Sister Rose Mary Galligan, C.N.D., the much beloved principal of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School on Staten Island, died suddenly Jan. 6 at her home in the West Brighton section. She was 72.
Sister Rose had served as principal at the all-girls elementary school since 1987. Under her direction, a prekindergarten class was begun in 1991, with a program for 3-year-olds later added. She oversaw the addition of a state-of-the-art early childhood education building in 2008.
In 2007, she was honored with the Dr. Robert J. Kealey Distinguished Principal Award of the National Catholic Educational Association. Among the reasons cited for the honor was Sister Rose’s implementation of the “Ophelia Project—Creating a Safe School,” in which younger girls are mentored by high school girls on respect and anti-bullying.
She began her career as a math teacher in Illinois. She also taught in Chicago and in Rhode Island, and was a principal in Connecticut.
Born in Manhattan, she attended St. Jean Baptiste High School where she was taught by the sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. She entered the congregation in 1957 and professed final vows in 1965.
She held a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from DePaul University, a master’s degree in secondary education from Rhode Island College and did professional studies at Manhattan College.
She is survived by her sister, Veronica Noone.
A Funeral Mass was offered Jan. 10 in St. Peter’s Church on Staten Island. Burial was in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Danbury, Conn.