Welcome from the Principal
THANK YOU for perusing our website. We have worked hard to make it both easy to use and informative. Please take some time to read the biographical sketches of our wonderful faculty and staff, as well as the grade and course descriptions that teachers have so carefully written. Their writings will give a picture of what Trinity Catholic Academy has to offer.
The primary reason for our existence as a Catholic school is to evangelize our youth, offering our students the opportunity to grow in faith and community service, leading them to an awareness and understanding of social justice.
We are so very proud of our school and look forward to a bright future as we continue to expand our academic and extracurricular programs, acquire new technology, and continue to form our students in the Faith. We revel in watching our students realize their God-given potential and confidently move on to the challenges of high school, secure in the knowledge that they have been well-prepared for the experience.
As the last Catholic school in the Tri-Community area (please see our History), we welcome students from a number of towns in South Central Massachusetts. We further look forward to welcoming you to our campus at 11 Pine St., Southbridge, MA so that we may share with you the school where students build relationships that last a lifetime.
Josie M. Citta, Principal
Trinity Catholic Academy, a Pre-K to Grade 8 school, promotes academic excellence, athletics, and the arts with respect,compassion, and service among our diverse family, inspired by the communion of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
History of Trinity Catholic Academy
For almost forty years the reconditioned church served as the parish school. In 1936, Fr. Mullins, the pastor of the parish then completely renovated the school, providing such modern conveniences at the time as electric lights and clocks.
In the years that followed there were double grades for the elementary school on the first floor and the high school occupied the second floor, complete with a science lab housed in a tiny room over the main doorway.
The next major change came in 1959 when the parish broke ground next to the school in what had been used as a ball field to build a modern high school. The new Saint Mary’s High School welcomed its first students in 1961 and the first class completely through the new school graduated in 1964.
The following year the school merged with Notre Dame High School and was known as Marianhill High School, a diocesan institution.
Three Schools into One
In 1988, Marianhill High School and Saint Mary’s Grammar School, along with the recently opened Saint Mary’s- Marianhill Junior High School merged into a single institution to be run by the diocese. These three schools now a unit were obviously named for the Trinity: Trinity Catholic Academy.
For various reasons, among them financial, the high school closed in 1991. The following year the grammar school moved into the high school building and eventually out of the home it had known for over a century.
That building was tragically lost in fire in December 1999.
However, the power and gift of Catholic education is solid and strong in the building that now houses Trinity Catholic Academy.
- TCA is a family where mutual respect, encouragement, and genuine interest in the educational development of our students is fostered and expected.
- Accredited academic excellence. Trinity Catholic Academy is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) with membership in NCEA and NECACE.
- Offering students the advantage of over 120 years of excellence in Catholic education.
- We are a private independent learning institution serving children and their families from Pre-Kindergarten through the 8th grade.
- Graduating students are accepted to high schools of their choice including Bancroft School, Holy Name, Marianapolis, Notre Dame Academy, St. Johns, St. Peter-Marian, St. Mary’s, Worcester Academy, Pomfret Academy, Woodstock Academy and Bay Path Regional Vocational.
- Offering full day Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
- Offering students an opportunity for prayer and patriotism by gathering every morning as a school to pray, pledge allegiance, and sing as well as many other opportunities for prayer.
- 21 faculty and staff with 7 having advanced degrees.
- Favorable teacher to student ratio
- Busing is available to all Southbridge residents who meet the mileage requirements as stated by the town.
Faculty & Staff
Fr. Ken Cardinale, Pastor
Fr. Juan Herrera, Associate Pastor
Mrs. Josie Citta, Principal
Mrs. Josie Citta was born and raised in Newburgh, New York. After graduating from Newburgh Free Academy she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Mt. St. Mary College in Newburgh and graduated Magnum Cum Laude. She spent three years teaching Math and Social Studies at the Bishop Dunn Memorial School, the campus school of Mt. St. Mary College and started her graduate work at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
In 1982 Mrs. Citta moved to Massachusetts after getting married and continued her graduate work at Worcester State College while raising her family. In 1987, she received her Master of Education Degree. During the years of her graduate education, Mrs. Citta was a member of a History Honor Society called Phi Alpha Theta.
In 1994 Mrs. Citta began her long and pleasurable career as a Social Studies teacher and later as the fifth grade teacher at Trinity Catholic Academy. During those years, Mrs. Citta served on a Teacher Advisory Board that had as its purpose the revamping of educational curriculum at Old Sturbridge Village and attended numerous professional development workshops in many subject areas. In the summer of 2011, she was part of a group of Catholic school teachers who participated in the Intel Math course offered by the Worcester Diocese at the College of the Holy Cross.
Mrs. Citta served as Assistant Principal during the 2012-2013 school year. She is currently the Principal of Trinity Catholic Academy. In her role as principal, she completed work with the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College through the Emmaus Series, a series of workshops for principals designed to educate principals in all aspects of their position as heads of school.
In July, 2015, Mrs. Citta completed a two-year long principals’ certificate program through Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Creighton University’s Catholic School Leadership certificate program certifies Mrs. Citta as a Catholic school principal. It has provided vast knowledge in the areas of faith leadership, strategic and political leadership, educational and managerial leadership, as well as a deep understanding of the history of Catholic education in America.
Mrs. Citta lives in Charlton with her husband, Sal, and is the mother of two grown sons and grandmother to two beautiful little boys.
Mrs. Angela Symock, Asst. Principal | Grade 3
Angela Symock was born and raised in Southbridge, MA. She had always dreamt of being a teacher and after a career change from insurance to education, she received her initial teaching licensure in 2000. Angela graduated from Anna Maria College with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2005 and earned a Certificate for Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in 2015 and is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education. She has worked for Trinity Catholic Academy since 2000.
She believes in a strong school community and works hard to organize different activities such as the Father Daughter Dance, Mother Son nights, and Breast Cancer Awareness and ALS fundraisers. She and her husband have been married since 1996 and have two wonderful children.
Mrs. Paula Letourneau, Admin. Assistant
Paula Letourneau was born and raised in Southbridge and has lived in the community all her life. She attended Notre Dame Elementary School until they closed in her 8th grade year. She is a strong believer of Catholic education.
She received her Associates Degree from Bryant College in Smithfield, RI with a degree in Secretarial Accounting. Paula and her husband Conrad raised two children who both attended Trinity Catholic Academy and have gone on to successful careers.
Mrs. Melissa Hilli, PreK
Melissa Hilli is a life-long resident of Southbridge. She attended college in Longmeadow, Massachusetts where she earned her under-graduate degree. She is active in the local business, church and school community.
Melissa and her husband Ted celebrated their 25th year anniversary in 2016 and have two children who attended Trinity Catholic Academy preschool through grade 8. Their children are now attending Northeastern University in Boston where they are concentrating their studies in electrical engineering and forensic psychology.
Melissa was an aide in the preschool room for 12 years before becoming the lead teacher 4 years ago. Melissa is a certified preschool teacher with the State of Massachusetts. Melissa is also a Level 1 certified teacher in the Catechesis of the Good Shepard.
Mrs. Sandra Lomme, PreK Aide
My name is Sandra Lomme and I am the preschool aide. I have lived in Southbridge since I married my husband Sam thirty-four years ago. Previously, I grew up in Sturbridge. We have three sons, Matthew who is married and has two beautiful children with his wife Tammy. Bryan, who is also married and lives in Braintree with his wife Nicole and a third son, Timothy .
My three boys attended Trinity Catholic Academy and have done very well. I myself attended the school when it was known as St. Mary’s Elementary School. I previously worked at Trinity while my two older boys attended as the school secretary and am happy to be back working in the Pre-School.
Mrs. Alejin Del Valle, Kindergarten
Alejin Del Valle is a resident of Southbridge, MA and a member of St. John Paul II Parish. In 2009 she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Education & Care from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
Mrs. Del Valle is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education. She is also pursuing her Master Catechist Certificate through Dayton University.
Prior to working at Trinity Catholic Academy, she worked in a preschool program for 17 years. She and her family are happy to be part of the Trinity Catholic Academy family where they can share their faith and love in God.
Mrs. Lisa Annis, Grade 1
Lisa grew up in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut. She lived there her entire life until attending Assumption College in Worcester, MA. At Assumption, Lisa majored in Politics and developed a love for writing and public policy design- specifically education policy. After graduating from Assumption in 1992, she began a career as a preschool teacher. Lisa taught preschool in and around Worcester County until the year 2006.
In 2006 she was hired as an Applied Behavior Analysis specialist by the Shrewsbury Public Schools. Lisa provided behavior support and intensive direct academic instruction to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder while in Shrewsbury. There she taught children in the full inclusion classrooms for preschool through grade 6 and obtained a Masters Degree in Special Education Pre-k through 8 from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education.
In 2013, Lisa returned to Lesley for a second Masters in Early Childhood Education (Pre-K through grade 2) and Creative Arts in Learning for children with and without disabilities. During this time, she taught preschool for two years at the Worcester Public Schools Head Start Program while pursuing this degree.
She is licensed in Early Childhood Education and is currently working on a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Developing Systematic Literacy and Language Instruction (Pre-K through 8) from Lesley.
Lisa has been married for 19 years and she and her husband Tim have a 16 year old son Spencer. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys listening to music, reading, seeing movies with her family, and playing with her two fur-babies – her dogs Bailey and Riley. Lisa continues to advocate for and to support families and students with autism spectrum disorder throughout Worcester County.
Last year Lisa was named Worcester County’s Ambassador for Autism Speaks and their Light it Up Blue campaign in order to spread awareness throughout the world for autism and pervasive developmental disorders.
Ms. Deborah Curran, Grade 2
Deborah Curran grew up in Shrewsbury. She now lives in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. She is also a graduate of Holy Name Central Catholic High School. Ms. Curran is a 1982 graduate of Assumption College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She received her teacher’s certificate from Worcester State College in 1984.
Ms. Curran has taken Master’s courses and also continues her education through a variety of workshops and courses. She currently is pursuing her Master Catechesis certification through the Diocese of Worcester and is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education. Ms. Curran has been teaching at Trinity Catholic Academy since 1987. She taught twelve years in first grade before moving to second grade.
Mrs. Lori Primavera, Grade 4
Lori Primavera was born in Southbridge. She is a graduate of Marianhill Central Catholic High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Secondary Education from Worcester State College and was a member of the National Biological Honor Society. She began as a Physical Education teacher in 1998 at Trinity Catholic and has been the Grade 4 teacher since 2005. She is married and has a son and a daughter who both graduated from Trinity Catholic Academy. Her son is currently a sergeant in the US Army and her daughter is a registered nurse.
Mrs. Primavera received the Tri-Community Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the year award in 2000.
Mrs. Primavera is pursuing her Master Catechesis certification through the Worcester Diocese. She also continues her education through a variety of workshops and courses and is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education.
She was the camp director for the Bancroft School Summer Camp for over 10 years.
In 2013, Mrs. Primavera became a part of the Harvard Forest Schoolyard Long Term Environmental Research program.
Mrs. Primavera has coached the girls’ basketball teams for many years. She is also a co-advisor to the Student Council.
Margo A. LaFleche, Grade 5 | Grade 6 English
Margo A. LaFleche was born and raised in Southbridge, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Our Lady of the Elms with a double major in Social Work and Elementary Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from Worcester State College and is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education. Mrs. LaFleche is the advisor to the Faith in Action Team. She is an active member of Saint John Paul II Parish in Southbridge, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Southbridge with her husband Joseph.
Ms. Vesna Todd, Grade 6 | Middle School English and Literature
Miss Todd graduated from Trinity Catholic Academy in 2005. She went on to graduate from St. Peter Marian Jr/Sr High School in 2009. In 2013, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Westfield State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a minor in English Literature. She is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education.
She participated in the University’s Honors Program in addition to being a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Lambda Sigma Honor Societies. Miss Todd graduated with Commonwealth Honors status, which is the highest level of honors a student can earn.
Prior to working at Trinity Catholic Academy, she student taught in Westfield, MA at Southampton Road Elementary School. Miss Todd graduated Summa Cum Laude from Worcester State University in 2017 with a Master’s in Middle School Education with a concentration in English. Miss Todd has been teaching at Trinity Catholic Academy since 2013. She is currently the advisor of the National Junior Honor Society.
Mrs. Christina Colello, Grade 7 | Middle School Math and Religion
Tina Colello grew up in Longmeadow, MA. She is a 1981 graduate of Tufts University, with a BS in Civil Engineering. She is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education. Mrs Colello joined the TCA community in 2016. She has been teaching for two years, in both high school and middle school classrooms, teaching 8th grade science and math at high school level. She coaches the recently formed TCA math team.
Prior to teaching, Mrs. Colello spent 20 years in the engineering industry, working at government contract companies, and in research and development in the electronics industry. She has three grown children, and resides with her husband Gary in Woodstock, CT.
Ms. Colleen Casey, Grade 8 | Middle School Science and Religion
Middle School Science
7th & 8th Religion
Ms. Colleen Casey was born & raised in Worcester, MA, and now resides in Holland, MA. She attended Catholic schools, graduating from St. Mary elementary and St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic High School. She attended Rivier University in Nashua, NH where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She taught for one year at Marta Christi School in Burlington, VT before coming home and began working at Trinity in 1992. She received her Master of Science degree in Education from the University of New England in Biddeford, ME in 2001. She continues her education through courses and workshops and is SEI (Sheltered English Immersion) endorsed through the Massachusetts Department of Education. Ms. Casey has been an adjunct professor of biology at Quinsigamond Community College since 2015. She was a Program Director of Bancroft School summer camp for over 20 years.
Ms. Casey is currently pursuing her Master Catechesis certification through the Diocese of Worcester. She has been working with Harvard University with Harvard Forest since 2013 on a schoolyard research program with the 4th and 5th graders to study climate change.
Ms. Casey was recognized by the “Salute to Women Who Follow in the Footsteps of Founding Women Religious Educators” at Rivier University in 1998. She was nominated for Disney Teacher of the Year in 2000. She was the Tri-Community Area Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year for 2001. She was nominated to and was accepted into the Who’s Who of American Teachers.
Ms. Casey is a co-advisor to Student Council and volunteers on many committees. She is a member of and participates in accreditations for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a member of the National Catholic Education Association and the National Science Teachers Association and serves on the Worcester Diocesan science fair committee. As a member of St. Anne-St. Patrick parish, she is a Eucharistic Minister, teaches religious education and works with the youth group.
Mr. David Adams, Media Center| Middle School Social Studies
Mr. David Adams was raised in Santa Ana, CA and graduated from Santa Ana Valley High School. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1988 and retired after serving over 25 years.
He is a graduate of many formal military schools, including the Expeditionary Warfare School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland in History and a Master’s Degree in Ancient and Classical History from American Public University. He is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Management and a Certificate in European History. He was hired on as the Computer and Social Studies Teacher at Trinity Catholic Academy in 2015.
Mr. Adams resides with his wife in Southbridge and serves as a board member on the Southbridge Town Council.
Mrs. Maureen Carragher, Media Center Aide
Maureen Carragher was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She attended St. Joseph’s College in Chestnut Hill, PA and taught Grade 3 for five years at St. Hugh’s in Philadelphia. After getting married she taught Grade 2 at St. Joan of Arc School in Marlton, NJ for one year.
She moved to Massachusetts and stayed at home to raise her three sons. The boys attended St. Mary’s School in Southbridge where she was very active being President of the PTA for several years. She worked at Harrington Memorial Hospital for 35 years while being active in her home parish, St. John Paul II.
She serves as a Eucharistic Minister and President of the St. Anne Sodality. She is thrilled to be a member of the Trinity Catholic Academy family since 2011.
Mrs. Susan Grant, Spanish
Susan Grant was born in Palmer, MA and predominately raised in Southbridge. She comes from a large family of seven children. Susan started her studies in Spanish during her high school years at Southbridge High School. She graduated in 1979 from American International College in Springfield, MA. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree with high honors having studied Spanish, Elementary Education and Special Education. During her undergraduate years, she was president of both the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and the Alpha Mu Gamma Foreign Language National Society.
After graduating from American International College, she worked as both a Special Education Teacher and an English-As-A-Second Language Teacher for almost 30 years, in grades kindergarten through grade 12. During her years as a Special Education Teacher, she taught in both substantively separate and full inclusion classrooms. In 2003, Susan received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Framingham State College.
In addition to completing her Master’s Degree, Susan has completed several courses in Second Language Acquisition through the Massachusetts Department of Education, including a Dual Language Program (Spanish/English).
For years, Susan has utilized her Spanish speaking skills as both a Transitional Bilingual Education Teacher and an English as a Second Language teacher. She has extensive background in language development and acquisition.
After 23 years of teaching, Susan retired from the Southbridge Public School System. She has been with the Trinity Catholic Academy faculty since January of 2017.
Mrs. Grant resides with her husband, John in North Grosvenordale, Ct. She has three grown children and three beautiful granddaughters. She is very active in her church and loves singing in the choir. Susan is very happy to be a part of the TCA family, where she can share her faith and love of God.
Mr. Brandon Vennink, Music
Although born and raised in Iowa, Brandon Vennink has lived in many places throughout the United States. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in music education from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska. And later, a Master of Music degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee where he studied with mezzo-soprano, Sharon Mabry. In addition to these degrees, Brandon has also done additional studies with noted vocal pedagogue Richard Miller and studied and taken workshops at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Mr. Vennink has taught music at all grade levels. He has taught general music in both Lutheran and Catholic elementary schools in Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Massachusetts as well as high school at Juan Diego Regional Catholic High School in Mission, Texas. He has been an adjunct instructor in vocal and choral music at Austin Peay State University, Avila University and Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Besides teaching, Brandon is the organist and music director at Saint John Paul II Parish in Southbridge, a position he has held for 14 years.
In addition to his work at the church and school, Mr. Vennink is the Chapter Director for the Worcester Chapter of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and first chair clarinet player for the East Woodstock Cornet Band.
Brandon is married to Lei Ray Yu and has a son, Johann, who graduated from Trinity and is now a student at Marianapolis Prep School in Thompson, Connecticut. He also has three daughters, Katharine, Anna, and Maria who all attend Trinity Catholic Academy.
Mrs. Donna Nagelschmidt, Art
Always interested in the arts she minored in Theater Arts, apprenticed at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and has taught art and music at several schools in her career.
Mrs. Nagelschmidt traveled for over twenty years with her family wherever the US Navy sent her husband. She has taught in five dioceses making Trinity her fifteenth school.
Mr. Anthony Santilli, Physical Education
Anthony Santilli graduated from Southern Connecticut State University. He taught in the Southbridge Public School System for 33 years.
He has coached football, basketball and baseball at the high school level and college football at Holy Cross. He has 2 children, a daughter Tiffany and a son, Timothy.
Ms. Nadine Casey | Nurse
Ms. Casey is volunteering as the nurse since retiring after 24 years from school nursing in the public schools. She served as the president of the Worcester School Nurses Union. She also serves as a Nursing Supervisor at Harrington Hospital in Southbridge. She has experience in pediatric and psychiatric medicine.
Ms. Casey’s daughter graduated from Trinity in 2008 and went on to graduate from Bancroft School in Worcester and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. Her daughter is currently continuing her education at University of California at Davis while residing in Cork, Ireland.
As a member of St. Anne-St. Patrick, she volunteers as a religious education teacher and Eucharistic Minister. She is also an associate member of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Mrs. Nicole Ladd | Music and Movement
In addition to performing, Mrs. Ladd has maintained a private flute studio in her home for twenty years. She has served on the faculty at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut and The Hartt School Community Division in West Hartford, where she instructed students of varying ages and skill levels, organized student recitals, and taught flute ensemble for the summer masterclass program.
Mrs. Ladd served for several years as an Activity Director at Renbrook Summer Adventure, an award-winning day camp in West Hartford, Connecticut. There she created a Music and Movement program for children in preschool through second grade.
Most recently Mrs. Ladd taught Music and Movement, recorder, and flute lessons at St. Edward School in Stafford Springs, Connecticut until the school’s closure in 2016.
Mrs. Ladd is thrilled to join the Trinity Catholic Academy community, where she will be teaching Music and Movement to students in pre-kindergarten through second grade as well as offering flute class and private lessons for students fourth through eighth grade.
Mrs. Ladd resides in Stafford Springs, Connecticut with her husband and two children. She is a member of St. Edward the Confessor parish, where she serves as cantor and teacher of children’s liturgy.
Dr. David Perda, Superintendent
Rev. Ken Cardinale, Pastor
Rev. Juan Herrara, Associate
Mrs. Josie Citta, Principal
Mrs. Angela Symock, Secretary
Mr. Michael Guillet
Mr. Gerard Proulx, Chairman
Mr. Joseph Keyes
Dr. Patricia Martin
Mr. Brendan Murray
Trinity Catholic Academy Alumni
After graduation, our students have gone on to many prestigious and excellent high schools, colleges and universities.
- Bancroft School
- Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School
- Holy Name Central Catholic High School
- Marianapolis Preparatory School
- Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science
- Notre Dame Academy
- Pomfret Academy
- St. John’s Preparatory
- St. Mary’s High School
- St. Peter-Marian Central Catholic High School
- Shepherd Hill Regional High School
- Southbridge High School
- Tantasqua Regional High School
- Woodstock Academy
- Worcester Academy
Colleges & Universities
- Air Force Academy
- Anna Maria College
- Assumption College
- Babson University
- Bentley University
- Bowdoin College
- Bryant University
- Embry-Riddle University
- Liberty University
- McGill University
- Providence College
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Roger Williams University
- Salve Regina University
- Tufts University
- University of Hartford – Hart School
- University of Maine at Farmington
- Westfield State University
- Worcester State University
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Food Drives for St. John Paul II Food Pantry
- Partnering with Abby’s House
- Catholic Charities Toys for Tots
- Festival of “Giving Trees”
- Adopting Families at Christmas
- Anointing Mass and Luncheon
- Pink Hair for Breast Cancer
- Jump-Rope-A-Thon for Heart Association
- Singing at Nursing Home
- Comfort Bags for Cancer Patients
- Basic Needs Bags for Homeless
- Partnersip with St. Luke’s House