Capalbo leaves Algonquin after 15 years of dedication


Jadyn Jacobs

Building Administrative Assistant Diane Egizi (left) and Administrative Assistant to the principal Michelle Capalbo (right) have been working alongside one another for six years. Capalbo left Algonquin on March 24 to pursue a new job.

Riya Mahanta, News Editor

After 15 years of dedicated service to Algonquin, Administrative Assistant to the principal Michelle Capalbo left her position on March 24 to reach the next level in her career. 

Capalbo, who worked in the front office, was one of Algonquin’s familiar and friendly faces and appreciates how her job responsibilities grew substantially over the years.

“When I started [at Algonquin], my job was totally different,” Capalbo said. “It has morphed into something much more involved, but I have loved it. A lot of what I do is financials; a lot of the job is dealing with the budgets, deposits and checks that we issue for the student activity accounts, and a big part of it is being in the front office and helping students, teachers and parents.”

Principal Sean Bevan believes Capalbo played an instrumental role in his ability to be a good leader.

“She was my direct assistant,” Bevan said. “She would help me with a lot of tasks to keep me sane, organized, able and capable of doing the work to lead the school.”

Social studies teacher and Student Council Adviser John Barry also worked closely with Capalbo, and credits her for the success of Algonquin’s ability to sustain so many extracurricular activities.

I love coming into work every day and being with people and helping them; I will definitely miss the people,

— Michelle Capalbo

“Every extracurricular club needs to spend or save money, and there are specific rules to guard how to spend this money and the way clubs get reimbursed if they go out and buy something on their own; we don’t have to worry about any of that, Mrs. Capalbo has all of the answers,” Barry said. “There is no extracurricular culture in a school unless you have someone who can walk you through all of the regulations, and that person is Mrs. Capalbo.”

In addition to handling the finances for student activities, Capalbo was also in charge of financing and planning the entirety of graduation. 

“I think the most challenging thing I work on is graduation, only because it has to be perfect,” Capalbo said. “There is a lot of anxiety building up to graduation because at that moment, anything can go wrong; you don’t have control over what happens when the event is actually going on.”

Although Capalbo handled many behind-the-scenes logistics, her favorite part about working at Algonquin was interacting with the students and staff.

“I love coming into work every day and being with people and helping them; I will definitely miss the people,” Capalbo said. “I deal with a lot of students with the different activity clubs, and I really get to know the students which I wouldn’t normally do because I’m not in a classroom.”

Capalbo’s knowledge and experience will be difficult to replace. 

“She has 15 years of institutional memory,” Bevan said. “She has a lengthy history and understanding of how Algonquin has done things, where things are stored, what roles people play, what peoples’ strengths and weaknesses are, school rituals and traditions. Many of these things are not written down, so we rely on people who have a continuity of service to help us with that.”

Building Administrative Assistant Diane Egizi, who works in the front office next to Capalbo, shares a similar sentiment.

“Ms. Capalbo was here for many years, had endless information and was helpful to everyone,” Egizi said. “So much of what she did here was kind of all in her head; she knew more than anyone else, so trying to have all of the answers that she did will be very hard.”

Capalbo’s position will be filled, but not without challenges.

“Like any other institution, we will train someone to her job,” Barry said. “I think for a while it will be difficult; prom season, graduation and the Student Council carnival are coming up. For a while, there will be people doing slivers of her job until we can finally get a new person to do what she did. The transition is going to be rough, but we will get through it.”

Bevan agrees that Capalbo has many valuable qualities.

“With the various responsibilities the Administrative Assistant to the principal has, somebody as skillful as Capalbo, who simultaneously handled other very demanding parts of the job, will be very hard to find,” Bevan said. 

Capalbo has enjoyed her time at Algonquin and is proud to be a member of the community.

“This is a phenomenal school, providing a great education for the kids,” Capalbo said. “The faculty and staff are compassionate and dedicated, and our students really do achieve excellence. I am so proud to be a part of it.”

Although Capalbo is sad to leave Algonquin, she is excited for the rest of her career.

“[Leaving Algonquin] is a bittersweet moment because I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life, but this school has been a big part of my life,” Capalbo said. “It is hard to move on but l will keep in touch with people so hopefully I’ll always be a little bit of Algonquin.”