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Faculty Highlights: Mr. Michael Palcsey, '04

posted Sep 3, 2013, 10:31 AM by sullivanp@serrahs.org

We are starting a new series on the Serra Catholic website in which we will periodically feature a member of our faculty and highlight some of their achievements over the years. The first in our series is Mr. Michael Palcsey, ‘04, who we are happy to welcome this school year as a new member of our English and Religion departments! Below is an excerpt from Mr. Palcsey's autobiography:

A lot of people talk about life-changing events and cataclysmic circumstances that lead them to the next step of their life’s journey, my story is not quite that exciting, but it’s something.

It was only a mere thirteen years ago that I passed through the front doors of Serra Catholic High School as a timid freshman. A short four years of spring musicals, band competitions, forensics tournaments, campus ministry events and liturgies, as well as the occasional class or two followed that fateful day I became a freshman. Having a father who graduated in 1969 and a brother in 1995, as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins, I was always destined to wear the red and gold. High school has seemed quite a distant memory to me since I graduated in 2004, but the last few months have brought so many memories flooding back, it’s almost overwhelming at times. I was never bashful about telling people what I wanted to do when I grew up: “I want to teach high school English.” I would always get a weird look or the occasional old lady would say: “well, that’s nice.” The reality of it was that Mr. S had really gotten through to me as a student. He made it very clear that teaching English was a meaningful, essential, and fun job to have. What he and Mr. Luft made clear to me was not just the importance of subject matter, but importance of witnessing the faith to others. This lesson was something I took with me to college, at my first teaching assignment, as well as in graduate school.

When Mrs. DiNardi called and offered me a teaching position in July, the moment was very surreal; it was like the dreams I had dreamt in high school and in college of providing for my family by teaching at Serra were finally coming true. The only difference here was that there was no opportunity to wake up, just to say “Yes, of course, I would love to come home.” I understand my position to be twofold: I was hired to teach English, so that students have a greater command of the language in preparation for a professional career and an appreciation of literature and its incredible intellectual benefits. Secondly, I was hired to win hearts for Christ. Without the gifts and graces God has bestowed upon me, I would not be who I am today. I owe it to my foundation at Serra for helping me find those gifts and hone them so that I may be at the service of His Church. I am looking forward to working at my Alma Mater and could not be happier to have found my way back to the nest.

I graduated from Saint Vincent College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, with minors in Secondary Education and Catholic Theology. I accepted a teaching position at Quigley Catholic High School in Baden, Pennsylvania where I taught for five years. In my tenure there, I graduated from Saint Vincent with a Master of Science in Education degree, and married my college sweetheart, Stacy. We had our first child, John Patrick, this past October and currently live in Ben Avon.