Faculty member Mr. John Colabrese will be recognized at the Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools on Sunday, April 22, with the Diocesan Silver Apple Award. This award is given to a exemplary teacher in each school in the diocese and is being given to Mr. Colabrese because of his exceptional teaching at Madonna High School.
Mr. Colabrese began teaching at Madonna High School in 2009, after 32 years in the public school system. He graduated from Belle Vernon High School, Belle Vernon, Pa. in 1970. He received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in 1976 with a major in Biology and a minor in General Science. He began teaching in Pocahontas County at Green Bank Middle School in 1977. He left Green Bank for Weir High School in 1979 and remained there for the next 30 years. During that time he continued his education and received a Masters Degree in Learning Disabilities in 1984.
While at Weir he taught a variety of subjects, including Basic Math, English, History, and Science to Learning Disabled Students. He switched to teaching Integrated Science to all sophomores in 1995. He became more and more interested in Environmental Science and completed many graduate hours in this field and began teaching Environmental Science in 1998. He started an Environmental Science Club at Weir High and it grew to 200 members and stayed that way for years. He also started an Envirothon Team and competed in State Competitions for 10 years. His team placed in the top 10 in the state 3 times. His club also was awarded 2 third place and a second place trophy by the Environmental Youth Organization for environmental service and charitable donations. He finished his career teaching Biology, Environmental Science, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science. During his tenure at Weir High Mr. Colabrese was awarded 3 separate State Teacher of the Year honors, the first by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the second by The President’s (Clinton) Council on Environmental Quality, and the third by the West Virginia Conservation Agency. He was also the Athletic Director and Activities Coordinator at Weir High from 1985 to 1990.
Mr. Colabrese has continued to teach Biology, Environmental Science and Physical Science while at Madonna High School. He is a moderator for the Junior Class of 2019.
Mr. Colabrese is married to Catherine and has 2 sons, 2 daughters, and 5 grandchildren.