Alumni
Alumni News & Events

AQ Proud

Alumni
Alumni News & Events

AQ Proud

Aquinas alumni are finding success in their careers each and every day. AQ Proud is a chance for us to highlight these success stories and give you a glimpse into where they are now. Check back often for new stories and if there's an AQ alum you think we should highlight, please contact Jay Polston '90 at (585) 254-2020 x1061 or jpolston@aquinasinstitute.com.




Thomas “TJ” Verzillo ‘94

Principal at All Saints Academy in Corning

    • Thomas “TJ” Verzillo ‘94
  •  After graduating from AQ in 1994, attended & graduated from the University of Rochester in 1999. Majored in Health and Society with the hope of working in health care administration. In 2003, received teaching certificate in Elementary Education. Earned a Master's in Elementary Education from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2008. After earning a Masters TJ enrolled in the Private School Leadership program at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education. Earned a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership in 2009.

  •  In 2000, accepted a position with the Diocese of Rochester to teach PE at St. Monica School. Taught PE until 2003, then he taught grades 4-6 until 2008 when St. Monica's closed. TJ taught one year at Cathedral School at Holy Rosary. From 2009-2011, worked in admissions and financial aid at a for profit college. In 2011, started work as the Education Manager for the Volunteers of America Children's Center. He worked there for six years overseeing the pre-school and school age programs.

AQ Proud Q&A

Favorite Memory:  I have many great memories of AQ from sectional hockey championships to the first day of freshman year. Every day seemed to bring a special memory, there are too many to count. A few fresh ones, I remember getting locked out of my locker freshman year (if you didn't put the lock on your locker they would bolt it) and I was so upset that Fr. Gardner gave me his sandwich at lunch, or the fact that Chubbs wouldn't slap me because he was afraid of my mom (she was the secretary for the Athletic department). The day Fr. Huber missed French Class and I appointed myself teacher. Needless to say, that did not go over well with him. Pretty sure I got in trouble that day.
 
Favorite Class and or Teacher: Mr. Pilliter's classes. I believe that I modeled my teaching style after him.
 
Advice to Current Students:  Don't be afraid to try new things, you might surprise yourself.
 
Why AQ is Important to You:  It was like a huge family, especially the hockey team. I think the hockey parents were closer than the players. I can still hear parent voices twenty years later. Everyone looked out for one another.
 

Thomas Montagliano ‘99

SPATIAL SOUND ARTIST

    • Thomas Montagliano ‘99
  •  As a musician with over 12 years of engineering experience,  Tom combines his experimental and whimsical writing style along with his passion for developing software to create ambient, psychedelic soundscapes for multiple speaker arrays.  Utilizing his degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, he has written his own software effects in order to control the movement of sound and provide people with a meticulously crafted auditory experience, while simultaneously affecting the senses and the soul. 
  •  He has recently expanded his mobile setup with the introduction of the Immersive Igloo. The Immersive Igloo is a 40 foot illuminated, inflatable structure that creates the isolation and environment needed to easily escape to the heavenly soundscapes he has carefully constructed. Within this extraordinary sanctuary, Tom offers a diverse variety of innovative art including immersive sound baths, live sound journeys and interactive sound installations. 

AQ Proud Q&A

Favorite Memory:  Learning to march in step for marching band in the parking lot on my first day of freshman year, hanging out every morning in front of the band room with my friends while frantically trying to finish our homework, running around on the Seneca Park trails in the fall with the cross country team, the sound of Mr. Ferris' soprano saxophone as it echoed from the band room down the halls of the school, the feeling of playing music with my bandmates in the auditorium for a concert, and hearing it all finally begin to come together. 
 
Favorite Class and or Teacher: Mr. Ferris was my favorite teacher at Aquinas or at any institution for that matter. He was the band teacher and spent a lot of time working with me to help make me a better musician. He always believed in me and encouraged me in times when I thought that I might not be very good. It's impossible to imagine what my musical journey would have looked like without Mr. Ferris. 
 
Advice to Current Students:  Be flexible with your dreams. It's always a good idea to continually ask yourself if yesterday’s dream makes sense today. Things will change consistently. You will not have control of most of these things. It’s ok to change or modify your ideas or careers along the way. 
 
Why AQ is Important to You:  AQ is special to me because it provided an environment conducive to personal and educational growth. It allowed me to explore many things and have a wealth of experiences that I would not likely have had access to at other schools.
 
© 2013 Aquinas Institute of Rochester
1127 Dewey Avenue
Rochester, NY 14613
(585) 254-2020
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Site Map