Mr. Pannulla is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, but his BC Calc class certainly hurts some heads.
Math teacher Mr. Tom Pannulla has a busy schedule, from teaching Pre-Calc, AP Calculus BC, and Social Entrepreneurship to moderating the Mathletes team. However, Pannulla finds time to run in order to de-stress.
“Running itself is just really therapeutic to me,” Pannulla said. “I don’t mind running by myself that much because it kind of takes me away from everything I do on a daily basis.”
Pannulla started teaching math at Malvern last year, but that was not originally the profession he wanted to pursue.
“My first love was architecture and so I took four years of architecture in high school and I was pretty sure that was what I wanted to do,” Pannulla said.
However, Pannulla said that he had a great experience in his AP Calculus class that made him reconsider what he was going to study in college.
“I started helping people a lot in that class and it popped into my head that this might be something I’d be interested in and I just kinda went for it,” Pannulla said.
Along with his newfound interest in teaching, Pannulla pursued another talent of his in high school: running. Pannulla went to Coatesville High School and ran for their cross country and track teams for all four years.
“That was my big passion,” Pannulla said. “I fell in love with it throughout high school.”
Pannulla excelled as runner in high school. He also enjoyed great team success as part of the cross country team.
“I had a great opportunity in high school when we won the state championship in my senior year and we actually got to run in the high school national championship in Oregon which we also won so that was awesome,” Pannulla said.
For college, Pannulla went to La Salle University where he got a dual undergraduate degree in secondary education and mathematics in 2011, while also running distance for their track and cross country teams.
In 2013, Pannulla earned a Master’s Degree from La Salle in education and returned to Coatesville High School where he taught one year as a long term substitute teacher. Looking for a full-time job, Pannulla heard about a job opening at Malvern.
“The classes that were open, which were the AP Calculus BC and Pre-Calculus, were something that I was really interested in teaching so it was a perfect fit,” Pannulla said.
Pannulla appreciates the freedom Malvern has given him within the classroom.
“I taught in public school system and for all the great things that public school does, it is restrictive,” Pannulla said. “Just being able to be comfortable making your own lesson plans and really coming up with a plan that you think is going to work has been great.”
His students also notice how much time and effort Mr. Pannulla puts into his lesson plans to make the material understandable and enjoyable.
Junior Peter Nguyen, who had Pannulla last year for Pre-Calculus, said that he was never bored in his class.
“Mr. Pannulla engaged the students, and I was never bored in his class,” Nguyen said. “He was always great at fixing a student’s confusion. If a someone didn’t understand something, he was able to clear his confusion by giving a good example of the material and making it more comprehensible.”
Junior Michael Shaak, who takes Pannulla’s Pre-Calculus class now, feels the same way.
“He’s a great math teacher, he knows all of the concepts inside and out and can easily explain something if you have a question,” Shaak said.
Only in his second year, Pannulla has only great things to say about Malvern.
“I honestly cannot say enough for the classes I’ve had,” Pannulla said. “I’ve had a lot of fun.”