Mr. Ryan Petrillo

November 2, 2020

Amid the pandemic, the patience and resilience of East’s staff is tested greatly. However, Mr. Ryan Petrillo must face the additional challenge of transitioning into a new school. Petrillo, 9th grade English teacher, joins Cherry Hill East from abroad in Rome, Italy.

In the past, he had lived in Italy for 12 years and traveled to numerous locations within Spain. When he was in Italy, COVID-19 had struck and many restrictions were put in place, causing serious health concerns. His teaching job was at a school in Rome named Marymount International School. He says the students there were very culturally diverse, many of which were able to speak 3-4 languages.
Before spending time abroad, Petrillo had lived in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. He explained that coming to New Jersey had not been too difficult because of his past familiarization in the area. Because he attended Bishop Eustace, he has some friends from Cherry Hill as well. Evidently, he did not have a very hard time transitioning to Cherry Hill.

“It didn’t feel like I had to change. I like the challenge of new changes,” Petrillo said.

He explained how East stood out to him because of the wide range of various extracurricular activities. Petrillo is very interested in topics along the lines of film and music. In the past, Petrillo had mainly taught in smaller schools, but he liked the new idea of coming to a bigger one. Petrillo noticed that with a bigger school, there are more students in which he can learn new and creative ideas.

As the 2020-2021 school year began, he acknowledged that despite teaching in a whole different school, it definitely differentiated this year from the others due to COVID-19. Petrillo explains how upon entering East, the teachers that he met were all very inviting and kind. He could notice that the students, despite being in a virtual setting, were eager to start the year learning brand new information. Even though teaching remotely alongside COVID-19 restrictions has definitely been difficult, Petrillo portrays his consistent persistence in his strong dedication for teaching.

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