St. Bernard Principal Wants to Spread Word on Catholic Education

St. Bernard Principal Wants to Spread Word on Catholic Education

As Tina Bucci takes the helm as principal of St. Bernard Regional Catholic School this fall, she brings a commitment to education that is truly lifelong.


“Ever since I was a child, I can remember pretending to be a teacher,” Bucci says. “I used to teach dance lessons and vacation Bible school when I was young, just always gravitating toward things involving children. I knew in my heart that I wanted to work with children and that teaching was my career path.”


Bucci will lead the Indiana school that serves children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, bringing credentials that include bachelor’s degrees in education and psychology, along with her early education certification from Seton Hill University in Greensburg. She also earned double master’s degrees in counseling and human development – with a focus on the school setting – from Radford University in Virginia, and in educational administration from University of Scranton.


Bucci has taught in various grade levels in public and private schools, along with serving as principal in the Diocese of Pittsburgh Schools. Her most recent role was principal of St. Joseph School in Verona, where she also served as business manager, preschool director, extended day director, and safe environment coordinator. 


“I have worn a lot of hats,” she says with a laugh. 


She resides in Apollo with her husband, Michael, and their two sons, Dominic, age 23, and Michael, 15.  She is a parishioner at St. James the Greater in Apollo, where she volunteers with the Faith Formation Program and the youth group. In the early 2000s, Bucci spent her free time outside of the classroom helping Michael to run their family business, with Bucci taking on supervisory and administrative duties. It was her ease in these roles that sparked her interest in serving students beyond the classroom.


“I started to feel like I could make a difference by working with children and families, along with leading staff development and building a rapport with the entire school community,” she says. “That was the draw.”


As she joins St. Bernard, Bucci is clear in her faith and her goals for the school. She says she wants parents to know that the main role of Catholic schools is to teach their children each day to be followers of Jesus.


“We are fortunate enough to have the freedom to do this in our religious education,” Bucci says. “And we, as educators and administrators, must model on a daily basis how we are asking our children to live their lives.”


She also believes that St. Bernard has much opportunity for growth as it is the only Catholic school in the Indiana area.


“I feel like a lot of people might not know we are here, so we need to let them know,” Bucci says. “My goal is to really get the word out as to what we have to offer our students and to inform others about the value of a Catholic education.”


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