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Longtime East Rutherford Educator Carole Sudol, 72, Of Wallington

Carole Sudol
Carole Sudol Photo Credit: Becton Regional

WALLINGTON, N.J. -- Carole Ann Sudol of Wallington died on March 21 after a long illness. She was 72.

Born in Wallington, she was the daughter of the late Anthony E. Sudol and Wanda Sudol. Raised in East Rutherford, she knew she wanted to be a teacher as early as the third grade. After graduating from East Rutherford High School, she went on to Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, earning her B.S. degree in English in 1966. Upon graduation, she returned to her alma mater, East Rutherford High School, to begin her 36 year career as an English teacher. During her long teaching career, she literally taught thousands of students from East Rutherford and Carlstadt. Carole earned her Master’s degree in British Literature at Wroxton College, an overseas campus of F.D.U. in Great Britain.

When East Rutherford High School burned down, and the Boroughs of Carlstadt and East Rutherford chose to regionalize, she became part of the staff at Henry P. Becton Regional High School, where she would teach English, Journalism, Creative Writing, Business English and U.S. History until she retired in 2002. She was the longtime advisor to the school newspaper, Cat’s Eye View. During her 30-year tenure as high school newspaper advisor, the paper won three “First Place” awards from Columbia University Scholastic Press, six “First Place” awards from American Scholastic Press, a “First Place” award as well as an “Outstanding” award from the 9010th ARIS Air Force Critique Program, and an award from the New York Daily News as the “Best in Bergen County.”

While teaching full time and raising her son as a single mother, she also worked for about 10 years for the Leader Newspaper of Lyndhurst as a feature writer. She launched many of her students into careers in journalism by getting them summer jobs working for the Leader or writing a column entitled “Becton’s Corner” for the Leader. She also worked during the summers re-writing the Warriner Grammar Book, the textbook most high schools use in their English classes. In 1986, she was one of 50 educators nationwide to be awarded a Fellowship sponsored by the Teamsters Union to study the history of unions and labor law at Berkeley College in California. Two years later, she was one of 40 teachers in the U.S., Great Britain, and Australia to be awarded a Fellowship to study the education and culture of Japan.

One of the highlights of her teaching career came in 1998, when her fellow teachers, colleagues, and administrators at Becton High School voted her “Teacher of the Year.” She was described as a “Master Teacher” by one of her principals. Carole was asked to be a speaker and teach two classes at Columbia University’s Annual Journalism Conference in 2001. Carole also taught English and Speech at Felician College in Lodi for six years. With her deep love of animals, Carole was a long-time volunteer at the Bergen County Animal Shelter in Teterboro.

She loved to travel with her long-time companion Michael Rizzo and together they've been on 18 cruises, three of them on the Queen Mary 2, as well as cruises to Alaska and Hawaii. They also enjoyed five trips to Europe, which included a riverboat cruise on the Rhine River through four different countries.

She leaves behind her devoted brother Edward Sudol and his dear wife Connie; her long-time cherished companion Michael Rizzo Sr.; her granddaughter through her heart, Veranika Steiger and her parents Christianna and Troy; her special son and daughter through her heart, Michael Rizzo Jr. and his dear wife Serafina and their two children, Anthony and Mikayla; her precious puppy Abby; and many dear friends. Father ST Sutton of St. Joseph’s R.C. Church in Newton, N.J. has been a dear family friend for many years. She also leaves her biological son Matthew A. Sudol of Ridgewood and two grandsons, Logan and Liam Sudol, also of Ridgewood.

Visitation is 4-8 p.m. on Thursday at Kimak Funeral Home, 425 Broad St., Carlstadt. The funeral mass is Friday, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s R. C. Church, Rutherford. Entombment Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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