John R. DeFeo

Class of 2004


What is your name and where do you currently live? What year did you graduate St. Mary School?
My name is John R. DeFeo and I live in Milford. I graduated in 2004 so a decade ago!

What is your current job/profession?
I am an EMT. I ride in an ambulance in Stratford for Stratford EMS, and my full time job is an ER tech at the Yale-New Haven Hospital Adult Emergency Department.

What was your educational path after graduating from St. Mary School?
I attended Fairfield Prep for high school, UConn for my undergrad, and hopefully a school for a Masters in Physician Assistant studies! I have a Bachelor of Science and I Majored in Allied Healthcare and Minored in Business. I made the Dean’s list several semesters.

How do you feel SMS prepared you academically?
I was prepared to embrace a high school level of math, and English. The preparation was great. I also remember Mrs. Richards showing us how to outline properly. Mrs. Nelson gave us a great foundation for earth and human sciences. I think I was very prepared for reading and English and I remember exceling in anything that required dissecting text to look for a deeper meaning.

Do you feel SMS provided you with a foundation for your future?
Yes I do. Teaching us how to study, teaching us morals through religion. I learned that in college (at least UConn) “religion” in general gets a bad rap because people associate “religion” with many negatives and forget all about the positives. That whole different way of thinking was new to me as I had spent my entire life in catholic schools and UConn was my first public school. Also the teachers were strict at times, which is the way it should be. There needs to be discipline, and kids need to know there IS a certain way to act, the world doesn’t revolve around them, you NEED to have manners, and you will be told no and not get everything you want!

What are some of your favorite memories of SMS?
The SMS carnival, oh the good times that were had there when I was young. Recess was great, I’ve heard that recess has been taken away at some schools which I find to be ridiculous – aren’t we trying to fight childhood obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle (that includes daily exercise)? The assemblies once a month were very entertaining as well!

What are your plans for the future?
Physician Assistant school! It’s a master’s program and my applications are in and I am waiting to hear back from schools now. I am also considering the field of surgical medical device sales being a representative for certain companies that show surgeons how to use surgical equipment in the operating room. Fingers crossed for the next several months!

What advice can you give to our students?
Build strong study habits. Build strong study habits. Build strong study habits. Newsflash kids: schoolwork and life will only get harder as time goes on. Whatever amount of work you are doing now it will be a drop in the bucket compared to the workload of a science major in college. When you’re in a tough place push through it, it’s when you should be pushing the hardest! Learn to love to learn, there are billions of people who WISH they had the opportunity we have in this part of the world. The better you are able to manage your time so you can do better in school, stay fit, and develop personal connections – the more doors will open for you. Don’t wait for things to come to you- go get them.