Obituary: Laura J. Albanese (1961-2013)

Dr. Laura J. Albanese, 52, of Cranston, R.I., passed away on Tues., Aug. 6 at her home, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Providence, she was the devoted and loving daughter of Catherine (Vartian) Albanese of Cranston and the late Richard A. Albanese; dear sister of Roseann Reo and her husband Mark; and loving aunt of Tayla and Richard Reo, all of Cranston. She is also survived by her three dogs, Maxx, Serena, and Pudgie.ALBANESE, LAURA J.

Graduating in the Class of 1978 from Cranston High School West, Laura distinguished herself as an outstanding educator, administrator, and humanitarian. She matriculated as an undergraduate at Rhode Island College in their teacher preparation program, and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in education and Spanish in 1982.

During the next 10 years (1983-93), Laura taught in the Providence school district as a teacher of English as a Second Language and Spanish bilingual studies. She was also enrolled as a graduate student at Rhode Island College and received a Masters of Education degree in 1985. In 1991, she received a Masters of Education degree with an emphasis in school administration from Providence College.

Laura accepted an appointment from the South Kingstown school district as an elementary school assistant principal in 1993. She was appointed elementary school principal by the Cranston school district in 1994. Perhaps the crowning glory to her graduate studies came in 2003 when Boston University bestowed upon her the Doctor of Education degree.

Due to a serious health problem, Laura retired from the Cranston school district as executive director of Educational Programs. Before she passed, she was serving as a professor of educational psychology at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Laura Albanese was very active with professional organizations. She was a member of Phi Delta Kappa (educational society), the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, Phi Sigma Iota, and the Rhode Island Association for Elementary School Principals. She was extremely well certified as an educator, having been granted licensure with the Rhode Island Department of Education for elementary grades (K-6), English as a Second Language (endorsement), bilingual education (endorsement), middle school (endorsement), and school administrator (K-8).

Laura was dedicated to her Armenian heritage and her church. She was a member of the Armenian Relief Society and a member of the Armenian Youth Federation. She mentored and taught Sunday School and English language to Armenian immigrants from Baku. She was a member of the United States of America Dance, Rhode Island Chapter (ballroom dance, tap and jazz) and taught dance to students at the Trudeau Center. Laura’s passion for animals led her to become a member of the SPCA and of a local “Dog Foster Care” program. Her humanitarian attributes were demonstrated with her continuous fundraising efforts for the American Cancer Society’s “Dance for a Cause” and the Tomorrow Fund.

Laura was inducted into the Cranston Hall of Fame in 2012 for her exemplary leadership and service to all aspects of education, her humanitarian efforts, and solid character.

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