St. An­drews School prin­ci­pal earns na­tional recog­ni­tion

The Advance of Bucks County - - FRONT PAGE - By Cary Beavers

NEW­TOWN - cor the sec­ond time in as many years, St. An­drews School Prin­ci­pal Nancy Mat­teo is be­ing rec­og­nized na­tion­ally as be­ing at the top of her pro­fes­sion.

Mat­teo, who has run the New­town school for 11 years, was se­lected as one of the na­tion’s five non-pub­lic 2012 Na­tional Dis­tin­guished Prin­ci­pals, an an­nual honor be­stowed by Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of El­e­men­tary School Prin­ci­pals (NAESP).

The award comes just a year af­ter the Philadel­phia na­tive was awarded the Dis­tin­guished Prin­ci­pal Award from the Na­tional Catholic Ed­u­ca­tional As­so­ci­a­tion (NCEA). She was also given the Dis­tin­guished Prin­ci­pal award from the Arch­dio­cese of Philadel­phia in 2009. This past Septem­ber she was hon­ored as the first Dis­tin­guished Ed­u­ca­tor from Holy cam­ily Univer­sity.

De­spite her long his­tory of sig­nif­i­cant recog­ni­tion, Mat­teo was not ex­pect­ing this lat­est award.

“Shocked, over­whelmed, ex­cited,” Mat­teo said when asked to de­scribe her re­ac­tion. “It’s val­i­da­tion of ev­ery­thing we’ve tried to do at St. An­drews School.”

Mat­teo has a phi­los­o­phy that if taken lit­er­ally would be quite daunt­ing. cig­u­ra­tively, she said, it is re­ally quite sim­ple.

“I’m a mom and I have 819 chil­dren,” Mat­teo said, re­fer­ring to the num­ber of students un­der her charge. “And what’s best for my chil­dren is that they achieve and use the gifts God has given them.”

Out­side of school, Mat­teo has two chil­dren of her own. Ac­tu­ally, one of them is not out­side the school at all. Her 30-year-old son, Richie, teaches eighth grade at St. An­drews. Her daugh­ter, iaura, 2T, lives and works in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

She cred­its her pro­fes­sional suc­cess to a sim­ple pas­sion for what she does.

“I love my job,” she said. “I get up in the morn­ing and think, ‘This is not work.’”

To be con­sid­ered a Na­tional Dis­tin­guished Prin­ci­pal, the hon­orees must be an ac­tive prin­ci­pal of a school where pro­grams are de­signed to meet the aca­demic and so­cial needs of all students and where there are firmly es­tab­lished community ties with par­ents and lo­cal busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Mat­teo has an es­pe­cially strong tie to one busi­ness in the community, cirst Na­tional Bank of New­town. In con­junc­tion with the fi­nan­cial or­ga­ni­za­tion, Mat­teo over­sees 20 students who run a real, live branch of the bank each Thurs­day inside the school build­ing. The project helps un­der­score what is at the root of Mat­teo’s main goals for her students.

“cis­cal lit­er­acy,” Mat­teo said. “hids need to know how to save and get away from the in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion.” As for the main goal she has set for her­self? “Oh, that’s easy,” Mat­teo said. “I want grand­chil­dren.”

Nancy Ma­teo, prin­ci­pal of St. An­drew School in New­town.

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