By Lori Padilla
UNIONTOWN — Three St. John the Evangelist Regional Catholic School alumni attribute their lives of service and continued friendships to their pre-K-8 years at the school.
Siblings Anthony Iannamorelli, Alyssa Iannamorelli-Eddy and Michael Iannamorelli say their educational and spiritual foundation, as well as parental and instructor support, led them to choose careers that focus on service to others.
Anthony Iannamorelli said a special connection with Principal Christine Roskovensky nurtured his passion for a life of service when she was his first- and seventh-grade teacher. Her husband, Vincent, was his basketball coach.
“Along with basketball instruction, Coach Roskovensky taught us how to be gentlemen,” he said. “As I get older, I am seeing how much this early instruction has stayed with me. The idea of vocation as a lay person parallels service to the community and trying to do the right thing every day.”
A 2000 St. John graduate, he now serves as a prosecutor in the Westmoreland County district attorney’s office. He was formerly an assistant district attorney in Fayette County and a guardian ad litem, representing dependent children.
“I am serving people basically on one of the worst days of their lives,” he said. “My Catholic school education not only gave me the foundation to learning and vocations, but offered my siblings and I the knowledge to make choices, do the right things and show that everyone deserves to be treated equally with respect.”
Iannamorelli-Eddy, a 2002 St. John graduate, is a licensed professional counselor working with adults, teens and children in Uniontown. She is part of a practice where one of her St. John classmates works.
“Megan David and I have been friends since our days at St. John’s,” she said. “We often discuss how unique our experience was. There was a powerful connection with everyone, and we strived for inclusion and understanding for everyone. We would often have value themes that we could chose to focus on, and they can still be applied today. There are values that aren’t necessarily focused on in the public school.
“With my career, I can offer those same concepts in service to others to assist them in becoming stronger in their quality of life. This is part of why I love what I do.”
Michael Iannamorelli, St. John class of 2004, is a trauma and critical care fellow with Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, passing along the early teachings that shaped his focus on service to others.
“When teaching residents and medical students, I try to impress on them that even at a young age, self-sacrifice is the purest form of caring,” he said. “My education at St. John’s definitely prepared me for my future.
The structure helped me face the rigorous academics of college and medical school and continue to support me through this fellowship.”
All three have lasting friendships with fellow students.
“I have been friends with one classmate since we were 8 years old. He was even in my wedding,” Michael Iannamorelli said. “Growing up in the Catholic institution felt like everyone was a brother or sister. The teachers and staff of St. John’s were wonderful at fostering that atmosphere.”
Principal Roskovensky said the Iannamorelli family exemplifies the school’s motto: “We are here to serve and not be served.”
“They were an asset to this school while enrolled and continue to be assets to their current communities,” she said. “Each of the members of this outstanding family has chosen a career that illustrates the ideals of our school. We, along with their parents, have raised these fine young people to be responsible, respectful and outstanding contributing members of their communities. I couldn’t be any prouder of them and the role we played to help form them.”
The Iannamorelli siblings all say they strived for a life in service to others, with their parents, a doctor and a nurse, as perfect examples, along with their faith. Spiritually and physically, they each search for ways to improve others’ lives.
“Catholic values of being altruistic have been ingrained in me, putting patients above self, staying focused on not taking the easy way out,” said Michael Iannamorelli.
Iannamorelli-Eddy agreed: “We were given a foundation to look back on which was connected and kind. I want to apply those concepts in everyday life.”
“Each of us can be serving someone who is having the worst day of their lives,” said Anthony Iannamorelli. “We are still influenced by our foundation from St. John’s and strive to treat everyone with respect and equality as we were taught in our young lives, to do the right thing and to do it well.”