Mr. John Ficociello – English Department
Since joining the Lowell Catholic English department faculty in 2006, Mr. Ficociello has brought with him a wealth of experience both from his years of teaching at the college level and from his former occupation with the General Accountability Office of the U.S. Government. Although teaching is his third career, Mr. Fic (as he is affectionately known)is quick to admit that teaching at LC and raising his son Ben, LC class of 2009, is “the most fun I’ve ever had and the hardest work I’ve ever done”.
Mr. Ficociello graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a BS in Psychology, earned a MFA at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and completed his PhD course work at the University of Cincinnati.
Recalling the strength of the faculty and curriculum which originally drew his family to LC in 2005, Mr. Fic boasts that “the programs, the facilities, and the technology have been improved tremendously which makes it possible to offer an even higher quality education.”
One of the first to arrive on campus each morning, Mr. Ficociello pours his energy into planning for his classes and working individually with students. Although he typically teaches freshman and sophomores, this year he has expanded his course load to include the Humanities Seminar course which provides an overview of literature and American culture for international students transitioning to our school. The importance of creating a valuable and enriching experience for our international students is close to Mr. Ficociello’s heart as he and his family opened up their home to Jim Kim, class of 2009, as host parents for three years.
In the classroom, Mr. Ficociello’s students benefit from lively discussions and creative, hands on-assignments that encourage critical thinking. Recently, his sophomore classes worked in small groups to create segments of a perfect society modeled after Orwell’s 1984. “It is incredible to see how students’ ideas develop when you place education into their own hands” says Mr. Ficociello.
Through his teaching, Mr. Ficociello is also fulfilling a promise he made to himself years ago while teaching college students: “I saw the fundamental problems with writing that existed at the college level and vowed that one day I would go back and try to fix these issues early on”. It is these fundamental writing concepts that Mr. Ficociello works diligently with his classes to master. “In his class, we focused on the importance of writing well, including the use of proper grammar and developing a strong voice. He was passionate about building our writing skills so that we could succeed in the future” reflects LC senior Celeste Bouchard.