Niagara Gazette

Communities

March 10, 2013

Retiring Niagara Catholic Principal Bob DiFrancesco readies for life without school bells

Niagara Gazette — A party will be held today in celebration of the career Bob DiFrancesco, who is retiring after serving the past decade as the principal of Niagara Catholic High School.

DiFrancesco was hired for the Niagara Catholic position in 2003, after being a top pick among all the board members, according to Jim Catanese, owner of Mom’s Restaurant, who was board president at the time.

“We had 30 applications, and we noticed that Bob — who was an outstanding community person — had submitted an application,” Catanese said. “Everyone went home with their top five, and when we came back everyone had Bob as number one. We were very fortunate that he retired from the public school system at the same time we were looking for a principal and we were very fortunate that he was a Bishop Duffy graduate who wanted to come back to his school and lead it. The timing was perfect.”

DiFrancesco has spent more than 40 years working in schools around Niagara Falls. He began working at LaSalle High School in 1969 as a history teacher. Then in the late ‘70s he became the dean of students at Trott Vocational High School.

Throughout the ‘80s he worked as a vice principal at several junior high schools and also at the old Niagara Falls High School.

Since 1987, DiFrancesco has found himself in the role of principal at a number of schools including LaSalle Junior High, both the old and the new Niagara Falls High Schools and, of course, Niagara Catholic.

“He had a real passion for Niagara Catholic,” said Joe Colosi, who is on the current Niagara Catholic Board of Trustees. “Not only was he a student there when it was Bishop Duffy, but he really spent a lot of time and energy promoting the school to the community and he did a lot with the organization of the school.

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