Booking a time with “Mr. A” is not easy. This high tech marvel is in great demand by students and teachers all trying to get his guidance. FInally, during a free period on Wednesday, I found myself sitting in one of his cozy chairs placed over his grandmother’s old rug. His Pandora station was playing and the Keurig had the room smelling like hot chocolate. Perched on the stool Mr. Adiletta typically uses during class was an eighth grader, Aiden Owens, there to work on his website. Aiden wants to sell 3D printed objects using his own eCommerce software. The two have been working during their free blocks for almost four months. Mr. Adiletta doesn’t seem to mind giving up his free time, “This is why I love teaching Computer Science. It allows anyone to build big, sophisticated things.”
For four years, Mr. Daniel Adiletta has been working as a coordinator of academic technology and an instructor in computer science at Gilmour. While he teaches Intro to Web Design, Intro to Programming, AP Computer Science and Web Development, Mr. Adiletta also trains teachers and staff on how to use the technology around campus, including giving ongoing support and consultation of special projects. Mr Adiletta is passionate about improving himself as a computer programmer and helping his students to apply programming skills of their interests.
When setting up an interview with Mr. Adiletta, his intense work schedule made it difficult to find time. As one of the instructors of the robotics team, Moonshots, Mr. Adiletta provides assistance and guidelines for his students on the robot’s software programming. This year, Moonshots entered into the Miami Valley Regional competition. Mr. Adiletta’s passion for robotics comes from his excitement for big competitions with hard deadlines. He believes such ambitious projects force people to work together as a team, and will help students to become more competitive in college and to become clear about future careers.
From my interview and my classes with Mr. Adiletta, I learned that it takes a little effort to use technology, and a lot of effort to master it. Growing up as a video gamer, Mr. Adiletta always had an interest in technology. In college, he first declared Computer Engineering as his major. However, after two years, Mr. Adiletta started to doubt himself. Mr. Adiletta started volunteering as an assistant teacher, at first to face his fear of public speaking. He was hooked and found that teaching was his passion. Upon graduating, and worried about how much time he spends behind a computer screen, he wanted to force himself to travel and explore more of life’s experiences. He was accepted into a few programs but chose to teach English in South Korea for one year.
Coming back from South Korea, Mr. Adiletta worked at a museum, as a public school teacher in California, as a teacher in Connecticut and finally as a freelance programmer and a software consultant for two years. However, from the two-year-experience as a freelance programmer, he figured out that he did not like to be away from the classroom. He said, “I love to be in the classroom because that is where I can get the most out of myself. To teach my students, I push myself to learn more new materials. ” Lucky for us, Mr. Adiletta joined Gilmour Academy in 2015.
At Gilmour, Mr. Adiletta made significant contributions to the school’s technology. During his first year, he changed the school email from Exchange to Gmail that made communication and access to Google Documents more convenient. Last year, his plan to offer teachers the option of having MacBooks as well as PCs was realized. He continues to send out surveys to faculty and students, eager to find new ways of making our technology more convenient.
Over the years, Mr. Adiletta has helped several seniors with their Senior Project. He said, “The Senior Project is my favorite event at Gilmour. It allows students who are interested in building something really big to go all-in. We’re like mad scientists able to make wild inventions come to life.”
In today’s tech-crazy world, Mr. Adiletta believes “computer science is like cursive handwriting. Everyone needs to to at least be able to interpret it. People might use programming to run a statistical analysis of a medical study or 3D model their invention, but I enjoy studying how programming works in its purity.”
In closing, I left Mr. Adiletta to a classroom filling up with students bustling to their seats to get their “Do Now” problems done within the first few minutes of class. The class was excited to see yet new wonders in technology. I am so glad Mr. Adiletta works with young people and me.