Teacher Feature: Robert Desipio

Teacher+Feature%3A+Robert+Desipio

By Mira Harris, Staff Reporter

In front of the entrance to the track is science teacher Robert Desipio’s favorite tree. To most, it doesn’t look like much, but Desipio describes it as a “large version of the very scraggly Charlie Brown Christmas tree.” He is relieved that no one has decided to cut it down yet. 

“That tree, to me, is a metaphor for teaching and what I want my students to do. When I look at that tree, it simply says I’m trying, it’s not doing real well, but it’s trying. It’s not dead,” Desipio said. 

Growing up in Bucks County, just outside of Philadelphia, Desipio’s love for the classroom fueled his passion for teaching. 

“I always enjoyed school as a student, so school was a very comfortable place for me to be,” Desipio said. 

Desipio started at Conestoga during the 1996-97 school year. He has spent the majority of his time at ‘Stoga in Room 283, where he has taught everything from 9th-grade Physical Science to AP Physics. Desipio’s first experiences with teaching were at Lehigh University, where he earned a master’s and doctorate in physics. There, he was a teaching assistant for courses such as freshman Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Thermodynamics. 

As one of the teachers with the most seniority at Conestoga, Desipio has been president of the Tredyffrin Easttown Teachers Association (TEEA) for the past seven years. The association strives to provide a public voice for T/E teachers and to prepare every T/E student for success. Desipio has been involved in TEEA for the past twenty years.. Before becoming the president, he started as a building representative and also spent some time as a grievance chair for Conestoga teachers. 

“A lot of people picture the union administration as a body that just sits around butting heads, but we strive to work together as much as we can all the time,” Desipio said.

As many of his students know, Desipio has been carpooling with math teacher Paul Poiesz for the past fifteen years. As Desipio’s students have a lot of misconceptions about their relationship, he wants to clarify that this arrangement is purely for “environmental and economic reasons,” Desipio said. 

“Students create these stories that we were roommates in college, and now we’re still roommates, and we do everything together, which is not true; we carpool together,” Desipio said.

In his 24th year of teaching at Conestoga, Desipio says he has no plans of going anywhere else anytime soon. For Desipio, the most rewarding part of teaching is developing a connection with his students. He takes pride in the atmosphere the school provides and the growth that he sees from students.

“Any time I feel like I’m positively impacting anybody, it makes me really proud of what I do,” Desipio said.