Barbara Bafundo Story
Barbara Bafundo Support Services Scholarship Fund
Catholic school has long been a special place for special education teachers, allowing them – with an abiding sense of Christian love — to build meaningful partnerships with families and earnest relationships with students. Often the unsung heroes of Catholic education, these men and women serve at the nucleus of whole-child teaching, meeting students where they are and helping them grow academically, emotionally, and spiritually –even when it’s not easy.
Barbara J. Bafundo was one such teacher.
A special education teacher by trade, she found her home in parochial schools. While working at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School from 1993-2003, she taught everything from kindergarten to eighth grade, eventually becoming the Assistant Principal under Dr. Joan Tiernan. Her most meaningful work involved restructuring and formalizing the Support Services Program in the mid-1990s. At its very core, this program celebrated the dignity and personal growth of each student. It made students feel capable and valued and helped keep countless Catholic children with learning differences in Catholic school. In the words of a former student, Blair Tighe ‘97, “it was people like Mrs. Bafundo who kept kids moving forward.” And she really did.
Barbara Bafundo passed away on January 10, 2024 after a four-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Barbara’s husband, Robert, and children (Beth ’95, Jennifer ’96, and Michael ’99) established this scholarship in her memory. It is awarded to one of “Mrs. B’s kids,” a Support Services student who shows tremendous development and desire to be in Catholic school.