Ryan Oreste, Class of 2000
Although both of the brothers of Ryan Oreste, class of 2000, went to BC High School, Ryan’s attendance at a Malden Catholic Open House convinced him where he wanted to spend his high school years. MC’s smaller size and the intimate feel of the environment gave him an at-home sense that was personified in the attention of the teachers for Ryan and the other eighth grade visitors to feel at ease. “At that point, I knew that Malden Catholic was a place where I could thrive both academically and athletically, and that is what tipped the scales for me. The five minute commute time didn’t hurt either over the forty-five to sixty minute ride to Dorchester.”
Arriving at Crystal Street in September, 1996, Ryan experienced the same fears as his freshman classmates: big changes to his routine, different building, new teachers, a class schedule to learn, new classmates. He felt lucky that a number of his classmates from St. Mary’s School in Melrose were also attending with him, so that walking into the hallways with some familiar faces quickly eased his fears. Ryan expected to be challenged academically at Malden Catholic, not just in the work load, but also by how he would go about preparing for each day. He expected to learn new ways to study, to take notes, to be more organized and to be able to balance school and sports.
Mr. Richard Mazzei (MC ’74) was Ryan’s most memorable teacher at MC. He participated in the Washington, DC, Close-Up program for two years with Mr. Mazzei and took his course on the 1960s. “Mr. Mazzei always expected the best of us and knew how to get that production out of us. He was able to do it by either disciplining us and giving us extra work to finish or by pulling us aside for a pep talk or for some extra help after school. Mr. Mazzei always made learning in the classroom fun and enjoyable…One of the topics we talked about in his 1960s class was the assassination of JFK; still to this day I enjoy watching anything about JFK and his story. My passion for learning came from him.”
Ms. Melanie Leonard was also a memorable teacher for Ryan; he took his first Introduction to C++ Programming class with her. “My passion for technology was furthered in her classroom and ultimately pushed me towards a career in the technology field.” Other Malden Catholic teachers for whom Ryan has fond memories include Mr. William Lanagan, Ms. Martha McGuane, Mr. Mark Tarmey, Mr. Robert Bucchino, Brother Timothy Hoey, Mr. John Carroll, Brother Daniel Cremin, Mr. Thomas Arria and Mr. Stephen Linde.
Ryan recalls trying out for the JV basketball team as a sophomore. He was fourth guard on the freshman team and “pretty much riding the bench.” Track coach Mr. Louis Ruggiero ’66 was holding an indoor practice in the gym; Ryan had never thought about running on the track team. Near the end of the basketball tryout, Coach Michael Doherty had all the boys run sprints while Mr. Ruggiero was watching. Both coaches told him that he should be running track. With Mr. Doherty’s blessing, he ran track for his last three years at MC, qualifying in 1999 for the state meet for the Triple Jump and for his 4x100 team, holding the school record at one point. During one meet, Ryan’s and his 4x100 team of Mike Caprigno ‘00, Ricky Moffat ’00 and Garcia Dalzon ’99 were getting ready to race when an MC javelin thrower joined them to talk. Ricky’s foot was accidentally spiked, but the foursome was able to win the final heat even with Ricky’s injury.
In 1999, Ryan’s intramural flag football team consisted of classmates Jesse Chisholm, Evan Davie, Joe Rubin, Gene Marcella, Matt Smith, Joe Mancini, Mike Caprigno, Joe Grenier and Giovanni Albanese. They took the championship, but lost against the faculty team. “Brother Frederick Eid outran every single one of us in that game!”
Attending the Close-up Program with Mr. Mazzei in 1999 and 2000 was a significant experience for Ryan. He made friends from all over the country with whom he is still in contact. They met up with Rep. Edward Markey ’64, and he brought them down to the House floor to observe a vote. Ryan commends Mr. Mazzei for his heroism for driving to Washington during a snowstorm in 1999.
Social media allows Ryan to keep in contact with classmates Ed Nee, Ray Benson, Brian Lizotte, Matt Smith, Joe Grenier, Joey Mancini, Ricky Moffat, Ian MacDonald and Giovanni Albanese. He is able to connect with more regularity with Mike Caprigno, Bobby Black ’99, John Cronin ’99, Rob Stewart ’02, Brian Murphy ’02, and Mike Terry ’02.
After graduating from Malden Catholic in 2000, Ryan entered the Computer Engineering Technology program at Northeastern University. He felt well-prepared for the demands: “I felt as though I had a leg up on my peers due to the study habits instilled upon me at MC,” as well as a curriculum that allowed a couple of his freshman courses to rehash what he had already learned.
In 2003, Ryan began as an intern in the Information Technology Department for the Boston Red Sox. After several promotions, he now has a position as Systems Engineer with the team. He comments, “I was on board for both the 2004 and 2007 World Series Championship runs, and I have two World Championship rings.” Ryan has found that everyone in the Red Sox organization gives everything he has, day in and day out. A number of people have made an impression on him; Tim Wakefield is one of them. “His commitment to community service is second to none. I have been lucky enough to witness a few smiles from some of the kids that Mr. Wakefield has touched through his many charitable endeavors. His commitment encourages me to give back to my community whenever possible.”
Working with the Red Sox has also afforded Ryan the opportunity to assist with the Jimmy Fund Telethon every year. “I have met and heard stories from a number of patients who benefit from the Jimmy Fund. Each story and person that I have had the chance to meet from the Jimmy Fund has taught me to live life to the fullest every day and to never give up. The dedication of everyone involved is just simply amazing.”
Ryan believes that his Malden Catholic experience instilled the values and work ethic that drive him. “Whether in relationships with family, friends, co-workers or complete strangers, MC taught me to better myself by helping others…Plus Ultra is a motto to live by….” Ryan feels that the moral education at Malden Catholic is often overlooked elsewhere. Because of what the teachers and staff provide them, MC graduates “…both present and future, become leaders and productive members of society who look out for each other.”