The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The importance of Caravan alums coming back to serve

James McCormac ’25
The mural on the wall of in first floor hallway features some current and past alumni staff.


One of the great things about Mount Carmel is the large number of alumni that are both teachers and staff members. This makes it so that students can have a deeper connection with their teachers and it allows the teacher to more accurately understand students because they have been in their shoes before. Although it is great that alums teach here, new people are needed to contribute new ideas to the school and not only maintain but build the tradition of MC. 

Mount Carmel has a large number of alumni among its faculty and staff, with currently seventeen alums who have come back to MC to help with the school. “Mount Carmel is a very welcoming environment, especially if you have a diploma from here,” said Mr. Tim Baffoe ’00. 

Alums in teaching, counseling, and administration positions include Mr. Baffoe ’00,  Mr. Mark Antonietti ’84, Mr. Manuel Medina ’09, Mr. Daniel Burke ’98, Mr. Daniel Haggerty ’11, Mr. David McGovern ’90, Mr. Jack Mulay ’17, Mr. Tony Panatera ’95, Mr. Mike Minogue ’83,  Mr. Bill Nolan ’87, Mr. Dan O’Connor ’95, and Mr. Scott Tabernacki ’02. Elsewhere on campus are staff roles occupied by Mr. Noel Bax ’01, Mr. Craig Ferguson ’79, Mr. Andy Dimas ’88, Mr. Tony DiFilippo ’92, Mr. Jordan Lynch ’09, and Fr. Jim Lewis, O. Carm. ’72.

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Having these alumni in the classroom is definitely a positive thing, and MC students agree. “They know what it’s like to go here, and that creates a connection,” said Dermott Doyle, a current senior. The bond between teachers and students is strengthened by the brotherhood that they both have from attending MC. It allows a much deeper connection to form between the students and their teachers because they have quite literally been in their shoes walking the halls of the main building. 

The experience that these teachers had a MC is a big part of why they choose to come back. “I came back here because of the experience I had,” said Mr. Nolan. “I always wanted to make the positive impacts that happened to me happen for generations of other kids.” 

Not only that, but the values that were instilled in these alums in their time in MC is something they want to give to the next generation. “My best friends are from here,” said Mr. Antonietti. “I learned about sacrifice, loyalty, and looking out for people here.”

Current MC students appreciate the fact that their mentors decided to come back. “They have experience going through the Carmel education system and care enough about MC to come back here,” said Leonard Siegal, a current junior. “That’s awesome.”

Some teachers fully intended to come back after graduation to teach here, but only for a couple of years before leaving. “At first my plan was to come back for four or five years and then move on,” said Mr. Nolan. “Then four or five years turned into 32 years.”

It is important that people move on from MC if they don’t want to stay any longer and feel their work is done here. “Some people stay for a long time and some people get what they need and move on,” said Mr. Antonietti. “I never begrudge those people moving on because they take what they got here and they transplant it to somewhere else.”

Many spent time working at other schools and other jobs before eventually coming back to MC. “I was looking for a change in scenery,” said Mr. Baffoe about coming to teach at MC after 14 years teaching at St. Rita. “Because I was an alum and knew some people still here, MC was an appealing job prospect. If you’re going into education there’s always that sense of desire to come back home to the family that you knew and love.” 

MC grads have long been a presence on the faculty, though. “There’s always been alumni at Mount Carmel teaching,” said Mr. Nolan, though he did note that there has been a bigger presence in recent years compared to the past when he was here, and even if it made him feel old he does remember teaching many of the current alumni teachers at MC. 

Teachers who have never been to MC before are needed as well, and the new ideas that they have can help propel the school forward in the future. “You also need new teachers and new blood,” said Mr. Nolan. “There has to be a great mix of people from the outside.” He thought that it was the combination of the old tradition, carried on through the alumni teachers, that MC has brought together with the fresh ideas of the new teachers and students that really made it special. “I think it’s good to have a mix of both men and women, alums and non alums,” said Mr. Antonietti. 

New teachers bring with them different perspectives and experiences that diversify an MC student’s outlook on the world. This makes it so that they can see things in many different ways from different viewpoints. “I think it’s very important to have a diversity of experiences,” said Mr. Antonietti. “It’s important that you have that so people have the ability to see outside these walls.”

MC seems to have instilled a deep desire within many of its graduates to help out the school after graduating. Many describe it as an awesome feeling to be part of something bigger than themselves.

“It’s the amazing thing that we all want to continue to be a part of,” said Mr. Nolan. “The miracle on 64th Street.”

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About the Contributor
James McCormac '25
James McCormac '25, Staff Writer
James McCormac is a junior at Mount Carmel. He lives in Bridgeport and attended Old Saint Mary's Grammar School. James is a member of the Varsity football team, the chess team, boxing, and The Merchant. Outside of school James enjoys doing volunteer work. His hobbies are reading and lifting.