By Shree Mehrotra, Editor-In-Chief
GL has a new Assistant Principal, Mark Cantagallo. Mr. Cantagallo grew up in Mountainside and attended Governor Livingston High School as well. Here he talks about his own experiences as a student at GL and his hopes for his future at GL.
What are your feelings about working for the same district you attended school in yourself?
I think it’s the greatest thing in the world! I was lucky enough to grow up in a town and a district as nice and as wonderful as this one. Now I get to work here, and it’s even better than it was before.
What clubs, sports, and other activities were you involved in when you were at Governor Livingston?
I was a basketball and baseball player. I also was involved in TREND and Student Outreach, which is now called Link Crew. I was Executive Board President for Student Council.
What were some of your best experiences at GL?
The freshmen orientation was a memorable experience. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Going to the Teen Institute of the Garden State (TIGS), which is now called the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute (LMTI), with TREND was great. The Student Council dances were always enjoyable. We had a dance every month of the year. Each month a different group or club (TREND, Student Outreach, etc.) would run it. The most popular one was the Halloween dance, which was called the Monster Mash. In October, we (Student Council) ran a haunted house. It was a huge fundraiser. We even invited the elementary school students. Following the haunted house, we had the Monster Mash. Obviously, playing sports had a big impact on his life and was always fun, too. Hall decorating was enjoyable. You could barely tell you were in the high school during the hall decoration.
Are any of your former teachers still teaching at GL?
One of my former teachers was Mr. Petruzzelli. He was my basketball coach, too. Coach (Chris) Roof was not a teacher yet, but he was the assistant baseball coach. Mr. McKinney was my freshman basketball coach. He was an awesome, awesome coach. We had so much fun with him. None of my other teachers are still around. I had Señora O’Grady. She was in charge of Student Council.
What has changed since you went to GL?
The gyms and the science labs are a lot nicer. Block scheduling – you guys are so lucky. Of course, there were no iPads – they weren’t invented yet. It was rare for a student to have a cell phone. When I say rare, I mean a handful of people. And the size of the school – the school was much smaller when I was here. There was close to 250 less people when I went to school here.
What are you most looking forward to this school year?
I’m looking forward to see how students are enjoying their academic and extracurricular careers at GL.
What changes would you like to see at GL?
Honestly, I don’t really see the need for change. I think we need to improve on what we have. Life is about improving. There’s a quote from Aristotle about excellence. The gist of it is that you are what you repeatedly do – Excellence is a habit, not an act. It’s to the right of my desk in my office. As long as we continue to be excellent, we’ll be fine.