About the Teach
Michael A. DeNobile
Family History & Early Life
Michael DeNobile, aka "The Teach," was born in Pelham Bay section of the Bronx and grew up in the Throggs Neck section. He is the fourth generation of Italian immigrants from Naples, Bari, Calabria, and Messina (Sicily). Both of his parents grew up in tenement housing in the Bronx in the 1950s and early 1960s, and he credits growing up one generation from poverty as part of his inspiration to become a teacher.
His maternal great grandmother survived the 1908 Messina earthquake, and soon after she emigrated to the United States. His maternal grandfather was Grant Panarese, Sr., a master painter who also worked for the City of New York as a cobblestone street layer then later as an asphalt layer. Panarese was a contending prize fighter who competed in the New York Golden Gloves in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His paternal grandfather was Michael DeNobile, Sr., who served as an Army cook in World War II and later worked as a member of Steamfitters Local 638.
His father Patrick was the first in his family to go to college, serving over thirty years as an auditor for the Department of Defense. His mother Carmela participated in groundbreaking medical research in the 1980s in juvenile diabetes and pregnancy under the care of renowned medical pioneer Dr. Lois Jovanovic.
DeNobile was born and raised in New York, growing up in the Bronx, Wading River (Long Island), and Putnam Valley. As a student, he experienced NYC Public Schools' Gifted and Talented Program in elementary school, a suburban elementary school's inclusion classroom, Catholic grammar school education, suburban public middle and high school, and alternative education at Putnam-Northern Westchester (PNW) Boces' Walkabout Program in his senior year. When he was eleven years old, he started summer camp with the Salesians of Don Bosco. These experiences, especially Walkabout and Camp Don Bosco,
led DeNobile to pursue dual certification in
Secondary English and Special Education.
DeNobile's professional education began in high school while exploring his academic options: law, medicine, science research, and business. During his senior year of high school, he participated in PNW's Walkabout Program. On a whim, he volunteered at the Walden School and fell in love with teaching. Later that year, he interned in Lakeland High School's English Department and resolved to pursue English education in college. He graduated from Mahopac High School in 2003; at the time, he had the most community service hours and high school credits, along with a year's worth of college credit.
From 2003 to 2007, DeNobile attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent, pursuing their five-year bachelors/master's program in English and education, finishing it in four years. DeNobile received many honors and awards during his undergraduate studies: Delta Epsilon Sigma, Kappa Delta Pi, Theta Alpha Kappa, Sigma Tau Delta, United States Achievement Academy Collegiate All-American Scholar Award for Academic Excellence, and Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges & Universities. He was also an Erasmus Honors Scholar, where he explored his passion for constitutional law in his scholarship thesis Original Intent Behind "Separation of Church & State." In 2005, he organized a mission trip on campus in collaboration with the Salesians of Don Bosco to New Orleans to aid in rebuilding and preparing meals and food baskets for those devastated by Hurricane Katrina. From 2004 to 2007, he was a DJ on WMSV Radio as radio personality "Mag Dee" (short for his initials Michael Anthony Gabriel DeNobile), where he hosted a music variety appreciation show and had special guests, including Mount alumni/alumnae. He graduated Magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and a minor in World Religions and Summa cum laude with an M.S. in Urban & Multicultural Education in 2007, with dual certification in Secondary English and Special Education.
A few years into his career, DeNobile returned to school, enrolling in Manhattanville College's Writing & Liberal Arts Studies Program. He graduated from Mville Magna cum laude with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, with a concentration Fiction, in 2013. Twelve years into his career, he returned again to school, enrolling in the College of St. Rose's Center for Integrated Training & Education Program, graduating with Advanced Professional Certificates in School Building and District Leadership in 2020.
In June 2021, DeNobile started the certification program through the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy (VFIL) in Texas to attain an Academic Associate certificate and a Diplomate in Logo-Philosophy and Existential Analysis. DeNobile hopes to pursue a doctorate in psychology or related field to study the educational applications of Viktor Frankl’s approach to psychology in the modern school environment.
After graduating from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2007, Michael DeNobile started his career in the New York City Department of Education District 11 school John Philip Sousa, Middle School 142 in the Eastchester section of the Bronx. He taught 6th and 7th grade during his time there and founded the school newspaper called The Thunderer, after Sousa's 1889 March.
In 2010, DeNobile started working at Saint Barnabas High School in the Woodlawn Heights section of the Bronx. During his tenure at SBHS, DeNobile collaboratively helped raise the Regents exam passing rate from the high 80s to 95 to 100%. He established the Virginia Woolf Chapter of the National English Honor Society. Through the NEHS society, he revived the Annual Shakespeare Competition, and both the society and the competition continue to be run by DeNobile's former colleagues. He assumed advisorship of the school newspaper The Chronicle and initiated a partnership with Mercy College's High School Achievement Program. DeNobile was the assistant coach for the Barnabas Bears girls' soccer team, and in the Fall of 2013, he planned and directed the Kalie Gill Benefit Concert along with students and staff of the school and community members.
In 2014, DeNobile started working at Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose, NY. He assumed advisorship of the school newspaper The Anchor, expanding the school's journalism program. During his time at the school, DeNobile was a member of the PTSA and the SEPTA organizations as he believes school partnerships with parents is of utmost importance for the overall success of a school and scholastic and personal achievement of students. Two senior electives he taught were the Horror & Mystery genre and the Short Story.
In 2016, DeNobile started working for the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation in Mexico, NY. He was hired for their CTE college-based cooperative program with SUNY Oswego for high school seniors called New Vision exploring careers in Allied Health, Law and Government, and Specialized Careers in order to help increase rigor and develop critical thinking skills by initiating difficult conversations with students in their related career exploits. As part of his college English courses, he guided students through film studies of Spotlight (in-depth journalism, psychology, sociology, and law) and Little Shop of Horrors (as a satire of race relations in 1950s and 60s America). He also taught a unit on war literature in the form of poetry, short stories, and film. This unit explored the medicine and ethics of war, including the psychology of public policy, looking at how governments manipulate laws, facts, and science to justify acts of atrocity. It also looked at the treatment of soldiers and their families, from recruitment to the battlefield to after their return home, and the medical implications of PTSD and moral injury. He also helped expand community partnerships with local health sites as part of the program's internship program.
In 2017, DeNobile started adjuncting as a professor at Westchester Community College, and from 2019 to 2020, he was a part-time instructor at Southern Westchester Boces' Center for Adult & Community Services, where he taught English as a Second Language and High School Equivalency (due to the pandemic, these positions have been put on hold, and DeNobile hopes to return to these organizations as soon as possible).
Since 2017, DeNobile has been working at Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health & Science Charter School (DRIHSCS) in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx. He started at DRIHSCS as an English teacher, co-advising the broadcast news club, advising the school newspaper, and expanding their journalism program. He hopes to start up a radio club, too. He also established a Film Club and through his role as teacher liaison with the PTA, established a summer movie series during the summer of 2021. In 2019, DeNobile was offered the opportunity to be English Department Chair, and he took the opportunity to go back to school to earn his School Building and District Level licenses (this website was initially part of his administrative internship project). He initiated a cooperative relationship with UAlbany's University in the High School Program, site approving eight courses for students. During two school years of the pandemic, he cross-disciplinarily aligned the curriculum with other department chairs, established a school-wide independent reading program, and a teacher-student mentorship program for the Class of 2024.
For a more in-depth look at various points in Michael DeNobile's life, check out his writing here on FollowTheTeach.org, as well as the Facebook equivalent Teachers and the kids-version El Diablo the rabid moose. On his academic writing blog michaeldenobile.com, DeNobile shares personal and professional aspects of his life, and on his Michael DeNobile's Movie Reviews, he sometimes shares how a film relates to or affects his personal life. In addition to being an educator, DeNobile is an avid film watcher.
One of DeNobile's biggest dreams is to be a writer, and he hopes (since starting his first novel during his senior year of high school in the fall of 2002) to be ready for publication in the fall of 2021 (with the help and support of his very patient editor/friend/education mentor). While his first novel, dealing with race relations in the deep South in the 1950s, has taken nearly twenty years to write, DeNobile hopes his next few projects won't take nearly as long (as he has about fifteen more in the docket!). The bulk of his writing has been described as "literary fiction," with genres ranging from historical, scifi and fantasy, and horror. His themes tend to center around coming of age and Americana stories.
While living in Oswego, NY, in 2016-2017, DeNobile was a part of the Hall Newman Center at SUNY Oswego, and hopes to do more collaborative work with them in the future. He also hopes to research the history of the former Nestlé factory in Fulton, NY, and its effects on the city during its time in and after its move from the city. He loves to travel, with his favorite place to visit being Geneva, NY, in the Finger Lakes region; he hopes to have the time to one day return for an extended trip to research the Women's Rights National Historical Park to write a screenplay dramatizing the history surrounded the Seneca Falls Convention.
Michael DeNobile lives in Mahopac, NY. He has three nieces and two nephews. He discerned being a Catholic priest in his late 20s but did not feel called to enter the seminary. He was officially inducted into the Association of Salesian Cooperators founded by Saint John Bosco on December 8, 2012, at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point, NY, the lay order of the Salesians of Don Bosco, devoting his life to the young, the poor, and the marginalized. In this spirit, since January 2018, DeNobile has sponsored a girl named Fabiola from Costa Rica, through Unbound.org. He hopes to visit Fabiola in the coming years through one of Unbound's Awareness Trips. Among his writing projects, DeNobile hopes to do a modern retelling of Costa Rican myths and legends, including Los Cadejos, the Irazu Volcano, and the Rualdo bird and the Poas Volcano, where Fabiola is the main character.
Michael DeNobile has struggled with weight loss since graduating from college. After gaining weight again during the pandemic, he started intermittent fasting and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle in April 2021. He hopes to lose nearly 100 total pounds in preparation for a 2027 pilgrimage to el Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James) in Spain. The year 2027 will be a jubilee year, when the Feast of Saint James (July 25) falls on a Sunday.
Feel free to contact Michael DeNobile if you wish for him to write or comment on certain topics related to education. For his academic writing, go to michaeldenobile.com.