I was born in Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts in October of 1967. I’m the oldest of three children, and my mother is a first generation Italian American. I come from a large extended Italian family (8 aunts and uncles) with 23 first cousins. Growing up, my family was a typically poor, struggling Italian family. Both of my grandparents had little to no education and for my parents, it was important that my siblings and I did well in school. I began my school career in Boston at the Charles Sumner School in Roslindale and finished my third grade year in North Hero, Vermont, where my family moved after my mother’s second marriage.
We only stayed in Vermont through spring and then moved to Southwest New Hampshire so that we could be closer to our family in Boston. I attended schools in the Monadnock Regional School district through my senior year and then moved to Louisiana to attend the University of New Orleans. I had been an average to above average high school student that worked below my potential at times. Throughout high school, from the time I started working, I had a strong interest in the restaurant business and I went off to college to pursue that career path via a college education. Unfortunately, very early into the school year, I realized that college life was not necessarily for me and I quit school. I stayed in Louisiana for the next two years, working in banking at a local savings and loan association. Having just gotten out of high school, it seemed like I was making lots of money and my “break” from school was spent working and having fun.
I relocated back to New Hampshire in 1988 and continued working in the restaurant and banking industry. I did not enjoy my work in banking and really struggled with having a job where I felt like I did not do anything to make the world a better place. In 1990, I made a break from the banking industry to return to school at Keene State College. It was risky for me, having already had one unsuccessful attempt at college life, however, this time, I felt like I had found something I wanted to pursue and had a great interest. Elementary education would be the new path I would take in my college career.
My second “go” at college was far more successful and quite honestly, more fulfilling academically. I made the dean’s list on several occasions and while working full time, got through my four years of schooling with a 3.48 grade point average. I truly loved my college experience the second time around and was eager to enter into the field of education to work with children and make a difference in the world.
Shortly after completing my undergraduate degree, I briefly worked as a paraprofessional at Keene Middle School. During this time, I was applying for many jobs but due to a flooded market, nothing came about. In the fall of 1994, I was hired to decrease class size and teach sixth grade in Auburn, Maine. It was an exciting time as I got my first teaching position and moved away from Keene to begin my professional career.
My move to Maine resulted in my living there for approximately 15 years. I was very fortunate to make many friends during that time and build an extensive network both personally and professionally. After a period of debating what I might do personally, I decided to move back to my roots in the greater Boston area in the late winter of 2009. It was an unexpected move, yet, was one of the best things I had done for myself both personally and professionally in many years. That move made me a believer in taking risks, starting new, and not being afraid to try something different. The move brought me closer to family and relatives that I had not seen in many years, and it also gave me the opportunity to be in a more urban setting with access to greater opportunities both personally and professionally.
Since moving back to the greater Boston area, I’ve lived briefly on the Northshore (Lynn), in Boston’s well known South End and I now reside in Medford with my partner Pete. We’ve got a great house where we love spending time at with our beloved pets and welcoming family and friends. In all, I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced such great life lessons and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t consider myself thankful for what I have been able to accomplish!