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Kevin Buscemi Assistant Principal at Oak Ridge

Kevin Buscemi

Kevin Buscemi was a solid B student until he entered the sixth grade at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Evergreen Park. There he met a teacher who changed his life forever.

“Her name was Mrs. (Rene) Orengo and she had this knack for making kids really care about school,” said Buscemi, who took over this year as Assistant Principal at Oak Ridge School. “She was the only teacher who was able to get me to love science.

“She cared about the kids,” he said. “I remember thinking that I want to have an impact on kids like she did when I grew up.”

Buscemi left six grade with straight A’s and continued to receive straight A’s throughout high school and college.

Buscemi, who took a circuitous route to get into teaching, credits Mrs. Orengo for his decision to enter the teaching profession. “I just saw how much she cared about kids and helping them,” he said. “That’s what I wanted to do.”

Buscemi spent a year living in Manhattan where he worked on Broadway and a couple more years living in Downtown Chicago working in private business.

“I always wanted to be a teacher, but I realized that it would take me about seven years to get all the advanced degrees I needed,” he said. “So I tried a few other things first. But I realized teaching was my true calling and it was worth the effort.”

Fast-forward a few years and Buscemi is a team leader at Oak Ridge School. One of the faces he sees upon arrival is his former sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Orengo, who is now teaching at Conrady.

“It was really cool to see her again after all these years,” he said. “I told her how much she impacted my life.”

Mrs. Orengo is now teaching at Oak Ridge where her former student is the assistant principal.

“Life has been pretty good,” he said. “I’ve had opportunities to make an impact on kids and to help them really care about school. That’s the best part.”

Buscemi, who lives in Tinley Park, enjoys playing the guitar and singing. He loves country music and spending time with friends and family, especially his nephew Michael.