Barbara Tracchio Romano ’61 – 2017 Hearts of the Community Recipient
January 25, 2017
Sacred Heart Academy will recognize Barbara Tracchio Romano ’61 for her compassion, commitment to community, and contributions to the Academy at the Hearts of the Community Mass of Celebration on Friday, February 3, 2017 in the Mt. Sacred Heart Chapel.
“Barbara Romano is the quintessential Excelsior woman…her personal life as wife, mother, grandmother and professional life as special education teacher, as well as her relationship with Sacred Heart Academy, epitomize our Core Values—Catholic Community, Integrity, Excellence, Compassion, Social Justice—as well as our profile of the Excelsior graduate. We feel privileged to recognize and honor her,” offered President Sr. Sheila O’Neill, ASCJ, Ph.D., ’71.
The tradition of legacy runs deep for Barbara’s family. Her daughter Christine Oxsalida ’87; stepdaughters Lisa Romano Sarris ’72, Denise Romano ’73, and Lori Romano Mastrobuoni ’74; and granddaughters Noelle Sarris Russell ’01, Stefanie Sarris Runlett ’02, and Alexa Mastrobuoni ’11 are all graduates. Granddaughter Taylor Sarojak will graduate this year and her sister, Annabelle, has been accepted as an incoming member of the Class of 2021. “I feel extremely privileged to be a graduate of the Academy and that my daughters and granddaughters share in that legacy…a true gift,” states Barbara.
“Giving back was at the core of my Sacred Heart education,” shares Barbara. For her, it meant serving children with special needs. Having earned a B.S. in education and M.S. in special education from Southern Connecticut State College, Barbara taught for thirty years. As a special education teacher, her greatest satisfaction came from “facilitating an environment in which students felt safe, valued, and loved and even the most challenged were able to experience progress.”
Throughout her career, Barbara also had the privilege of mentoring student teachers and new teachers. Her advice was to always remember, first and foremost, that teachers serve students. The consummate teacher and perpetual student, Barbara enriched her career with professional memberships in National Education Association (NEA), Connecticut Education Association (CEA), and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). In 1998, Barbara was named Teacher of the Year by Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES), recognizing her outstanding contribution to the field of special education.
After working with several classmates to plan their 50th Reunion, Barbara felt strongly about giving back to the school which had been so important to her and her family. She began to volunteer for alumnae-sponsored events and, in 2013, was asked to join the Alumnae Leadership Team as Reunion Representative. In this role, Barbara provides assistance and support to class agents planning milestone anniversaries.
Interests include theatre, music, inspirational and motivational literature and above all, family.
Barbara’s advice to current students: “Make the most of all that Sacred Heart has to offer… academically, spiritually, and socially. The curriculum and faculty provide a wealth of gifts, there for the taking. The experiences afforded at the Academy are like no other. Whatever career path you choose, you have the ability to build a better world for those who come after. Excelsior is not just a motto…it is a mandate to go forth and make it a reality.”