New Enrollment Manager at St. Joseph Academy
St. Joseph Academy has found its Enrollment Manager: Lisa Vasapollo, who started in that position on November 2.
“I took an immediate liking to her, and I don’t do that with everybody,” principal Lynn Domenico said.
Vasapollo, who graduated from McDaniel College in Westminster, Md. in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and minors in journalism and writing, said that she originally had aspirations in broadcasting.
“I worked at a television station in Baltimore; I interned there and I worked there for a year and a half. I was down there for five years and I came back home, because Baltimore is very expensive to live in when you’re making $11/hour part-time. I came home with hopes of getting into the market in Philly, having the background I had, but things didn’t work out and I said it was time for something different,” Vasapollo said.
Vasapollo said that an opportunity opened at the former Gloucester County College, which is now Rowan College of South Jersey, and she began there in August of 2014 as a part-time team coordinator for student activities.
“I was part of student activities until July of 2017. Then, I was offered a promotion to the enrollment services department on the campus to be their outreach recruiter. That meant that I went out to local schools, helped students enroll at the college, complete the application process, all of that stuff. Then, I spent a year in that position and my boss—her title was Enrollment Administrator—was offered a promotion, so when she was offered her promotion they offered me her position as Enrollment Administrator because of how I excelled as outreach recruiter,” Vasapollo said.
“I’d been in higher ed for so long, and I was super-involved in higher ed when I was down at college, so I said let me get my feet wet in something else. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I started exploring getting a teaching certificate because I felt so bad for the kids and wanted to explore different things. Then this opportunity popped up, and I thought, wow, that’s interesting because I don’t really want to go back to school, but I could be in a high school in a different environment,” she said.
Vasapollo said that she was offered an interview, and, roughly an hour after the interview, she was offered the position.
Domenico said that there were three things about Vasapollo that she “really found prominent.”
“First of all, she had a very engaging personality, but she was professional. She was energetic, which is a big plus with me because if you show energy, you’re going to work. The third thing that I noticed about her was that she asked a lot of questions. She was very interested in getting herself educated about the job. How do you do this? What’s this? She just was so inquisitive, and I said ‘Boy, those three things together, that’s a winning combination,’” Domenico said.
Domenico said that bringing Vasapollo on board has been a refreshingly smooth process.
“She fit in—she gelled—from the minute she walked in here. Sometimes you have new employees, and they take a little while to get settled in. Day one, we just knew it. We clicked. Everyone was very comfortable with her, and that doesn’t happen very often,” Domenico said.
Vasapollo believes her familiarity with the region will be an asset to St. Joseph Academy.
“I’m excited to be here. I’m not from Hammonton, but I’m very familiar with South Jersey. I’ve been here before; when this was St. Joseph High School I recruited some of the kids here because I came from the college ... I’m from Westville, N.J. and I currently live in Mullica Hill up in Gloucester County, so I’m born and raised in South Jersey. I’m a South Jersey girl,” she said.
Vasapollo is looking forward to expanding the academy’s reputation throughout the area.
“My goals for this position are to really not only help with somewhat of the rebranding of St. Joseph Academy but also to help keep the integrity and the spirit of what St. Joe stands for, and to let the community know that yes, we’re here, and yes, we’re back, but we’re also not the same. We are still somewhat new, too, but we’re still going to embody and value all of those things that we did before. We’re still going to give back; we are part of Hammonton. We are part of the community. I’m really excited to be able to showcase that, and I’m really excited to share that,” Vasapollo said.
Vasapollo also wants to raise awareness about the new school.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize the school has opened. Hammonton has, but not a lot of people outside of this area. I’ve had a few people I’ve already spoken with who didn’t realize that we were open. I’m excited to get that word out and help them understand and see the community base, the alumni base that we have because of the situation, and see that this is a school that’s meant to be here—and meant to stay,” she said.
Some of Vasapollo’s duties will include reaching out to local schools to recruit potential students for St. Joseph Academy.
“COVID-19 had obviously made that very difficult, but I’ve been doing a lot of virtual outreach—emails, Zoom meetings, all that kind of stuff—providing whatever information I can to the schools to say that if they have a student who’s interested, I’m the person they need to speak with. Please come to me or send your student to me; whatever you need to do that I can help you. If they have questions about here, I am your person. I’m introducing myself, making sure they know who I am, where they can come even with any question about St. Joe; I can get that information for them and give it to them. I can be that point of contact,” she said.
Vasapollo, who earned a master’s degree in school counseling from Wilmington University in New Castle, Del. in 2018, also plans to continue interaction with students once they are enrolled.
“Just because a brand-new student is going to come start here, my role with the student isn’t going to end. From the time they’re interested in applying, I’m going to be with them throughout their whole time here. I’m going to have some interest and some intake,” Vasapollo said.
Despite having only started at the school in the beginning of November, Vasapollo is already engaged in student activities.
“One of the other things I’m also involved with is the Women’s Institute for Leadership and Learning for all our young women who are attending, to help empower them, enrich them and give them what they need to be successful, and opportunities that they may not have otherwise had access to. I’m really excited to be a part of that and help out with that as well,” she said.
Domenico said that she is equally excited to have Vasapollo as part of St. Joseph Academy.
“The fact that she can do her job—which is what we hired her for—and that she has those other qualities is a win/win situation for all of us. ... She is a great asset to our school, absolutely a great asset. I’ve worked with a lot of people who have worked in enrollment, but by far is head and shoulders above the rest,” Domenico said.
Vasapollo noted that she is available to talk to anyone with about St. Joseph Academy.
“I’m here. If anyone has any questions about St. Joseph Academy, or if they want to come tour it, contact me. Give me a call,” she said.
Vasapollo can be reached via telephone at (609) 561-8700 ext. 205 or via email at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.