Education Honor Society Bestows Dean with Top
Susann Ragone, Assistant Dean in The School of
Education and Counselor of the Staten Island campus Chapter of
Kappa Delta Pi, has received the society’s O.L. Davis Jr.
Counselor of Distinction Award and its Regional Counselor Award for
the Northeast Region. Both awards are among the highest honors
Kappa Delta Pi can bestow.
Kappa Delta Pi is an
international honor society in education, and Dean Ragone has
served as Counselor for its Staten Island campus chapter, Alpha
Beta Gamma, since its inception in 2003.
Dean Ragone joined the staff of The School of Education on the
Staten Island campus in 1999, eventually becoming an Assistant Dean
in 2004. As Assistant Dean, she advises freshmen, handles programs
and course schedules, and oversees internal and external transfers,
among other responsibilities. Dean Ragone also teaches Orientation
to Education, a one-credit course for freshman Education majors
that reviews requirements for New York State teaching
As Counselor to Alpha Beta Gamma, Dean Ragone identifies qualified
students, handles the induction ceremonies, and coordinates events
sponsored (or co-sponsored) by KDP. She works closely with the
Chapter’s Executive Board as well as Regina Mistretta, Ed.D.,
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in The School of
Education and Associate Counselor of Alpha Beta Gamma.
Focus on Service
Staten Island’s KDP Chapter won Excellence Awards each year they
were eligible (2007, 2009 and 2011), and Dean Ragone credited all
those who support her efforts for their strong showing. “We’re very
active for a small campus and a small chapter. I’m proud to say the
students really get involved,” she observed. Dean Ragone noted that
there are over 550 chapters nationwide and typically 20-25 chapters
receive the honor.
Service is an essential component of a strong chapter, Dean Ragone
stressed. For programming, she often partners with other
departments and organizations on campus, such as Campus
Ministry as well as fraternities and sororities. Members of the
KDP Chapter participate in Service Day and the Breast Cancer Walk,
in addition to efforts specific to education. “Dr. Mistretta has
secured grants that allow us to go out into the community and
provide outreach,” Dean Ragone added.
One such program, Literacy
Alive, promotes literacy among younger students. KDP members
hosted students from Port Richmond High School, and developed a
project based on their required reading for Discover New York, a St.
Students also volunteered for the “Dr. Seuss Read A-Loud Pajama
Party,” an event which hosted 35 families from eight elementary
schools. Students worked with the children, reading Dr. Seuss books
to them, while Dr. Mistretta gave parents tips on promoting
literacy in the home.
KDP students participate in food drives and cell phone collections
for soldiers stationed overseas, and have adopted families at
Christmas. “We try to get involved with as much as we can,” Dean
Ragone stressed. “We have to be creative on a small campus and try
not to overburden our active students.”
Originally a lab technologist, Dean Ragone came to St. John’s after
a break from her career to raise her children. She received her
master’s degree within two years and was appointed an Assistant
Dean. “I love it,” she stressed. “I love working with students.
It’s something that really attracted me.”
Dean Ragone’s responsibilities require her to be extremely involved
in the lives of her students. “My first commencement as an
Assistant Dean was very emotional. It felt like they were all my
kids,” she explained. “I take pride in the personal service we
offer,” at Staten Island, Dean Ragone observed, adding that she
knows all her students by name.
Dean Ragone is a graduate of the first cohort of the Vincentian Mission Certificate Program, and
sees a strong correlation between teaching and the University’s Vincentian
Mission. “They really go hand in hand,” she stressed. “One of
the reasons I enjoy the KDP work so much is it’s another way to
expose students to the mission and for me to serve.”
Prior to her arrival at St. John’s, Dean Ragone was very active in
her community, especially at her children’s school. “When I came
here I found ways to continue that part of my life, which I really
enjoy. We really try to reach out to the underprivileged on Staten
Island. I think it all comes full circle through The School of
Education, KDP and the University.”
Assistant Dean Ragone will be presented with the O.L. Davis, Jr.
Counselor of Distinction Award and the Kappa Delta Pi Regional
Counselor Award for the Northeast Region at their 2011 Convocation,
which will take place November 3 – 5 in Indianapolis.