Longtime Mt. Pleasant teacher had ‘soothing Italian way’
As a young woman, Clarina DiPietro had two goals in life – to attend Seton Hill University and to work for the CIA.
Although she accomplished both, she spent most of her career as a social studies teacher at Mt. Pleasant Area Senior High School.
“She was always teaching her students to read. Know the world through reading – that was her thing,” said her sister, Sister Melanie DiPietro.
Ms. DiPietro introduced Asian studies to the social studies curriculum at Mt. Pleasant in 1971 after traveling to Japan and tutoring Japanese businessmen in English.
“She said she got tired of teaching Western cultures,” her sister said.
Clarina DiPietro, of Greensburg, died Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at the Sisters of Seton Hill, Caritas Christi, in Greensburg. She was 89.
Born in Greensburg on Sept. 5, 1929, she was a daughter of the late Joseph and Jessie (DiToro) DiPietro.
Following graduation from Seton Hill in 1951, Ms. DiPietro took an entry-level position with the CIA in Washington, D.C.
She began her teaching career at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral and retired in the mid-1990s as chairwoman of the social studies department at Mt. Pleasant.
“Education was a drive in our family,” DiPietro said.
Ms. DiPietro also got involved with the Mt. Pleasant Local of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, eventually being elected president.
Ron Aiello, former PSEA Southwestern region field director, worked closely with her in the 1980s and ’90s.
“She was one of the best,” he said. “We never had arbitrations. She would settle things on her own. She just had that soothing Italian way.”
Ms. DiPietro got along well, and worked well, with then-Superintendent John Grecco – a fellow Italian, he said.
Aiello said Ms. DiPietro was reliable and made his job easier, especially during contract negotiations.
“She had a way about her, that she could chastise and reprimand and get things done,” he said. “She took on the leadership of a labor union in a difficult area, and she did well.”
Ms. DiPietro also was a faithful Catholic and member of her parish, St. Paul Parish, Greensburg, her sister said.
“She did everything in the church that a non-ordained woman could do,” she said.
Ms. DiPietro is survived by her sisters, Nancy Dlusky, Sister Melanie DiPietro and Philomena Barauskas; and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in the chapel of Caritas Christi, 129 DePaul Center Road, Greensburg, where she resided for the last years of her life. Interment will follow at Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, 144 DePaul Center Road, Greensburg, PA 15601.
Funeral arrangements were handled by the Leo M. Bacha Funeral Home.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .