Mr. Tommanelli and Mrs. Dimaggio

In fifth and sixth grade our science teacher was Mr. Tommanelli.  He told the class he just recently started teaching and wanted to be the astronaut they chose to go on the Challenger.  He got our whole class motivated in encouraging him to be chosen.  I was a little confused because he just started teaching and many of these teachers applying to go on the Challenger have taught for at least over a decade and are licensed teachers.  Parochial teachers are not licensed.

He didn't get chosen and we all know the tragedy that happened with the Challenger.  Mr. Tommanelli was very angry he didn't get chosen.  But after the tragedy, he said God was looking out for him and has another mission for him.  He thought of himself.

He was a terrible science teacher.  He tried to teach us "Weather" and totally failed.  He mixed up cold fronts and warm fronts.  He got them reversed.  No one would have noticed, except my good friend's mother read her test paper and complained to the Principal that Mr. Tommanelli was a hack and was teaching the students incorrectly.

Other than that he was a nice man who always brought his daughter to school with him.

When I'm in my twenties, I'm notified that Mr. Tommanelli is still teaching and now he's teaching at my HS Dominican Academy.  And I was like no way wtf.  I guess it was Italian mafia or something and he wanted to make sure his daughter and other Italians get into the school and go to Harvard, like me, Emmaruth.

Mrs. Dimaggio was one of the best teachers at St. A's until the early '80s when she retired.  She was the Coach for the Bells Drill team.  When I was in second grade I meet her and watch the Bells Drills team.  Her husband looks at me and says Hon, you better retire soon.  This school is going down the drain.  She did retire that year and ended the Bells Drill team.  I never got to play the Bells at the St. Paddy's parade like all St. A's students have before me.  St. A's was famous.  I think they even named Suydam St. after her.  Ann Dimaggio Way.

I was never Italian enough.


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