St. John Bosco Schools 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Auction is planned for Feb. 3 at the Italian American Community Center in Gates.
The St. John Bosco Award is given each year to a person who has demonstrated the charisms of St. John Bosco, the father, teacher and friend of youth. Chili resident Bernie Iacovangelo, a supporter of St. John Bosco Schools since the beginning, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the award.
SJBS offers the only classical liberal arts curriculum for prekindergarten through eighth grade students as well as a classical high school, Chesterton Academy, in the Rochester area. This curriculum is part of a growing revitalization of education based on a time-tested, genuinely Catholic model of teaching and learning.
Iacovangelo embodies the qualities that St. John Bosco displayed. The patron saint knew that respect for oneself, for one another and for learning is modeled on familial respect and love.
“In life we have blessings and challenges,” said Iacovangelo. “My parents raised us to value hard work and education. We were very fortunate and had many successes quickly. After some financial difficulties though, I realized that I had to turn things around. I promised the lord that if he helped me through, I’d be his instrument. I began coaching soccer in the inner city and finding ways to serve.”
Like St. John Bosco, who dedicated his life to mentoring and teaching the needy children he encountered in Turin, Italy, Iacovangelo found that what the needy kids he worked with were looking for was commitment and love — someone they could count on.
“I realized then that the giving back would be the most important part of my legacy and my way of making a difference in the lives of others,” said Iacovangelo.
Iacovangelo has been involved in countless community activities including 18 volunteer leadership positions within the local community and a sports coach to many. He received the 2010 Section V Assistant Coach of the Year — Aquinas Varsity Boys Soccer — Award, the “Unsung Hero Award” from Mayor Bill Johnson and Businessman of the Year Award in 1999 from the Order of the Sons of Italy in America.