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Falcon Flashback: Mr. Tony Caselli ’97

Sixteen years since his graduation, Mr. Caselli still remembers CB like it was yesterday How weird would it be if you returned to your high school and were asked to call your former teachers by their first names? Not many students come back to their alma mater, but Mr. Tony Casellli ’97 is one of […]

Sixteen years since his graduation, Mr. Caselli still remembers CB like it was yesterday

How weird would it be if you returned to your high school and were asked to call your former teachers by their first names?

Not many students come back to their alma mater, but Mr. Tony Casellli ’97 is one of the few that has returned to teach where he was taught.

He admits that at first it was weird for him to call his former teachers by their first names, but explains that it’s easy “once you break the rhythm.”

“In my mind it’s actually a respect thing,” Mr. Caselli explains.  “It’s a sign of respect to address their teachers with the Mr. and the Mrs. and not by the first name.  But once you come here as a teacher, it’s a recognition that you are a peer now.”

Mr. Caselli had several teachers who are still teaching at CB, such as Mr. English, Ms. Jenkins and Mr. Zannetti.  He has some fond and embarrassing memories regarding a couple of those teachers.

Mr. Caselli poses for his sophomore yearbook photo.

Mr. Caselli poses for his sophomore yearbook photo.

During his freshman year, he was placed in accelerated classes, which included Mr. English’s Accelerated World History Class.  Mr. English was going through the roll and landed on his name.

“He stopped, looked at me and said, ‘Caselli, are you John Caselli’s son?’” Mr. Caselli describes.  “In fact, I am.  It turns out Mr. English and my dad were lifeguards together when they were going to college.”

Mr. Caselli said from that first day of class, Mr. English “singled me out and always knew he could give me grief.”  But as a high school freshman, Mr. Caselli “was mortified” because he “just wanted to blend in.”

When asked if he had Mr. Zannetti, Caselli just smiled and started chuckling.

“Mr. Zannetti loves to tell his current students about how terrible of a student I was senior year, and he is not wrong about that,” he said.  “I had him — much to his chagrin — [during] second semester senior year, so I was already [hafway] out of the door.”

Mr. Caselli admits that he “wasn’t really in the mood to take [Zannetti’s] class seriously,” but he quickly adds that he feels bad about that now.  It probably didn’t help his case that his best friend was in that class with him, and they could make trouble together.

Dave Caselli '99, Matt Burruel '97, Mr. Caselli

Dave Caselli ’99, Matt Burruel ’97, Mr. Caselli

“My best friend on campus, that [over the course of my four years] I only had one class freshman year with, was in that class,” he explained.  “That didn’t help, and our names were close in the alphabet, so we were sitting by each other.”

After cleaning up his act from senior year, Mr. Caselli is no longer the trouble maker he once was and his students can’t help but sing his praises when asked about him.

“He’s great,” Austin Hagyard (’13).  “He’s simply the best man I know.”

Mr. Caselli reciprocates the feeling of love toward the students.  He absolute loves it here and cannot see himself anywhere else.

“I love working here because of the attitude of the kids,” he says.

“Overwhelmingly, they want to be here and they love this school.  I love it too, and I love being around people who appreciate CB as much as I do.”

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