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Father-son duo share both a last name and a campus

2014 January 23
by HISD Communications

In this week’s I am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, we talk to Patrick LaPadula and his son, Luke, about what it’s been like working together at The Rice School, how they came to be serving at the same campus, and who else in their family might be destined for a life in education.

Let’s start with how to pronounce your last name, since I clearly got it wrong. Is that a Spanish surname?

Patrick: No, it’s Italian. And it’s pronounced “LAP-a-DOO-la.”

Fair enough. Patrick, you’re an instructional specialist at The Rice School and your son, Luke, is a teacher there. What’s it been like for you both working together?

The LaPadulas, L-R: Patrick, Luke, Rose, and Olivia

Patrick: Well, he comes in the afternoon right before school ends and does carpool duty while I’m with the buses, so we kind of pass in the night. But we see each other briefly and I borrowed a dollar from him yesterday.

Luke: I worked with my mother quite often in her kindergarten class, so it wasn’t really that much of a transition. I go wherever the after-school program needs me, like helping the library with shelving books and checking them in, but if they need me to do other things, I just go help them as quickly as I can.

So your mother is a teacher, too? Is she the Rose LaPadula I saw in the global address book when I looked you both up?

Patrick: Yes. She’s my wife and Luke’s mother. She’s an English as a Second Language kindergarten teacher at West University Elementary School. She served at Rice, too, for three years a long time ago, but this will be her 24th year at West U.

Wow. So you’ve got three educators in one family, and a father and son working at the same campus. That seems a bit unusual. Can you tell me how that arrangement came about?

Patrick: I work with the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students. He was hired as a lecturer for the after-school program. We had an opening, and he just applied and got it. But he’s only been working here since August. He just graduated from Bellaire High School and he’s going to college at the University of Houston to study engineering.

Oh, so it’s not like you always set out to be a teacher, then, Luke? Do you think you’ll remain in the teaching profession? What do you think are the odds that you’ll switch majors?

Luke: I don’t mind helping children, but I don’t really see myself working with them for the rest of my life. I’m studying mechanical engineering. And I just want to build things.

Patrick: He’ll tell you that I always thought he’d be a math or science teacher, but I think he’ll stick with engineering. The person I really think is going to be another educator is my daughter, Olivia, who’s a senior. Kids always go and hang with her and do school stuff. I think she’s always going to be a teacher at heart. She has it in her.

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One Response leave one →
  1. January 23, 2014

    Great story! What an awesome family! I remember when Luke was born as well as Olivia, I worked with their mom at West U. And work with your dad at Roberts. What a great family you guys are and congratulations on all the accomplishments !



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