Saint Francis Student Teacher Leaves Impact on Students


Samantha Molnar

Mr. V taught all Chem I classes for the first few months of the school year.

Saint Francis University senior Anthony Vassalotti recently completed his student teaching in Chemistry under Tyrone High School teacher Mr. Michael Funicelli.

Mr. Funicelli and his students were pleased with his teaching, but no one was more excited than Vassalotti himself.

“My student teaching experience was crazy awesome. I loved every second of it, all because my students were fantastic. My favorite part of teaching will always be when I see students make connections. I can always see it in their eyes when they understand something,” said Vassalotti.

Vassalotti was first inspired to get into teaching by his high school teachers and his desire to help people.

“I always liked helping those around me with questions in class and explaining stuff in my own terms. It became evident when I was young that I’d love teaching, so I always wanted to be a teacher,” said Vassalotti.

It’s no surprise that Vassalotti’s favorite course in high school was Chemistry.

“I took my Chemistry course with a phenomenal Chemistry teacher, and I loved learning Chemistry and performing Chemistry labs. I especially loved when Chemistry started to explain real-world questions, like why we salt the roads in the winter to stop ice formation,” said Vassalotti.

Now that Vassalotti has completed his student teaching, he plans to return to Saint Francis University.

“I don’t have a specific school in mind to teach at, but if their students are like the ones here, I know it’ll be a great job,” said Vassalotti.

During the summer Vassalotti was nervous to begin teaching and was unsure if the students would grasp his explanations.

“I wish I’d known how great it was going to be… If I knew that it was all going to go better than I could’ve ever expected, I would’ve been completely excited to start,” said Vassalotti.

The students and Mr. Funicelli alike think Vassalotti’s teaching was organized, fair, and professional.

“Mr. Vassalotti was probably one of the best student teachers that I have ever had,” said Funicelli.

Having a student teacher meant that Funicelli gave up his teaching role from late August until mid November, with the exception of his DE Chemistry II class.

“As a person who loves being in control, it is hard to give up control of your class to another teacher. But at least Mr. V didn’t break my students,” joked Funicelli. “I am definitely excited to get back into my element….get it!? I am not excited, however, to resume grading.”

The staff and students at Tyrone wish Mr. Vassalotti success in the future and hope for his continued success in his career!