Santino Bellisario Article
Mr. Bellisario’s teaching qualifications remind one of ocean waves – the list goes on and on and on ceaselessly: Master of Education, Doctor of Education, Religious Education Specialist, Honours Specialist in English and History, Principal’s Certificate, and of course most famously, many qualifications in debate centered instruction. We have merely the tip of the iceberg here. During his busy thirty-seven years of teaching, twenty-five of them as head of the English Department, he was actively designing unique innovative courses which solidified Del’s envied place in the highly competitive independent school market. He regularly chaired committees developing best practice models based on the most current research, of which he kept informed. For more than two decades he mentored new teachers, generated essay booklets, course booklets and helpful supplementary guides for students, designed course outlines, managed budgets, meetings and interdisciplinary gatherings, literary workshops and professional development events. Also, many hours he enjoyed on the gym floor coaching many basketball teams to multiple championships. Surely versatile, he was active in staff spiritual workshops and international religious conferences. Much more could be added about volunteer work along the way which would cause one to reflect on how he manages to transform the normal twenty-four-hour day into his forty-hour day.
On a different, delightful note, for eighteen years he organized a highly successful, unique overseas summer credit course called Roman Holiday Summer Studies. Students shared in the timeless treasure of the “Eternal City,” savoured the rich palette of intensely lived history, recorded in stone and classical texts, for the Romans unlike most others recorded everything, being blessed at times, the peak times, with the best writers of history the West has ever enjoyed – Livy, Tacitus, Cicero. A true bounty of priceless art, sculpture and architecture lavished on Del students, delightful views, tastes, sights and sounds – a rich treasure indeed for our youthful adventurers whose intellects were ready to be impressed by majestic aqueducts, viaducts, and the remains of public baths which may serve to remind the traveler, then and now, in fact and fiction, that “all roads” constructed straight and durable eventually do lead to Rome. Unlike our own, these roads remained in use for nineteen centuries, finally rendered antiquated by the automobile at the end of the last century. Their durability was even celebrated in recent literature.
To plumb Mr. Bellisario’s wide world of debating, the issue is where to begin. Year after year he sends persuasion, eloquence, and polish embodied in the talents of his debaters into the famous forums of learning and prestige. Five times in recent years Del competitors at the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships claimed top awards in 2012 to 2016 and 2017 to 2018, in addition to many other international, national and provincial titles. He remains active in debating societies as an executive and organizer of membership drives. In debating he has conquered the field and like Alexander (The Great) who was told to find larger worlds to dominate, for Macedonia was too small. The sheer volume and variety of his legacy recalls Shakespeare’s tribute to Caesar – “When comes such another?” Indeed.
Mr. Bellisario is happily married to his wife Erica of thirty-four years. He is very proud of his three children; all top Del graduates and all pursuing rewarding careers. Alessia is thriving in New York City. Martina works in Paris. Luca has a Master’s Degree from the University of Toronto and is now planning Law School at Osgoode. To relax he enjoys his book club, music, travel, cinema, art history, photography, and physical fitness. His biography leaves one speechless and speechless we wisely intend to remain. Amen.