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Agrippina, '11, Leaves Business For Teaching

Posted: 7/11/2018

We check in with Michael Agrippina, ’11. After earning his B.S. in Business Administration and Mass Communication from Washington and Lee University, Michael worked in strategy and operations with Deloitte Consulting. This summer, he will join Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education as a Teaching Fellow, committing to two years of teaching in the nation’s most under-resourced Catholic schools.

How did your experience at HSP help form you into the person you are today? My time at Holy Spirit Prep taught me how to balance the things that are important to me. HSP cultivated a diverse environment in which Christ-centered community, academic rigor, and athletic opportunity thrived together. This encouraged students to rise above typical high school stereotypes – you could be a top student, class leader, multi-sport athlete, and committed Catholic. My complementary experience at HSP encouraged me to pursue a balanced lifestyle with a variety of passions.

How did you come to join ACE? Several HSP teachers inspired me to follow my current path into education – special thanks to Mr. Pietrantonio, Mr. Moscona, Mr. Falcetti, and Mr. Slonkosky. These men were some of my favorite teachers and coaches at HSP, and in recent months they have been extremely generous with their time and advice as I discerned a career in education.

As I enter the classroom, I will strive to live out HSP’s motto: “To serve, not to be served.” I hope to be a servant leader for my students, putting their needs first, treating them with love, and motivating them to be their best.

What is your favorite memory from your time at HSP? My senior year basketball season: we had an awesome class (shout out to Whitney, Anthony, and Marius) who held the team to a high standard while having a ton of fun, and our fearless leader Coach Sickafoose was a trusted mentor on and off the court. From ballin’ to bus rides, we never had a dull moment. When I’m in Atlanta, I still get together with a few guys from that team to play pickup and relive the glory days.

Tell us about your experience as an undergrad. I cherished my undergraduate experience at Washington and Lee University. It exemplified the expansive offerings of a liberal arts education – I double majored in Business Administration and Mass Communication; threw javelin on the Varsity Track and Field team; studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark; joined a fraternity; and co-hosted a radio show, among other activities. In addition to providing me with lifelong friends and memories, my time at W&L fostered my deep love for learning, commitment to honor, and capacity for critical thinking.

Can you tell us about a recent experience that you will always remember? I had about six months between college graduation and the start of my full-time position at Deloitte Consulting. That half-year hiatus opened the door for a couple of transformative experiences. Over the summer, I interned at The Coca-Cola Company, writing articles for its online magazine and travelling to Dubai, UAE, for market visits. During the fall, I volunteered as an English Teacher Assistant at a high school in Turin, Italy, where I lived with a host family and embraced the local culture.

These experiences reinforced my passions for writing, teaching, and traveling, which continue to guide me – I am currently interning at a surf and yoga camp in Costa Rica, where my duties include blogging and consulting on marketing strategy.

What are your plans for the future? In June, I begin the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teaching Fellows program at the University of Notre Dame. During this two-year program, I will spend my summers on campus taking classes and my school years teaching middle school Language Arts at a Catholic school in Jacksonville, Florida, as I pursue a Master of Education degree. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of several HSP teachers who are alumni of this program!

How do you stay connected to your friends from HSP? I love my HSP friends! I continue to spend time with several classmates through basketball games, birthday celebrations, the annual Christmas Eve brunch, and most recently, at Alex Raus’ wedding in February. Alex is a close friend who was my classmate from sixth grade through graduation at HSP and it was very special to see him get married!