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Alumni make up 1 in 5 faculty members

Photo by Andrew Brown ’18 | Mr. Steve Smith ’96, Mr. Austin Pidgeon ’07 and Mr. Andy Schmidbauer ’88 instruct students in their classrooms. Many former students find themselves coming back to Brophy to teach after college.

By Chris Stanek ’19

Alumni teachers are quite common at Brophy with one out of five teachers once roaming the campus halls as students.

Mr. Austin Pidgeon ’07 said he believes that alumni teachers come to Brophy to start their teaching career.

“I believe there is something special about the Brophy community that draws people to come back,” Mr. Pidgeon said.

Mr. Pidgeon explained that, as a novice teacher, going back to familiar place where you built relationships with your own teachers brings comfort since they are now your colleagues.

“You make these relationships with these teachers you once had, and coming back to environment like that and being able to meet them, not only as your once teachers, but as your colleagues, truly helps the beginning of any new career,” Mr. Pidgeon said.

Besides the fact that returning to Brophy helps start alumni teaching careers, Mr. Steve Smith ’96 said that for him it was his high school experience.

“For me, back in the day, it was my high school love for this school, and when I decided to become a teacher I only could think to myself that I should teach what love, in the place that I love,” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Smith said that a lot of what happened at Brophy really caused him to become a teacher.

“Besides wanting to become a writer went I was younger, my Brophy teachers like Mr. Tom Danforth and Fr. John Becker were really nice to me, and noticed me as a student, which really motivated to teach that way in the classroom today,” Mr. Smith said.  

Mr. Andrew Schmidbauer ’88 explained that during his high school years, one staff member he had bonded with at Brophy really showed him how teachers can really impact students.

“I got to spend a lot of time with Fr. Anton Renna … the way he treated me and talked to me about his life really inspired me for how I am today with students,” Mr. Schmidbauer said.

Mr. Pidgeon, Mr. Schmidbauer and Mr. Smith all agree that their previous knowledge of Brophy helps them connect with students inside and outside the classroom.

Current Alumni Teachers:
Cooper Davis ’10
Jake Kelly ’09
Will Rutt ’08
Pete Burr ’07
Austin Pidgeon ’07
Mica Mulloy ’99
Mike Schwertly ’99
John Damaso ’97
Steve Smith ’96
Jose Leyba ’94
Andrew Schmidbauer ’88
Jose Mendoza ’88
Scott Middlemist ’87
Marc Kelly ’87
Joe Klein ’86
Chris Stevens ’85
Mike Welty ’83
Lane McShane ’82
Tom Danforth ’78

Alumni Service Corps:
John Medici ’12
Wade Hoyt ’12
Alex Higgins ’12
Flávio Bravo ’12
Matthew Munhall ’12