Catholic elementary schools are 'A place where children grow and succeed.'

The Chemistry in Catholic School Was Right for Steven Parrinelli

St. Dominic High School Valedictorian Pursues Career in Medicine

When you speak to Steven Parrinelli today, you sense a smart, confident young man who is carefully selecting his next moves to achieve his goal of a career in medicine. But as a grammar school student at St. Patrick School in Huntington, Steven hadn’t selected a direction for his life. In fact, according to Steven; “My breakout years didn’t come until I was a high school student.”

Parents That Believed in Catholic School

Like many of the students in Catholic elementary schools, Steven started in elementary school because his parents “are strong believers in Catholic education”. The elementary school they selected for Steven, St. Patrick’s in Huntington, reinforced the values they lived at home and was able to provide a great deal of individual attention to Steven’s learning needs. Steven remembers St. Patrick’s for its small size, for the many friends he made during his time there, and for the strong feeling of community within St. Patrick Parish and School. “St. Patrick’s provided an excellent educational foundation, and I was a good student, but I hadn’t yet gotten competitive about my grades.” said Steven.

The “Breakout” Years

Steven about to receive his diploma from St. Dominic                   Church’s Pastor, Father Kevin Smith.Like the overwhelming majority of Catholic elementary school students, Steven elected to go to Catholic high school and like the most of the students he got his first choice of schools: St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay. It was after mid-term exams in Steven’s first year at St. Dominic High School that he had what he considers his ‘breakout’. The chance to be on the Honor Roll at St. Dominic’s gave him the incentive. The additional recognition each trimester of a Principal’s List Luncheon made it personal. The individual attention he received and the chance to know the teachers from his AP (Advanced Placement) classes personally were some of Steven’s favorite parts of the high school experience.

One Individual Stands Out

While the interpersonal relationships Steven enjoyed with his teachers and members of the administration were powerful incentives, one particular relationship stands out. As Steven puts it; “My Global History and US History teacher, Mr. Drysielski, taught me the most valuable skill I mastered in high school.” “He taught me how to express myself better in writing.” Steven continued. “Being a better writer has helped me everywhere.”

Looking Forward

After looking at various college options, Steven was invited by the University of Scranton to visit their campus. In Steven’s words; “I felt like I belonged here.” The manageable size of the school, the friendly people, and a strong science program were the ‘selling points’. That and the Dean’s Scholarship which will fund half of Steven’s college were all considerations in selecting the University of Scranton. “I am considering a career in medicine,” said Steven. “The strong science program at the University of Scranton will help me prepare for medical school.”

My discussion with Steven ended with his rationale for wanting to become a doctor; “I like to help people.” We couldn’t agree more! Steven is a fine example of the academically prepared and spiritually grounded students graduating from Long Island’s Catholic schools.

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