By Evan Boersma (Dance '17)
If you have not seen him around school or heard his name, Mr. Pinto is the newest addition to The Academy’s Math faculty. I wanted to get to know a little more about him, and properly introduce him into the community. The following is an interview I did with Mr. Pinto.
Evan Boersma: How did you find out about The Academy?
Mr. Pinto: Mr. Banaszak and I have a mutual friend, and we were at a graduation party at the same time. He and I got to talking about teaching because we are both pretty early in our teaching careers. He had mentioned that a position opened up at his school for math. He was like, “Just apply and see what happens!” So I did, I applied I think the very next morning, then I came in for an interview a few days later and I absolutely loved it!
EB: Where did you attend college?
AP: I’m from Pittsburgh, and I went to the University of Pittsburgh. That’s where I went for my undergrad in civil engineering, and I got my Masters in secondary education, in mathematics.
EB: Are you artistically inclined in any way?
AP: I’m not. When I was in high school I focused on sports; I was a baseball player. In college, I picked up a guitar, and everything I knew on the guitar was self-taught. I’m not very good- I'm not going to boast at all. I’m sure if you heard me you would make fun of me, but yeah I enjoy playing. I can’t say that I'm good, though.
EB: What was your first impression of The Academy?
AP: I came [to The Academy] in the summer to interview, so there weren't any students here, but just from the overall vibe- talking to the teachers, seeing what the school was like- it reminded me a lot of a school that I previously taught at. It was a middle school that was very similar to this in terms of cultivating artistic drive. I always said that if I could find a school similar to that, I would be so happy. As I got to know it more, I could tell that this was an overly unique environment.
EB: How would you describe The Academy?
AP: I think it is a very unique place where it gives students a place to express themselves in a way that other schools, I feel, are lacking. The things that this school values the most are the things that other schools tend to get rid of. It’s awesome to know that there is a place like this that values [the arts] and that it’s not going to go away.
EB: Do you have any advice for your students?
AP: I guess the biggest thing is don't limit yourself. If you think that you are going to go in one direction, don’t think that is the only direction you are going to go. You never know where life is going to take you, especially at a young age. I myself thought I was going to be a civil engineer. I did that for a year and said, “you know what, this isn't for me.” I’ve always had a drive to teach, and I went to Vietnam in 2011. I lived there for two years and taught English. That kind of changed my world overnight. Never be afraid to take chances, especially when you are young.