#PREPpeople is one in an occasional series of snapshots spotlighting the people of St. John's Prep.
Hometown: Peabody, Mass.
Education: St. John’s Prep ’08, University of Tampa ’12
Years at St. John’s: 4
Subject: Aquatics/Physical Education
What brought you to St. John’s? SJP swimming was a huge part of my life and after graduating I stayed connected with my teammates and coaches. It was always something I thought if given the opportunity I would want to be a part of again. When I heard about plans for the Wellness Center including a new pool, I knew it would be an amazing opportunity that I had the right experience for so I reached out and expressed interest to Coach Tony Padvaiskas.
Describe a teacher who inspired you growing up: Math was never my strong subject and I struggled with it in middle school, so much so I remember being worried it would keep me out of SJP. My eighth grade math teacher, Mr. Mancini, was easily one of the most energetic and passionate teachers I’ve had. He was so patient and approachable, and I could tell he truly cared about my progress and making sure I didn’t fail, and gave me every opportunity to improve while making class fun. I often think about how kind and encouraging he was and try to carry that attitude with me in how I work with my students and swimmers.
What's your favorite thing about teaching? Favorite thing about teaching at the Prep? I am so fortunate to be able to teach in such a beautiful facility and share my love for swimming with our students. I really enjoy watching them step out of their comfort zone and learn a new skill. It’s amazing they have access to the Aquatics Center and can choose swimming as a physical education elective. There are not many places where that is possible, so when I teach a student to swim, or increase their comfort in the water, I feel it’s putting our pool to the best use possible and utilizing the Mahoney Wellness Center exactly as intended.
Have you always been a teacher/coach? If you could do anything other than teach, what would you do? In college I was leaning towards education but went in a different direction. I spent some time as a beach lifeguard in Florida before coming back up to Massachusetts and coached club swimming. I always thought I would stay involved in swimming, and a path I always considered was teaching as it would allow me to still coach to some degree. I really lucked out to find this role as my teaching and coaching both take place in the pool. I’ve always enjoyed being on the microphone at our swim meets, so if I could do anything else I think it would be hosting a game show.
What's one the funniest, most touching, or most memorable moments you've witnessed in the classroom? I have a pretty unique “classroom!” The best memory in it so far was hosting a virtual state championship meet in February 2021. Due to COVID, our season was drastically different and we swam against other teams, just in separate pools. There were only a small amount of people allowed to even be in the building, but it was the most fun and exciting swim meet atmosphere I have ever been a part of. We set two school records in our home pool!
What’s a fun fact, hidden talent, or hobby you have that most people wouldn’t know about? I got married in the St. John’s Chapel to my lovely wife Alison last summer!
Extra fun fact: I have seen every Marvel movie and show several times.
If you could describe SJP in one word, what would it be and why? Comprehensive—we do a great job giving all students opportunities to develop in all facets of life.