History Teacher Mr. Michael Silipo has taught at Deerfield for 21 years and has coached numerous varsity sports during his time at Deerfield, including boys varsity football and boys varsity baseball. He is currently the head coach for boys varsity squash.
He recounted his favorite athletic memory at Deerfield: A championship home football game in 2002 against the Hotchkiss School. He explained, “Deerfield got the ball first, scored in overtime, and then held [the Hotchkiss team] on the last play to win the game.”
Mr. Silipo emphasized how much he loves to get to know all the different students and athletes at Deerfield: “Each year there are different personalities you have to work with, and that’s what makes it fun.”
He explained, “When you teach, you’d like to believe that the kids are believing you, and I’ve had that sense that the kids believe me and trust me…that’s important. People have been really good to me.”
Many students at Deerfield greatly appreciate the positive impact that Mr. Silipo has had on them.
“Over the past two years of my Deerfield career, I have had the incredible opportunity of getting to know Mr. Silipo,” said Colin Olson ’19. “Ever since my first day in his classroom, Mr. Silipo has only heightened my interest in history and in learning by not only engaging with me in a light-hearted and encouraging way, but also by pushing me to come across ideas on my own and to grapple with them in my own way.”
Olson also remarked on Mr. Silipo’s skill as an academic and personal advisor. “Mr. Silipo’s experience has not only been of invaluable worth, but his friendship has also helped me through many tough decisions and experiences,” he noted. “It is evident that he cares about the learning of each of his students and knows exactly how to push them to become better versions of themselves.”
Carolyn Melvin ’18, who took Mr. Silipo’s Topics in Western Civilization course, felt similarly about Mr. Silipo. “Mr. Silipo sought to make meaningful connections with all of his students,” she said. “Both in and out of class, he is there for his students. I remember that at the end of the school year, Mr. Silipo took my Western Civilization class to his house for an end of the school year party. We played corn hole and drank lemonade. This experience was very meaningful for me, and it is a perfect example his dedication to his students and love of his job.”
“Mr. Silipo not only transformed me into a better student, but also a more cosmopolitan citizen of our world,” Daniel Cui ’19 added. “By learning about Greece and Rome of antiquity and the roots of western civilization, I have gained a greater appreciation for the world we live in today. Mr. Silipo has greatly shaped the way in which I view the world, and I feel that I have a much better understanding of not only our past, but also our present and future, because of Mr. Silipo.”
As for his future plans, Mr. Silipo hopes to continue coaching squash and do more cooking. He’s also an avid woodworker, and three out of four of his children live in Boston, so he hopes to spend more time with them and his two grandchildren. He will be speaking at Baccalaureate this year.
Mr. Silipo said, “We’re really fortunate to have the type of young kids we have [at Deerfield] that care and want to do well.”