Anna Tsioulias: Grade 8
Mrs. Colleen Fortuna, Buckley’s Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, has been with the school for approximately two years. For many years before that, she also worked in New York City for a private equity firm as an office manager. There, she had a wide range of responsibilities, which made the job interesting. After that, she began to work in another independent school on Long Island and spent six years as the school’s Associate Director of Admissions. Then she was an Admissions Director at another school before coming to Buckley.
Mrs. Fortuna was introduced to Buckley years ago by Mrs. Ann Duffy, the previous Admissions Director. At the time, Mrs. Fortuna was working as an admissions director at Friends Academy, the school her children attended. She kept in touch with Mrs. Duffy while working there, and she thought of Mrs. Duffy as a mentor. When Mrs. Duffy retired, they both decided that it was the right moment and the right time for Mrs. Fortuna to start working at Buckley. Mrs. Fortuna met with Headmaster Dr. Jean-Marc Juhel, and she was impressed with the students and the overall environment of the school.
Mrs. Fortuna has been warmly welcomed into the Buckley community. She began working in the summer of 2015 and had the wonderful opportunity to work closely with Dr. Juhel. Dr. Juhel and Mrs. Linda Bernard helped her get a sense of Buckley and its environment. When school commenced that fall, the Buckley families were equally as welcoming.
In her free time, Mrs. Fortuna reads, sews and quilts, and watches movies. She also does community service. When asked about her all-time favorite books, Mrs. Fortuna recommended the books Jane Eyre, The Good Earth, and The Pearl to young adults. Mrs. Fortuna states that Jane Eyre is the story that changed the way she read books, and it “transported her to another place.” Her favorite movies are Hidden Figures and Gone with the Wind. Another of her favorite activities is working closely with a homeless shelter in Glen Cove and doing some of the administrative work for the shelter. She also does projects and plays with children who are less fortunate.
Another one of Mrs. Fortuna’s favorite activities is visiting her family. She is married and has three children. Her first child and only son is 32 years old and is married with a six-month-old baby boy named Ryan. Mrs. Fortuna enjoys being a grandmother and loves being with her grandson. One of her daughters works as an attorney for the New York City Police Department and is 29 years old. Her youngest daughter is currently in college.
Although her family originates from Ireland, Mrs. Fortuna’s favorite place to visit is Italy. She says the food there is excellent and the landscapes are picturesque. As a final note, Mrs. Fortuna would like the Buckley community to know how inspired she is by the dedication of all of the students and faculty. She loves working in a place where you can see the process in which children do wonderful things, and she says that she is thankful for the privilege of working at such an amazing institution.