Community Feature: Andrew Raposo
Meet Mr. Andrew Raposo, Principal of Espirito Santo Parochial School in Fall River.
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
My name is Andrew J. Raposo, and I am the Principal of Espirito Santo School in Fall River. I have been at Espirito Santo School for six years, three as the 8th grade teacher and three as Principal of the school. I was born and raised in Fall River, and have been a parishioner of Espirito Santo Church all of my life. I am also the Director of Religious Education for the parish. I graduated with a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and with a M.Ed. from American International College. My hobbies include coaching our parish/school CYO basketball teams, umpiring baseball in the summertime, and keeping up to date with the new technology.
DESCRIBE YOUR SCHOOL.
Our school is a family. Since the day I walked into the school, there is a feeling of being home. Our students are welcoming to everyone who comes into our school. The faculty works tremendously with our students in every class, and in every subject. Our families work to support our school no matter what, and always willing to lend a helping hand. One of the elements that I am most proud of our school is their sense of community service and helping those in need. As it is told to us in Matthew 25:40, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Throughout the year, we organize different programs, like the Gift of Love, that helps support the poor in our area. These students continue to exceed my expectations, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. Of the many students I have worked within six years, the message is the same, ESS is a family.
WHAT DREW YOU TO WORKING AT A CATHOLIC SCHOOL?
As a child, I was never afforded the opportunity to attend Catholic schools. However, I was a faith-filled child, who always found it amazing that you could attend school, and be free to profess your belief in Jesus Christ. Growing up, I attended faith formation classes in the school building, and I would look around in amazement of the projects and work that the students were doing, which was far beyond what I was learning. Also, the expression of faith made it clear that the school was living by their mission statement, of educating the whole child, morally, spiritually and intellectually, in a caring Christian environment. Fast forward to 2013, and once I graduated from UMass Dartmouth, an opportunity appeared for a position at Espirito Santo School. I placed a call to Fr. James Ferry to inquire about the position, and the rest was history. Now as Principal, I can’t be more happy with where I am. It is a blessing every day.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A PRINCIPAL? WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST REWARDS?
I have too many favorite parts! In all honesty, it is the smiles on the children’s faces. It doesn’t matter if it is Pre-School singing a song or all the way up to 8th grade working on new Math concepts, the smiles are endless. The students really want to learn and are engaged to be better than they were yesterday. As I type this, I look around my office at all of the students who have graduated, and left notes, it is truly heart-warming. The greatest reward is simple, knowing that I am making a difference, and doing it all in the name of Jesus Christ.
IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHAT DO CATHOLIC SCHOOLS DO BEST? WHAT DOES YOUR SCHOOL DO BEST?
As Catholic schools, I feel that we challenge our students to be better in every way possible. We challenge them to work hard in school and to be positive members of society. By embracing our faith, it paves a road of success for our students into their adult lives. Our schools also have many students of different cultures, which is a blessing. It helps our students learn about all of the different cultures of the world, and why it is so important to love one another, no matter where we come from. We know that God loves each one of us, and we should do the same. In the end, Catholic schools shine a light of hope for our world, and help to develop our students as future leaders.
From the School Community:
“I am nominating Andrew Raposo, Principal of the Espirito Santo School. I am nominating him as I would like to see him recognized for his hard work and dedication as principal. Mr. Raposo is an asset to the school, always looking for ways to make improvements within the building and to help the students. My daughter has attended Espirito Santo since Pre-K. Mr. Raposo has always been very supportive and accommodating to her needs. He has attended meetings on my daughters behalf and coordinates well with support staff. He has been an ear to hear my frustrations and supportive when needing support. I have learned that his job does not end when school ends. He has responded to emails well into the evening and will call to address any concerns into the evening hours as well. He has even responded to emails and has called while he has been on vacation. Through all this, he has demonstration to me that he is extremely dedicated to his job and cares about the well being of my daughter and the students he serves. His hard work and dedication should not go unrecognized and is why I feel he is deserving of this nomination.” – Espirito Santo Parent
“Andrew Raposo is an amazing principal, leader, educator, and friend. He is constantly looking out for the welfare of the children, staff of the school, and school families. I have never seen a principal so loved by his students. I can not thank him enough for all he does for my son.” – Diana Brum, alumni and parent
“I first met Mr. Raposo when he became a teacher at the school years ago. From the passion he demonstrated to teach and mold young minds, we knew he was going places. He had this intensity and dedication about teaching at our school, that was different from others. Now as Principal, it’s more evident. He’s more visible and devoted to the school as a whole. Being Mr. Raposo and young at heart, makes him more likable by the students, but mature, cultured and more engaging with faculty and families. We couldn’t be more content and grateful with him as Principal. I personally couldn’t be more happy with him being a very close friend.” – Scotty Barroso, parent
“Andrew has done such great improvements and wonderful things for Espírito Santo School. The Love and Pride he has for the school shines through on a daily basis. The guidance and motivation he gives his team to better themselves and the school community has been awesome. The School as a Family has become a better place since he has become Principal and we are all very Proud of him!” – Lisa Batista, PS Paraprofessional
“Since Andrew Raposo became principal at Espirito Santo School, there has been an uplifting positive changes visible to all. Andrew truly embodies the mission, vision, and values of Epirito Santo both personally and professionally. He is always available for families, staff, and most importantly students. His main priority is and always has been his students. Its obvious that his dedication to the Espirito Santo community is genuine. Thank you, Andrew, for all you do for our ES family.” – Stacey Costa, alumni and parent
“It’s been a great atmosphere here at ESS since Andrew became principal. His door is always open for students and staff. He is a very involved principal not only with his principal duties but he’s active in teaching classes to see how the students grow/learn and also with our basketball teams. He is an active participant in our ESS family! -J. Carreiro, PreS teacher and 7th grade parent”
“As an Assistant Superintendent of Schools, I have the pleasure of working with Andrew in support of his leadership at Espirito Santo. Andrew is mission-driven and has established a vision for the school resulting in not only growth in enrollment, but also student achievement. Andrew is a daily witness of our faith to all he encounters. The Diocese of Fall River is truly blessed to have Andrew serving as principal at Espirito Santo.” – Sandra Drummey, Assistant Superintendent of Schools
“I am very pleased to share my thoughts about our principal. I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Raposo for the past 6 years. Mr. Raposo started as a teacher of Social Studies and Religion to the middle school students and as Technology teacher to all grades. He did this for three years. Mr. Raposo continues to be the technology consultant for our school. He is responsible for maintaining our computers and updating our internet service. He continuously provides support to all faculty and staff and has given workshops to help us gain a better understanding of the use of the computer in our daily work. He encourages faculty and staff to continue their academic development so that we can better serve the diverse needs of our students.
In addition to his academic and administrative responsibilities, Mr. Raposo generously shares his time and talent through his participation and presence in various parish and school activities. He, along with another faculty member has directed our annual Christmas play for the past three years. Mr. Raposo has been responsible for involving our middle school students in Community Service Projects in school and in our community. Mr. Raposo is very well respected by faculty, parents, and students. He is a wonderful, positive role-model to our students. We have been very fortunate to have Mr. Raposo as part of our faculty. He is very invested in our school. He has the youth and vitality but also the maturity which has helped him to excel in serving our school as administrator. I for one, am proud to be a part of his team!”–Debra Polselli