6 AQUINAS LANDMARK | SUMMER 2020 What’s News Spotlight On . . . There’s something special about Aquinas. At times it can be hard to describe, and to be honest, it may be better felt than put into words, but it’s as real as the marble statue of St. Thomas Aquinas that stands steadfast in the main hall. There’s a certain magnetism that holds nearly all of us who have had a connection to the school to the spot. It’s the reason alumni come back for reunions each year and why so many of the students who grew up to be teachers feel called to teach in the very place they spent their high school, and for some, their middle school years. Currently, there are a dozen alumni who teach at Aquinas. Together, they make up about 20% of the faculty, and combined, their teaching experience exceeds 225 years! They represent graduating classes that span five decades and teach a variety of subjects across the curriculum. They are dedicated professionals with a passion for teaching and, of course, a passion for AQ. BOB D’ETTORE • Class of 1973 SUBJECT AREA(S): Physical Education and Principles of Coaching YEARS TEACHING: 47 YEARS TEACHING AT AQ: 47 Why did you choose to become a teacher? I chose to become a teacher because my teachers and coaches were some of the most influential people in my character development and I wanted to be able to do that for others. My love for athletics and coaching is why I chose Physical Education. Which AQ teachers inspired you as a student? Jerry McGuire was tough but fair. John Uriah (AD) was kind and always had the best interest of athletes and his coaches in mind. Bob Rosmarino pushed you beyond what you thought you were capable of. Nick Teta was a great coach who taught the game of football to us. Fr. Burke recognized your potential and pushed you to achieve. Fr. Carter was a man of great vision and was a very powerful leader yet he never lost the common touch. I feel like I incorporated a little bit from each one of them in my own development as a teacher. What made you decide to return to your alma mater? See above! Those influences along with a love and loyalty to Aquinas, even when I was in grammar school, lead me back to AQ. I felt I wanted to give back what I was blessed with while at Aquinas. What do you hope your Aquinas legacy will be? I’m hoping my legacy will be that I was a teacher who cared about his students, a teacher that was fair, and a teacher that was passionate about teaching. I especially want to be known as a teacher who not only imparted the skills and knowledge of my subject, but that I also had an influence on my students’ character development because my lessons taught goodness and discipline…that I recognized opportunities to teach “life lessons.” As a coach I want to be remembered for those exact same things! JEFF PAGE • Class of 1990 SUBJECT AREA(S): US History and Government 11 and AP American YEARS TEACHING: 28 YEARS TEACHING AT AQ: 28 Why did you choose to become a teacher? I wanted to coach high school sports and teach history. Which AQ teachers inspired you as a student? Mrs. Knapp who challenged me to be a better math student just by saying, “I heard you were a good math student, when are you going to start showing me?” And Mr. Pilliter, who made you think on a higher level. What made you decide to return to your alma mater? There was an opening in the history department and an opportunity to coach JV soccer. What do you hope your Aquinas legacy will be? I always wanted to put teaching first and to be well-prepared in the classroom because I have known and heard people say that some coaches are only in the classroom to coach their sport and are not there to be good teachers. TRICIA SADLER • Class of 1991 SUBJECT AREA(S): Social Studies and Religion 6 YEARS TEACHING: 26 YEARS TEACHING AT AQ: 9 Why did you choose to become a teacher? As the oldest of six, I can remember teaching and playing school. I also had many elementary teachers who inspired me with the care they showed and the “family” environment they created. Which AQ teachers inspired you as a student? I had many teachers and coaches along the way who inspired me to guide students to reach their full potential and cared for us like we were their own children. What made you decide to return to your alma mater? When the opportunity to teach 6th grade opened, I welcomed the chance to continue the family tradition, and to pass on the values, guidance, and high academic standards that AQ set for me for future students. What do you hope your Aquinas legacy will be? I hope students will look back fondly on their TEAM 6 experience. I want them to remember the family environment we created, the encouragement I gave them to reach their potential, and the AQ traditions I passed on to them so now they too are part of the legacy. 6 AQUINAS LANDMARK | WINTER 2024 6 From Student to Teacher