Mary Ann Gilligan was born and raised in Belleville. She attended St. Peter’s Elementary School and graduated from Belleville High School. Mrs. Gilligan attended Montclair State University where she obtained a master’s degree in The Arts of Teaching. She later served as an adjunct teaching freshman writing at MSU.
Mary Ann attended St. Elizabeth’s to obtain a second master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She began her teaching career in Belleville School #9. She then moved to Number 5 to teach grades 5 and 6 and then moved to Belleville Middle School to teach ELA to the 7th grade. After two years, she was promoted to Assistant Principal. Two years later, she was appointed principal of School 5. Mrs. Gilligan has been serving the district since 2001.