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Michael J. Luft Named Serra's 2017 Commencement Speaker

posted May 12, 2017, 7:06 AM by Sandra Barbieri
A true eagle at heart, we are honored to welcome Michael (Mike) Luft as this year’s commencement speaker.  Mike graduated from Serra in 1968 and continued his education at California University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Secondary Administrati
on certificate.  In 1986, Mike earned his first Master’s in Education with a concentration in Secondary School Guidance from Duquesne University.  In 1994, he earned his second Master’s in Education with a certification in School Administration from California University of Pennsylvania.

Over the span of 40 years, Mike established his career as an educator serving as a teacher, coach, and most importantly, role model of the Faith.  During the years before arriving at Serra, Mike taught both Religion and English at St. Elizabeth Elementary School, Mon Valley Catholic, Lawrenceville Catholic, and St. Elizabeth High School, where he also served as Religion Department Head.  Mike received the Outstanding Teacher Award from St. Vincent College, a Special Appreciation Award from the Knights of Columbus for support of the St. Anthony Program at Serra, and was recognized several times in “Who’s Who in Education.”  

Between the years of 1986 and 2014, Mike served Serra in numerous ways: teacher, guidance counselor, Dean of Students, Headmaster, Principal, and President.  During his time as principal, Serra won multiple state and WPIAL titles, installed permanent lighting on the football field, added a second story to the press box, irrigated the football field, added new bleachers in the gym, and implemented several physical improvements to the school.

In 2014, Mike retired from Serra Catholic High School after 24 years of service to his alma mater.  In 2015, Mike was named one of Serra’s Distinguished Alumni.

Continuing the Franciscan tradition, Mike served as a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and was a soccer, baseball, & softball coach.  In previous years, while an Elizabeth-Forward Palomino Coach, he was successful in obtaining a grant from U.S. Steel Corporation to begin the revitalization of Wylie Baseball Field in Elizabeth, now used by hundreds of children in the community.

Mike continues to serve his community primarily through St. Michael Parish in     Elizabeth where he is a lector, cantor, choir member, and Extra-ordinary Minister of the Eucharist. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 28 years as Guest Relations Supervisor, has sung the National Anthem and God Bless America several times in both Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park , where he was named Most Valuable Employee in 2014.

This August he and his wife, Bonnie Ann, will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.  Together, they have two children, Melissa and Michael Jr. and his wife, Yasmily.  They have three grandchildren, Sofia, Santiago and Mila.

We welcome you back, Mr. Luft, as our well-deserved 2017 commencement speaker.

 

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