All Distinguished Alumni and Speaker Honorees

Marie Attanasio ’65

Posted in: 2020-21, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Joseph and Marie Attanasio

Marie Attanasio received her bachelor’s degree In English from Montclair State College. She was a teacher of English, first at Cranford High School, in Cranford, NJ and then at Montclair High School in Montclair, NJ.  She retired from secondary school teaching after a total of 25 years. Time between these positions was devoted to raising a son, Joseph, and the family pet whippets. Part time positions for 14 years included working as an E.S.L. and basic skills instructor in the adult education program at Montclair State College as well as in private industry.

While at Montclair High School, she played a role in establishing the ninth grade World Literature Course which became a model for introducing young students to a variety of cultures and their literature.  Ms. Attanasio was one of the original team of teachers in the World Literature course embracing its diversity and inclusion principles and challenges. As senior most teacher in the program she was sought after to mentor a number of the ninth-grade English teachers. A strong advocate of inclusion in education, she welcomed special needs students into her classroom. Together, the heterogeneous group of students participated in all aspects of class work and discussions.

Ms. Attanasio is the recipient of several honors:  Who’s Who Among American Teachers (multiple awards), the Josh and Judy Weston Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Student Coalition Faculty Award for Extraordinary Dedication to Montclair High School.