Thursday August 18, 2011

Zonta Names Mary Ciappa ‘Woman of Achievement’

Former educator community minded in Oswego

    Each year, the Zonta Club of Oswego celebrates and recognizes female citizens, especially those who have made a difference to the community and heritage with special emphasis on professional, business, leadership and volunteer contributions.

    This year's Women of Achievement award presentation will be held Oct. 28 to honor Mary Ciappa.

    “Mary represents the goals of Zonta: empowering women through education, community engagement, and through leadership,” a Zonta spokesperson said. “She has inspired and lead the way for other women in traditional and nontraditional fields, has challenged existing norms, and has made significant improvements and innovations in her field and in the community.”

    Ciappa was born in Oswego to Helen and Thomas Connolly.

    She attended St. Paul’s Academy, graduating from the ninth grade in 1951.

    She went on to Oswego High School, graduating in 1954. She pursued her college degree at Le Moyne College, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in sociology after which she embarked on a career in education in 1960.

    She continued to expand her background in education while beginning her teaching career at Red Creek Central School.

    In the fall of 1961, Ciappa accepted a position in Oswego at The Alice E. Mackin School and entered the field of special education, while at the same time attending classes at Syracuse University while completing a certification program in the field. She remained at the school until June of 1970.

    Ciappa then moved on to elementary education at Kingsford Park School.

    At the same time, she was finishing her master’s degree in education at SUNY Oswego.

    In the years following, Ciappa received her certificate of advanced studies in school psychology, also from SUNY Oswego. She retired from the field of education in 1995.

    Throughout her professional years, she has served on many public boards and committees that have affected the lives of many families throughout Oswego, both directly and indirectly.

    She was one of the first special education teachers in Oswego. She was charged with the responsibility of teaching students that range in ages from 5-18 with special needs.

    Her sense of compassion and nurturing continued when she transferred to third grade at Kingsford Park Elementary School.

    During the time when school budgets were cut, the library was one area targeted for closing. Ciappa was instrumental working with constituents campaigning for the library to become a private institution.

    Similarly, she was instrumental in raising money for the Salvation Army’s capital campaign toward the creation of a new Salvation Army building. “Her continued determination and dedication is carried out in all that she does in the various boards in which she serves for the betterment of others in the community in which she lives,” the spokesperson said.

    In 1958, Ciappa married a fellow LeMoyne Graduate, Tom Ciappa.

    In 1959, they welcomed the first of their two children, Conlee, followed by their second in 1960, Tom.

    Today, Ciappa continues working closely with her family as the events manager at The American Foundry in Oswego, which is owned by her children and their spouses.

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 164

Issue 164
October/November 2019

Cover Story

  • Cruse Control
  • Jeff Cruse takes over as top leader for Novelis’ Oswego Works


Linda Eagan

On The Job

What type of marketing do you find most effective?

Success Stories

The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County

My Turn

Why President Trump Won’t Admit Mistakes


News Briefs on Local Businesses & Business People

Economic Trends

Oswego County IDA Recapitalizes Popular Loan Program

Last Page

Rodmon King