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#PREPpeople: Michael Orlando '02
Posted 04/04/2019 03:29PM

One in an occasional series of snapshots spotlighting the people of St. John’s Prep

Michael OrlandoHOMETOWN: Peabody, MA

EDUCATION: Diploma, St. John’s Prep, 2002; B.A. Spanish, Saint Anselm College (double-minor in Latin American Studies and Secondary Education); M.A. Hispanic Studies, Simmons University; Ed.D. Curriculum, Teaching, Leadership and Learning, Northeastern University

YEARS AT ST. JOHN’S: 13

SUBJECT: Assistant Principal for Mission and Identity; Spanish teacher

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TEACH FOR A LIVING?: “I knew early on that I wanted to teach. I liked explaining things. As an undergraduate, I remember thinking a lot about the appeal of connecting with and working with learners. As I developed a love and passion for Spanish language, culture and literature, it seemed like a natural fit. I think that desire to excel and my outgoing personality have allowed me to be my authentic, unique self in a teaching environment.”

WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE EVERY DAY?: “For me, it’s being able to help students see beyond their own world and context. With culture, literature and language, you can expand your approach and really get into the experiences of other people. In today’s society, I think that’s so important, especially since the words and wisdom of what we’re studying transcend time. It’s those interpersonal relationships and that human interaction which, to me, make teaching so relevant for young people today.”

DESCRIBE A TEACHER WHO INSPIRED YOU GROWING UP: “It’s kind of an interesting story. Of course, I had many inspirational teachers here at the Prep, without a doubt. But someone pivotal was my fourth grade teacher. She was a great teacher. Inspiring and encouraging. But I didn’t fully appreciate her until much later when it came time to choose the high school I was going to attend. I was planning to go to another school, and she and her husband were very candid about expressing how the Prep would be best fit for me. That input ended up being hugely important for me in high school, obviously, and beyond. Her teaching went deeper than just the content. That was an inspiration then, and remains so today.”

WHAT EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF ST. JOHN’S INFORMS YOUR WORK WITH STUDENTS AT THE PREP?: “My family life growing up, which was a focal point, and now having such a tight-knit family of my own at home with my wife, Nicole, and our son. Knowing the value of those relationships is big for me. I also think having traveled to different places in Latin America and Europe helps inform my thought process and approach. Lastly, umpiring in baseball and working with people in the different situations that arise during a game has helped me better understand how folks operate in general, and how to work with people at their best and their worst.” [Dr. Orlando is certified by the Massachusetts Baseball Umpires Association. He has umpired at all levels through high school, and also focuses on Little League umpire training and development. He was assigned to work the 2016 Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan].

FUN FACT: “I like to eat out. I embrace my cultural heritage and take advantage of opportunities to share a meal with friends, family, or new people. Looking for different restaurants and food styles at home or when I travel is a passion and pastime.”
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