Shelton.

A few tickets are still available for our May 11 Gala at Woodway Country Club—Please contact Marina at for more information.”